Sunday, May 9, 2010

What You Don't Know About The 1927 Yankees

Well, you may know some of this. And even if you don't, some of it won't be a surprise. But this was fun to put together. For one, they out homered their opponents 158-42, for a differential of 116, the highest ever (the 1961 Yankees are 2nd with 103 and the 2005 Rangers are the only other team with 100 or more at 101). As you will see below, it is also the highest HR differential per game by a wide margin.

The graph below shows where they rank in terms of run differential per game and hit differential per game among all teams since 1920.

Pretty good. Second in run differential and 20th in hit differential. The team called NY1 is the New York Giants.

The next table shows where the Yankees rank in HR differential per game and walk differential per game. Their HR differential per game is 15% higher than the next team.

The next table shows what the Yankee pitchers gave up. They were lowest in all 4 stats. If you take both what the Yankee hitters did and what their pitchers allowed out of the league average, the AL had an OBP of .352 that year and an SLG of .391. So their pitchers were .032 better than the league in OBP and .035 better in SLG.

The next table shows some other stats allowed by the Yankees. They allowed the fewest walks, the second fewest HRs, had the second highest strikeout-to-walk ratio, by far the fewest HBP and had the best defensive efficiency ratio (the percentage of batted balls turned into outs).

They also allowed only 177 sacrifice hits, the lowest in the league (the rest of the league averaged allowing 210). I guess with all the leads they must have had, other teams did not like to sacrifice.

The 1927 Yankees struckout 610 times to lead the league. The next highest team total was 476. The Yankee pitchers only struckout 431 batters. So they struck out 179 times more than their opponents.

Last year I had a post called Were The 1922 St. Louis Browns The 14th Best Team Since 1920?. I used a regression equation to predict team winning pct. It was

Pct = .5 + .071*NONHR + .047*BB + .157*HR

Where NONHR are all hits that are not HRs (in case you are wondering, the 27 Yanks ranked 215th in NONHR since 1900 differential per game at .806, still in the top 10%). Each stat was a team's differential per game. It predicted that the Yankees would have had a .744 pct, the highest predicted pct since 1920.

I also have a regression equation based on OPS differential (looking at teams from 1989-2002). It is

Pct = .5 + 1.21*OPSDIFF

The Yankees had a team OBP of .384 and a team SLG of .488. So their OPS was .872. Then minus the OPS they allowed (.676), leaves .196. That would predict them to have a pct of .737.

Sources: Retrosheet and the Sean Lahman Database

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