Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Are The White Sox Really A Bunch Of Underachievers?

By now you proably heard that Sox GM Kenny Williams called them that. Is it true? To see if it is, I compared how individual players and pitchers are doing to what they were projected to do by Bill James in this year's Handbook.

The fist table has OPS and predictd OPS for all the guys who have 200+ ABs on the Sox this year. Some guys did not get projections. Overall it does not look too bad. Some guys are doing better than expected, some worse. I calculated the average differential at a negative -.010. Not huge.



Now pitchers and their ERAs. Things don't look too bad here, either. There is one more table after this that uses WHIP per 9 IP.



Now the WHIP table. Does not look so terrible.

11 comments:

Bill said...

Kenny Williams opened his mouth and was wrong? Who could've guessed? ;)

The James projections are kind of notoriously optimistic, too (not to say they're wrong, but they're generally sunnier than ZiPS, PECOTA, etc.), so I'd say if anything, they're overachieving...

Cyril Morong said...

Bill

Thanks for dropping by and making such good points. In case you are interested, I posted something on Pujols winning the triple crown on 7-4. Here is the link

http://cybermetric.blogspot.com/2009/07/albert-pujols-has-good-chance-to-win.html

Cy

Bill said...

Thanks, Cy. I actually found this site through your comment to that effect on wezen-ball. Great work here, and you were obviously way ahead of the curve on Pujols. :)

Cyril Morong said...

Thanks. So you live in Chicago, but you are a Twins fan? I grew up near Oak Lawn (went to Oak Lawn high school). But I live in San Antonio, TX now. In the 1970's my family took vactaions near Brainerd.

Bill said...

Yes, I grew up in the Twin Cities, but went away for college and haven't quite made it back yet (though I'm inching closer). I've been up to Brainerd on little vacations many times. We live on the north side, within (longish) walking distance of Wrigley.

Anonymous said...

Seriously though, the projections systems hardly even can figure out the Sox.

However, the Sox have a FIP nearly .4 runs better than the Tigers and a wOBA 3 points higher and yet are two behind. By those measures sure, they are underachieving

Colin said...

Kenny presumably has his own projections, ones that are probably better than anything commonly available. Though really, why take him at his word there?

Cyril Morong said...

Anon

You make some good points. Just to underscore what you are saying, the Sox have an OPS differential of .025 while it is -.008 for the Tigers. The Sox pitchers are 2nd lowest in OPS allowed but that drops to 4th with runners on and 9th with runners in scoring position. But I think that is just bad luck, not underachieving.

Cy

Cyril Morong said...

Fan graphs has the Sox at -.69 wins in clutch hitting and +.06 in pitching (using WPA). For the Tigers, it is 1.45 and 1.73. So the Tigers have been 3.81 wins more clutch. That is, they are more timely in their pitching and hitting.

Cyril Morong said...

From regression analysis, an equation for winning pct is

Pct = .5 + 1.21*OPSdifferential.

The Sox should have .530 and the Tigers should have .490. So the Sox should be 4-5 games ahead of the Tigers based on that.

Cyril Morong said...

The Sox have a .675 OPS in close and late situations and their pitchers allow a .696 OPS. For the Tigers those numbers are .782 and .693.