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2012 Major League Baseball Measures of Success

2012 Major League Baseball Measures of Success Who were the most successful teams in Major League Baseball in 2012? What made them successful, how much did that success cost and what effect did that success have on fan attendance? Regular Season Standings and Post-Season Success A visual recap of the season By most people's criteria, success in Major League Baseball is defined by obvi- ous measures such as winning the World Series, the League Championship, or winning the division. The San Francisco Giants won the World Series. They didn't have the best record in baseball, but they won their division. Their opponent in the World Series, the Detroit Tigers, were the second-most suc- cessful team of the year, by post-season criteria, yet had the lowest winning percentage of any team making the playoffs in 2012. American League National League Wild Card Wild Card East East New York Baltimore Tampa Bay Torontó Boston Washington Atlanta Philadelphia New York Miami San Francisco Giants Central Central Detroit Chicago Kansas City Cleveland Minnesota Çincinņati St. Louis Milwaukee Pittsburgh Chicago Houston World Champs West West Oakland Техas Los Angeles Seattle San Francisco Los Angeles Ārizona San Diego Colorado World World ALDS ALCS Series Series NLCS NLDS 0.0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0. 0.6 0.4 0.3 Regular Season Standings & Winning Percentage 0.6 0.5 0.2 0.1 0.0 Regular Season Standings & Winning Percentage Post-Season At What Cost Success? Does team salary lead to more wins or better post-season performance? Major Leaque Baseball is a business. In most businesses, maximizing Many argue that the post-season is very different than the regular season. Yet, just as in the regular season, the team that spends the most money does not necessarily have the most success in the post season either. performance while limiting costs is laudable - a virtue that is lost on some of the league's most popular franchises. But, there is not a direct correlation between wins and payroll. Many of the most suc- cessful teams spent less than $120 million, including the Giants. Though in this case, four of the five top-spending teams were more suc- cessful in the post-season than those with payrolls under $100 million. 100 Reds Nationals Yankees GiantsRangers OGiants Athletics Braves Orioles 90 Rays Angels Won World Series • Cardinals • Tigers Dodgerse White Sox O Brewers Diamondbacks O Phillies • Tigers 80 OPirates Made World Series Mariners O Padres OMets O Royals Blue lays 70 • Cardinals Yankees • Indians • Marlins O Red Sox O Twins Made Championship Series Rockies • Cubs 60 Reds Athletics • Orioles Nationals O Astros Made Division Series 50 Braves • • Rangers Made Wild Card 40 50 75 100 125 150 175 200 50 100 150 200 Payroll in Millions of Dollars Payroll in Millions of Dollars What Batting and Pitching Factors Most Affected Wins? Pitching was a better predictor of wins than most batting statistics. can be represented by a single number - the correlation coefficient, a number that will range between -1 and 1. The number is positive if the two variables directly correlate and is negative if the two variables are inversely related. There's a dizzying array of batting and pitching stats that can be analyzed to find correlations to wins. Some of the most common stats such as team batting average and home runs had a very low correlation to wins. In the scatter plots below, those plots with a strong correlation to wins have the dots clustered near the trend line. Those with a low correlation have dots scattered more randomly. The correlation between any of the two variables Batting: Team Batting Average Pitching: Opposing Team Batting Average 100 100 ONationals Nationals Reds Yankees Giants• Rangers OReds Giants, OYankees Braves Orioles Athletics CRangers Athletics eleBraves Tigers Cardinals TigersCardinals 80 60 60 The most well-known metric for success in batting is the batting average. But team batting average did not correlate closely with wins. Several teams with losing seasons had higher batting averages than teams that made the playoffs. Correlation Coefficient: .2681 Although a team's batting average correlates poorly to wins, in pitching, there is a strong negative correlation between the opposing team's batting average and wins. Correlation Coeffi- cient: -7239. 40 0.20 40 0,20 0.25 0.30 0,25 0.30 Team Batting Average Opposing Team Batting Average Batting: Team Hits Pitching: Team Strikeouts 100 Nationals 100 Reds ONationals Redso Yankees •Giants Rangers Athletics Athletics Orioles Braves Braves Giants OYankees Orioles ORangers Tigers Cardinals Tigers Cardinals 80 80 There was a moderate correlation in 60 60 Like batting average, the number a team gets was also poorly correlated to wins. Correlation Coeficcient: .2684. hits 2012 between strikeouts by a team's picthing staff and wins. Correlation Coefficient: 5634. 