## Thursday, October 14, 2010

### The 2010 MLB season by WAR

Earlier this year, I looked at how predicitive/descriptive WAR (Wins Above Replacement) did as a metric for an entire team, as it related to their win/loss records. During that post, I found that 14 of the 30 teams were within +/- of 4 wins of their final total. That's a margin of error of around 2.5% over 162 games.

I thought I would do the same exercise for this recently completed season.

On fangraphs.com you can find WAR by a whole team for both batting and pitching. So I went through and added each team's batting WAR to its pitching WAR and then added in the baseline 48 wins to find what WAR predicted each team to finish. Listed below are the results, with each team's actual wins listed first and their WAR win total calculated (baseline + bat + pitch, in that order). The number in parentheses after the WAR total is the difference between the two.

TB 96 (48 + 27.3 bat + 16.3 pitch) = 91.6 (+4.4 wins)
NYY 95 (48 + 35.5 + 12.1) = 95.6 (-0.6 wins)
BOS 89 (48+ 29.2 + 19.3) = 96.5 (-7.5 wins)
TOR 85 (48 + 25.3 + 16.8) = 90.1 (-5.1 wins)
BAL 66 (48 + 10.8 + 8.9) = 67.7 (-1.7 wins)

MIN 94 (48+ 31.4 + 18.5) = 97.9 (-3.9 wins)
CHW 88 (48+ 18.8 + 24.5) = 91.3 (-3.3 wins)
DET 81 (48+ 25.5 + 16.4) = 89.9 (-8.9 wins)
CLE 69 (48+ 10.3+ 9.0) = 67.3 (+1.7 wins)
KC 67 (48+ 14.5+ 11.5) = 74.0 (-7 wins)

TEX 90 (48+ 25.1 + 18.0) = 91.1 (-1.1 wins)
OAK 81 (48+ 22.0 + 13.8) = 83.8 (-2.8 wins)
LAA 80 (48+ 13.0+ 16.3) = 77.3 (+2.7 wins)
SEA 61 (48+ 5.3 + 13.9) = 67.2 (-6.2 wins)

PHI 97 (48+ 23.0 + 19.4) = 90.4 (+6.6 wins)
ATL 91 (48+ 22.2 + 20.9) = 91.1 (-0.1 wins)
FLA 80 (48 + 18.2 + 17.1) = 83.3 (-3.3 wins)
NYM 79 (48+ 15.8 + 14.5) = 78.3 (+0.7 wins)
WAS 69 (48+ 17.2 + 13.6) = 78.8 (-9.8 wins)

CIN 91 (48 + 32.9 + 16.4) = 97.3 (-6.3 wins)
STL 86 (48 + 22.2 + 16.3) = 86.5 (-0.5 wins)
MIL 77 (48 + 29.6 + 10.9) = 88.5 (-11.5 wins)
HOU 76 (48 + 8.3 + 16.5) = 72.8 (+3.2 wins)
CHC 75 (48 + 14.8 + 17.4) = 80.2 (-5.2 wins)
PIT 57 (48 + 3.4 + 6.7) = 58.1 (-1.1 wins)

SF 92 (48+ 25.6 + 21.6) = 95.2 (-3.2 wins)
SD 90 (48 + 24.4 + 15.6) = 88.0 (+2.o wins)
COL 83 (48 + 20.0 + 24.1 ) = 92.1 (-9.1 wins)
LAD 80 (48 + 13.3 + 18.0) = 79.3 (+0.7 wins)
ARI 65 (48 + 24.7 + 7.8) = 80.5 (-15.5 wins)

Whew...number crunchy!
This year, WAR got 18 of 30 teams within +/-4 wins of their actual totals, which I consider to be impressive.

The 3 teams that WAR was off by the most (ARI, MIL, WAS) were all slanted more towards the batting in their components. I have always had more faith in WAR from a batting standpoint than a pitching standpoint, so I wonder if there is something lodged inside of these stats to uncover.

WAR is not perfect, by any means, but it is the best available metric that we have at this time.