Sunday, April 13, 2014

How Fluky Was The 2005 White Sox Pitching Staff?

Very fluky. That is based on their team ERA+ in the year they won the World Series (2005), in the year before and in the year after. There have been seven World Series winners since then for whom we can do this kind of comparison (we can't do the 2013 Red Sox, since their year after has just started). So I looked at the 2005 White Sox, the seven teams to win the series before and the seven since.

The table below shows ERA+ for the World Series winners in their year, the year before and after. ERA+ is relative to the league average and is adjusted for park effects. Over 100 is better than average so 110 means your team was about 10% better than the league average.

Table 1: ERA+ in World Series year, 
the year before and the year after.


Year
Team
Before
WS Year
After
1998
Yankees
117
116
113
1999
Yankees
116
113
102
2000
Yankees
113
102
112
2001
D-Backs
110
121
116
2002
Angels
107
120
103
2003
Marlins
92
105
101
2004
Red Sox
104
116
96
2005
White Sox
96
125
103
2006
Cards
122
98
95
2007
Red Sox
99
123
116
2008
Phillies
97
112
101
2009
Yankees
103
108
107
2010
Giants
120
117
109
2011
Cards
109
99
103
2012
Giants
109
96
84

The White Sox improved by 29 in the year they won and then fell by 22 they year after. Only three other teams saw a gain of at least 10 and then a dropoff of at least 10 (2002 Angels, 2004 Red Sox, 2008 Phillies). The 2000 Yankees and the 2011 Cardinals actually did worse in their year than both before and after.

As an index of "flukiness" I multiplied the difference in ERA+ in the year before times the after difference. So the White Sox get a flukiness score of 638. The 2004 Red Sox were 2nd with 240. 9 of the 15 teams were less than 100 (including some that were negative).

I also looked at all the teams that had the best record in each league over this time period that did not win the World Series. Here is the AL

Table 2: ERA+ in AL best record year, 
the year before and the year after.


Year
Team
Before
WS Year
After
2000
White Sox
100
108
102
2001
Mariners
101
117
105
2002
Yankees
112
114
110
2003
Yankees
114
110
96
2004
Yankees
110
96
94
2006
Yankees
94
103
101
2007
Indians
101
112
95
2008
Angels
107
112
99
2010
Rays
100
103
105
2011
Yankees
107
116
110
2012
Yankees
116
110
103


Now the NL

Table 3: ERA+ in NL best record year, 
the year before and the year after.


Year
Team
Before
WS Year
After
1998
Astros
109
118
117
1999
Braves
128
123
114
2000
Giants
92
102
95
2001
Astros
92
106
108
2002
Cards
110
109
90
2002
Braves
124
133
105
2003
Braves
133
105
115
2004
Cards
90
113
122
2005
Cards
113
122
98
2006
Mets
109
106
101
2007
D-Backs
106
115
116
2008
Cubs
115
118
116
2009
Dodgers
114
118
97
2010
Phillies
101
111
127
2011
Phillies
111
127
105
2012
Nationals
107
120
106

The highest flukiness score from these two tables is the 2011 Phillies who had 352. They and only 3 other teams had gains and dropoffs of at least 10 in both years (2001 Mariners, 2007 Indians, 2012 Nationals). So again, the 2005 White Sox were much flukier than anyone else.

The next table shows the ERA+ in each of the three years for all White Sox pitchers that had at least 20 IP in 2005.

Table 4: ERA+ for White Sox pitchers, 2004-6.


Pitcher
2004
2005
2006
Mark Buehrle
121
144
95
Freddy Garcia
121
116
105
Jon Garland
96
128
105
Jose Contreras
84
125
111
Orlando Hernandez
137
88
96
Luis Vizcaino
117
121
132
Cliff Politte
108
225
55
Brandon McCarthy

112
102
Neal Cotts
83
233
92
Dustin Hermanson
96
221
123
Damaso Marte
138
121

Bobby Jenks

165
119
Shingo Takatsu
204
76


Some did much better in 2005 than before or after. Here are the IP for all of these pitchers in 2005


Mark Buehrle 236.2
Freddy Garcia 228
Jon Garland 221
Jose Contreras 204.2
Orlando Hernandez 128.1
Luis Vizcaino 70
Cliff Politte 67.1
Brandon McCarthy 67
Neal Cotts 60.1
Dustin Hermanson 57.1
Damaso Marte 45.1
Bobby Jenks 39.1
Shingo Takatsu 28.2