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Home » May 2006 Game CommentsMay 2006 » Overpower


Game 31: May 7, 2006
Orioles (14-19), 3
Red Sox (19-12), 10
L: Kris Benson (4-3)
W: Lenny DiNardo (1-1)

The Baltimore Orioles are a portrait of what average to awful looks like in the American League:

  • Team batting average of .264 is eighth
  • Ninth in team OBP with .321
  • Team slugging is seventh at .432
  • Second-to-last team ERA balloons at 5.74
  • Their strikeouts total at 181 for ninth place
  • Leads the league in walks at 147

This is exactly the sort of team the Red Sox should trounce. Not only did Boston sweep their second series against the ballplayers from Charm City, several players had career milestones. Jason Varitek hit his second grand slam in his major league playing career, Mike Lowell transformed into Bill Mueller Version 2003, and Lenny DiNardo tallied his first major league win.

If I’m not at the game, I am usually hunkered over my laptop taking notes on the game’s progress and hitting some of my favorite Red Sox blogs. In my ventures I found Sox Watch, which tracks Win Probability Added (WPA), a metric described by Dave Studeman in this article on The Hardball Times. Studeman is a frequent contributor to THT and is one of the forces behind Baseball Graphs. Win Probability alone, which can be calculated at Christopher Shea’s Win Expectancy Finder, is the baseline of the probability a team will win in every man on, out, inning, and score combination based on outcomes of major league games from 1979 to 1990.

WPA further nuances these probabilities by crediting and debiting each player throughout the course of a game. When the numbers are proofed, the winning team should end with 0.5 and the losing team -0.5 and the player with the most points had the greatest contribution to the team’s win.

The mysteriously initialed “jpo” of Sox Watch has endeavored to track the Red Sox’s WPA for this season. I’m eager to see what the teams results are throughout the course of the year. Although the statistic isn’t highly predictive, it does summarize crucial game situations quantitatively and provides objectivity to base how individuals players are chipping in.

I doubt that there’s a Yankee fan doing anything similar. If there were such a devoted and determined fan that would set his or her time time to the task, I’m certain some of their cherished platitudes about their hallowed players would be shattered.


Thanks for the kind words about Sox Watch!

No problem, jpo. Keep up the excellent work.

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