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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Another way of predicting team performance

Chris Burley of the Hardball Times posted an interesting article yesterday about the so-called Bill James indicators, which predict the future performance of teams. The factors were:
1. Difference between actual and Pythagorean record the prior year (teams that outperform one year tend to have better records the next year).
2. Whether a team improved the prior year (teams that improve one year tend to decline the next).
3. Whether a team had a winning or losing record the prior year (teams tend to return to 0.500)
4. Age of team (younger teams improve, older teams decline).
5. AAA Performance (better prior-year AAA performance = more wins the next year for MLB team).
6. Late-season performance (teams that were better in the second half the prior year tend to be better the following year).

How do these indicators predict the Reds to perform? Again, per Burley:
1. Pythagorean-->Up
2. Improved-->Up
3. 0.500--> Up
4. Age, Pitching-->Even; Age, Hitting-->Up
5. AAA-->Down
6. 2nd Half-->Up

This put the Reds roughly in a tie for 4th place among all MLB teams in terms of expected improvement. Good news...we certainly couldn't expect to get much worse, and there's reason to expect we'll get better.

...I may revisit these indicators later on, as it would be interesting to see how predictive they actually are.