40 1000 40 900 1500 2000 1200 1500 Team Hits Strike Outs Batting: Team Home Runs Pitching: Opposing Team Home Runs 100 100 Nationals Nationals Reds OReds OYankees GiantsPAthletics OYankees • • Orioles Rangers Giants Athleticse OBraves Orioles Rangers LBraves Cardinals Tigers Cardinals • Tigers 80 80 Team home runs also had a moderate 60 60 correlation to wins. Although teams that did hit a lot of home runs, like the Yankees and the Braves, made the playoffs, the Giants had the fewest home runs in the league. Correlation Coeffi- cient: 4545. There was a moderate correlation in 2012 between home runs allowed by a team's picthing staff and wins. Correlation Coefficient: -4082. 40 100 40 100 150 200 250 150 200 250 Team Home Runs Opposing Team Home Runs Batting: Team OPS Pitching: Opposing Team OPS 100 100 ONationals Nationals Reds OReds Athletics Braves O Giants Orioles Yankees • Orioles Giants LTigers OYankees Braves Athletics ORangers Tigers Cardinals Cardinals• Rangers 80 80 60 60 A much stronger correlation existed There was a strong correlation in 2012 between an opposing team OPS and between wins and its team OPS - the on base percentage plus slugging percent- age. Correlation Coefficient: 4978. wins. Correlation Coefficient: -.7437. 40 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.6 0.8 1.0 Team OPS Opposing Team OPS Batting: Team Runs Pitching: ERA 100 - Nationals 100 Reds Braves- Nationals SReds • Yankees Yankees Braves Athletics Giants Orioles O Rangers -Athletics •Rangers Giants- -Orioles Tigers Cardinals Cardinals Tigers 80 80 60 60 The strongest correlation to wins in batting, not surprisingly, was runs. The more runs a team scores, the more wins they have. Correlation Coefficient: 5315. The strongest correlation in pitching to wins in 2012 was the team's earned run average. Correlation Coefficient: -8124. 40 400 600 4. 6. 800 Team Runs 1000 ERA Does Winning Bring Fans to the Ballpark? Do the most successful teams have the best attendance or fill the ballparks better? Absolute tendance Relative Attendance One might assume that season attendance for a team relies on the winning success of that team. But attendance of the most successful teams in 2012 - those that made the playoffs - ranged widely, with the Yankees, Rangers, and Giants having some of the highest in the league, to the Oakland A's with the fourth lowest attendance in the league. The capacity of the stadiums around the league vary from a low of 35, 067 for the Oakland Athletics to a high of 56,000 for the Los Angeles Dodgers. So a better indica- tion of hometown attendance success for a team would be the average attendance percentage of capacity. League Average: 2.495 million League Average: 71.5% Philadelphia Phillies Boston Red Sox New York Yankees Philadelphia Phillies Texas Rangers San Francisco Giants San Francisco Giants St. Louis Cardinals Los Angeles Dodgers Detroit Tigers St. Louis Cardinals New York Yankees Los Angeles Angels Boston Red Sox Texas Rangers Minnesota Twins Detroit Tigers Chicago Cubs Chicago Cubs Milwaukee Brewers Milwaukee Brewers Los Angeles Angels Minnesota Twins Los Angeles Dodgers Colorado Rockies Miami Marlins Atlanta Braves Washington Nationals Washington Nationals Cincinnati Reds Cincinnati Reds - Pittsburgh Pirates New York Mets New York Mets Miami Marlins Colorado Rockies Arizona Diamondbacks San Diego Padres San Diego Padres Oakland Athletics Baltimore Orioles Atlanta Braves Toronto Blue Jays Chicago White Sox Pittsburgh Pirates Baltimore Orioles Chicago White Sox Kansas City Royals Kansas City Royals Tampa Bay Rays Seattle Mariners Arizona Diamondbacks Oakland Athletics Toronto Blue Jays Houston Astros Houston Astros Cleveland Indians Cleveland Indians Tampa Bay Rays Seattle Mariners 0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0 3.5 20 40 60 80 100 Season Attendance in Millions Average Attendance Percentage of Capacity Absolute Attendance Correlation to Wins Relative Attendance Correlation to Wins League Average Wins: 81 League Average Wins: 81 Phillies Yankees 3.5 Rangers I Phillies Red Sox O Gants Gants 100 Dodgers • Cardinals Cardinals Tigers Red Sox Tigers Angels 3.0 Cubs o Twins Rangers 0. Yankees Cubs Twins Brewers Brewers O Angels • Rockies Marlins Dodgers Nationals 2.495 million 71.5% 2.5 Nätionals Braves O Reds O League Average Attendance Percentage League Average Mets O Phirates Reds O Absolute Attendance Mets Marlins O Rockies • Padres Diamondbacks Padres White Sox Athletics Braves Orioles Orloles 60 Blue Jays O Hirates Royals 2.0 O White Sox Rays Diamondbacks O Blue Jays Royals Mariners O Astros . Athletics ndians Astros Indians OMariners Rays 1.5 40 40 40 60 80 100 60 80 100 Wins Wins Sources: baseball_stadiums_by_capacity Created by Jeff / @vizthinker, / @DigitalSplash Post-season Success SUIM SUIM Relativ Attendance - Percentage of Capacity %24 Wins (Regular Season) suIM suIM suIM Absolute Attendance in Millions

2012 Major League Baseball Measures of Success

shared by Jeff Bennett on Mar 27
The start of the 2013 Major League Baseball season is only a week away and there's predictions and prognostications from pundits aplenty. Perhaps some insight into the 2013 season can be gleaned from ...


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