Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Has Albert Pujols Been Getting More MVP Votes Than Expected Based On WAR?

This is based on a couple posts you can probably see below. So read them for explanations and technical details. Those posts have been discussed over at Baseball Think Factory.

I did the analysis for each year of Albert Pujols' career. In each year I tried to find a polynomial trend line that best fit the voting that year. Who was included in the analysis each year? Anyone who had at least as many ABs as the lowest AB total for anyone who got votes. Sometimes players don't get any votes but have a pretty good WAR and I don't think they should be left out of the analysis. So there had to be some way to decide who got included. So it is a different number of players each year.

I usually went with the highest r-squared among 2nd, 3rd degree, etc. polynomials. But they had to make sense. Sometimes the line goes up and down alot and I preferred lines like the ones in the graphs I used already. Logs and exponential functions would not work be cause of zero values for WAR and MVP shares. Sometimes even negative WAR values came up.

So I got a predicted value for each year of his career (including 2013 when he got no votes and had only 391 ABs, so I included everyone in the AL who had 391+ ABs).

In 11 of his 13 seasons his share was higher than predicted. Adding up all of the differences between his predicted share and actual share I got 1.73. So, although his rank in the MVP vote is about right based on his rank in WAR, his vote total is still higher than expected based on the overall pattern of the vote by the writers.

Now this 1.73 is lower than the 3.78 I currently have for him. But to know where that ranks I will have to go through every season since 1931 for each league one by one and get a total for all players. That will take some time.

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