The most average team

I was reading Bill Chuck’s newsletter this morning and was struck by this statement:

This season, the Blue Jays have been 5-5, 6-6, 7-7, 13-13, 20-20, 21-21, 22-22, 23-23, 24-24, 26-26, 28-28, 29-29, 30-30, 32-32, 34-34, 35-35, 36-36, 39-39, 47-47, 49-49, 50-50, and today they are 51-51 and 15-15 in their last 30 games.

The Blue Jays have been the very definition of average so far this year.

Let me put it another way. Over at Bill James Online, Bill posts a “Hot Teams” list. He uses a temperature scale; each team starts at room temperature of 72 degrees and then their temperature goes up or down based on how they perform the next game. Then the temperature is further affected by the next game. And so on and so on.

According to my calculations, the Blue Jays have an average temperature of 71 degrees this season—just about room temperature. The Reds and Rockies are also at 71; the Mets at 73.

Here’s the other thing: the Blue Jays’ standard deviation in temperature is just 11 degrees. Only the Cubs have had a more consistent temperature. So, the Blue Jays have been persistently average all year long, more than any other team. In its own way, a pretty impressive achievement.

The two teams with the highest standard deviations in temperature—the streakiest teams of the year (at least by this measure)—have been the Red Sox and Marlins.

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