Horserace

Horserace tables show real team WAA ( real wins minus real losses ) along side the sum of player WAA for Hitters, Starters, and Relief based upon current roster for that day. Rosters for past years are estimated from event and box score data. Clicking on a team link brings up that team’s roster.

A baseball season is much like a horse race or Indy 500 or Olympic marathon. In the beginning contestants good and bad are all bunched together. As time passes horses/drivers/runners spread apart with a small group leading and trailing and most of the group somewhere in the middle. The entire field of contestants form a random distribution. A current MLB season has 30 horses at the starting gate and 10 horses that get to play in October. For most MLB history seasons started with 16 teams with only 2 playing in October.

Horserace tables are sorted by the only measure the commissioner of MLB cares about; wins minus losses, real team WAA and only the top half of a league is shown to avoid clutter. The components (i.e. roster) of a team change during a season. Bad (negative valued) players get DFAed or sent to the minors, minor league players get called up, players get injured, and trades move players from team to team. Although the sum of player WAA should match their team’s real WAA, the current set of players is not the same throughout the year. Total WAA shown in the Horserace table is potential on that day and the breakdown into components provides a glimpse into a team’s strength and weaknesses.

All columns except UR are in units of WAA. Unearned Runs (UR) column is in units of runs above average and only included in this table to show a high level view of a team’s fielding. High positive RAA means a team gives up less unearned runs than league average , negative vice versa. The UR column in the Standings view is the same.

The end of season 1919 horserace shows Cincinnati (CIN) and White Sox (CHA) the top two teams in MLB. The White Sox have much better Hitters while Reds have a much better set of starters. This, however, can be deceptive because White Sox had Eddie Cicotte who was the #4 player in 1919 and would start 3 of 8 games in that World Series. Diving into the game details showing matchups (like this) in each game determines who would be favored.

Horserace tables are published starting 2 months into a season until the end of a season. Although horserace tables for playoffs are published in real time when they are happening, historical playoff horserace tables based upon playoff rosters are forthcoming. A team’s end of season roster is usually much different than their playoff roster.