Thursday, November 09, 2006

Efficient Tigers

The Tigers finished 5th in the league with 822 runs scored in 2006. However, I often heard fans complain that the Tigers did not get the most out of their hits because they did not manufacture runs and did not get enough timely hits. Of course, this was said more often in the last 2 months of the regular season when they were losing than the first 4 months.

Should the Tigers have scored more runs from their offensive output? One way to answer this question is to look at runs created. Runs created is calculated from the number of walks, singles, doubles, triples, homeruns and other things that a team does to score runs. Bill James showed in his Baseball Abstracts many years ago that runs created is highly correlated with runs scored. This tells us that runs scored are essentially the sum of other team statistics and are not, in general accounted for by unmeasured factors. There are many runs created formulas but they all have the same basic structure:

RC= (A*B)/C

where A= number of runners on base, B=advancement of runners and C=opportunities to do A and B.


One of the first runs created formulas was developed by Bill James in 1979. It was simply:


RC= ((hits+walks)*total bases)/(ab+walks).


This version is still useful for some purposes but the formula has evolved over the years and more recent versions are more accurate in estimating runs scored. Sabermetrician Dan Agonistes gave a brief history of runs created on his blog. The formula I am using here is:


RC = (((2.4*C+A)*(3*C+B))/(9*C))-(.9*C)


where


A = H+BB+HBP-CS-GIDP
B = TB+.24*(BB-IBB+HBP)+.62*SB+.5*(SH+SF)-.03*SO

C = AB+BB+HBP+SH+SF


Table 1 lists the runs, RC, difference between runs and RC and % difference for all American League teams. Table 2 does the same for National League teams. The first thing you should notice is that all but 3 teams had RC within 5% of their actual runs scored. This means that runs created gives a good estimation of runs scored in most cases.


A closer look at table 1 shows that the Tigers had 806 runs created in 2006. This means that they scored 16 or 2% more runs than their estimated total. Thus, they got more out of their hits, walks and various other positive batting events than any other team in the league. This tells us that they had either the most efficient or luckiest offense in the league. Conversely, the 2005 Tigers scored 22 or 3% fewer runs than their estimated total. This is one of many areas where the team improved in 2006.


The National League leader was the Braves at 2.1%. The least efficient or unluckiest teams in baseball were the Blue Jays (-6.7%), Reds (-7.2%) and Padres.



Table 1: Efficiency of American League Offenses in 2006


TEAM

Runs

Runs Created

difference

% difference

Detroit

822

806

16

2.0

Oakland

771

763

8

1.1

Kansas City

757

750

7

0.9

Texas

835

828

7

0.9

Minnesota

801

802

-1

-0.1

Cleveland

870

877

-7

-0.8

NY Yankees

930

943

-13

-1.4

Chicago Sox

868

881

-13

-1.5

Seattle

756

770

-14

-1.8

LA Angels

766

788

-22

-2.8

Baltimore

768

797

-29

-3.7

Boston

820

854

-34

-4.0

Tampa Bay

689

718

-29

-4.1

Toronto

809

867

-58

-6.7



Table 2: Efficiency of American League Offenses in 2006


TEAM

Runs

Runs Created

difference

% difference

Atlanta

849

832

17

2.1

San Francisco

746

732

14

1.9

NY Mets

834

834

0

0.1

Colorado

813

813

0

0.0

Milwaukee

730

732

-2

-0.3

St. Louis

781

790

-9

-1.1

Arizona

773

783

-10

-1.2

Pittsburgh

691

704

-13

-1.9

Houston

735

751

-16

-2.2

Chicago Cubs

716

734

-18

-2.4

Philadelphia

865

887

-22

-2.5

LA Dodgers

820

842

-22

-2.6

Florida

758

782

-24

-3.1

Washington

746

776

-30

-3.9

San Diego

731

776

-45

-5.8

Cincinnati

749

807

-58

-7.2

1 comment:

  1. What incredible work Lee! Bravo. The anecdotal assumption that the Tigers don't take advantage of their scoring chances is borne of frustration, not analysis. Thanks for the analysis that no one else bothers to do! It's of incalculable value.

    ReplyDelete

Sabermetrics Book

Sabermetrics Book
One of Baseball America's top ten books of 2010

Blog Archive

Subscribe

501 Baseball Books

501 Baseball Books
Recommended by Tiger Tales

Stat Counter

Site Meter