Sunday, April 19, 2009
THT Graphs are runningPosted by Dave Studeman
You can now find THT's graphs on our Teams Stats pages. I'll update the standings graphs each morning, and the "diagnostic" graphs will be updated as needed (which means often early in the season and less often late in the season). It might take you a minute to get used to the diagnostic graphs, but they're an easy way to understand your team and league in one fell swoop. Let me give you an example.
This is a graph of the number of runs scored and allowed by each team in the American League:
See how many teams are on the left-hand side of the graph? Those are the best pitching/fielding teams in the league, and many of them—most notably the Royals and Mariners—also have the best records in the league. Meanwhile many of the best hitting teams (lower right, see the Rangers and Orioles) have the worst records in the league. (The biggest exception is Toronto, which is an interesting story unto itself.) In other words, pitching is making the big difference right now.
Or is it? This graph breaks each team into its pitching and fielding strengths:
The Royals and Mariners are on the right-hand side of the graph, which means that, yes, pitching has made the difference for them. But our simple "batted ball fielding stats" indicate that the Tigers are the best fielding team in the league at this stage. And Relative Zone Rating (on the team page) confirms it; only the Blue Jays have a higher team RZR.
We knew the Blue Jays would be a top-notch fielding team, but the Tigers? They were second-worst in the majors in 2008. Sounds like another story unto itself.
Dave was called a "national treasure" by Rob Neyer. Seriously. Comments about this article can be sent to him through the miracle of e-mail.