06 November 2015

World Series Expectancy Stats Raise Question: Were the Mets Ever Really in It?

Dave Studeman calls Win Probability Added (WPA) the "ultimate story stat." WPA uses Tom Tango's win expectancy tables to measure a team's probability of victory (ergo, win expectancy) following every play. From these data, we can interpret several different characteristics of the game, including how close it was, how exciting it was and what the biggest plays of the game were. We can also take each change in win expectancy, credit it to the pitcher and batter (or baserunner) involved in the play, and measure their contributions by the sum of all those credits. That's what WPA is.

By combining FanGraphs' WPA numbers and my World Series projections, I aim to depict and uncover the stories of the 2015 World Series in the same way. How close was it, really? What were the biggest plays? Who was on the mound, in the batter's box and on the base path when the biggest plays happened, and what does the sum of the swings in win expectancy say about who the biggest contributors were?

You can read my answers to these questions below, and answer your own questions by using the interactive 2015 World Series Win Expectancy chart.

02 November 2015

Crowned Kings in Queens, Royals Flush Mets in Five

This post is part of a series about the 2015 MLB Postseason. Follow along here.

Photo credit: slgckgc (Some Rights Reserved)

All good things must end, and end they did for the New York Mets on an unseasonably warm November evening in Queens. On two occasions the Mets were marginal World Series favorites, but they never did get over the hump. The Mets' loss is—literally—a victory for the Kansas City Royals. Favorites since the beginning of the Fall Classic, the Royals clinched their first World Series in three decades thanks to talent, good timing and an unbelievable supply of pluck (yes, that is the sabermetric term).

01 November 2015

Royals on Verge of Coronation

This post is part of a series about the 2015 MLB Postseason. Follow along here.

Photo credit: Cathy T (Some Rights Reserved)

We've reached the point in the postseason where small mistakes yield huge impacts. But not for a few inches, Daniel Murphy and Yoenis C├ęspedes might have maintained the lead proffered by Michael Conforto. Unfortunately for the New York Mets, those inches made a tremendous difference in their chances of winning the 2015 World Series. Instead of evening it up, the Mets will be facing elimination tonight against the Kansas City Royals. The favorites have a 90% chance of winning it all. The underdogs are in their worst shape since game four of the NLDS.