The National League Graph, 2013

Yesterday, I published the American League version of a Team Runs graph—so today is National League Graph day. Every graph deserves its own day, right?

Anyway, to mostly repeat what I said yesterday, here is a simple runs scored/allowed graph for the National League this year, through Sunday’s games. Runs scored are on the X axis, and runs allowed are on the Y axis. I changed the Y axis so that teams that allow fewer runs are at the top of the graph—this way, the best teams are in the upper right-hand corner, which is how most people naturally interpret graphs.

I also added dotted lines that represent an expected winning percentage based on runs scored and allowed; the number next to the team’s name indicates how far its actual record varies from its expected record. (Recall that teams tend to regress to their expected winning percentage, particularly in one-month samples)

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So what does the graph tell us? Here are some of the things I see:
{exp:list_maker}The best teams in the league—the Cardinals, Braves and Reds—are also the best pitching and fielding teams.
The Cardinals have also been very strong offensively, outclassed only by the park-enhanced Rockies.
Yet one of the biggest surprises is the Mets’ offense, which is about equal to the Cards’.
The Nationals have been a bit of a disappointment so far but they’ve been even worse according to their basic runs scored and allowed. Their actual record is two games better than their projected record.
Other teams outperforming theirruns record are the Pirates, Phillies and Giants. The Phillies are a particular surprise, because they are 5-10 in games decided by two runs or less. Perhaps that 14-run loss to the Marlins Sunday is a big factor.
Speaking of which, the Marlins’ offense looked really bad until Sunday’s 14-run outburst. It’s still the worst in the league.
The Cubs have won two games fewer than expected. According to Win Probability Added, their bullpen has been the worst in the majors. {/exp:list_maker}

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