Visual baseball: visualizing game score

Here’s a way to visualize a pitcher’s season using Bill James’ Game Score stat. I found that shapes were more revealing than a simple line graph and I was able to spot patterns more easily. Here are a few pitchers from 2010:

Roy Halladay: I was struck by the weirdly repeatable pattern he had in the first half of the season. Maybe he’s some sort of a cyborg or robot and trying to cover it up with intentional inconsistency.

Kevin Millwood: He faded in mid-summer, then career survival instincts seemed to kick in (or an urgent call from his agent).

Mat Latos: He had an amazing stretch of pitching, book-ended by two hideous starts. The Padres sure could have used “May, June, July, or August Latos” during their rough home stretch.

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  1. David said...

    I definitely agree that these are better to look at than traditional graphs.  How were they generated?  Is there an easy way to do them?

  2. S.F. Giangst said...

    A simple line chart with a filled area under the line would have sufficed, i.e. put zero on the bottom. Improve it perhaps by adding a horizontal line through the game score value for the season which tends to set likelihood of winning p = 0.5.

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