Friday, September 22, 2006
Win SharesPosted by Dave Studeman
Our Win Shares have been updated through games of September 22. This will be our last update before the end of the season. Someone sent an email asking why most of the Win Share leaders are from the National League, in spite of the AL's dominance of the NL this year. There are two reasons, I think.
One, the distribution of player talent is just different between the two leagues. The NL outranks the AL, 5-1, in players with more than 30 Win Shares, but the AL has more players with 20 to 30 Win Shares (34 to 29) and about the same number of players with 10 to 20 (101 to 100), despite having two less teams. The NL has a few superstars and a lot of so-so talent. The AL has a more robust distribution of talent.
Second, the Designated Hitter dilutes the impact of American League batters' Win Shares. That's because batters account for about half of a teams' wins in both leagues, but AL batters share their impact with eight other good hitters, while NL batters share theirs with seven other good batters. As result, batters in the National League get more credit for similar contributions. This is an issue that Bill James acknowledged in his Win Shares book, and any detailed analysis between players in the two leagues should take this into account.
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.