Why Aren’t the Tigers Worse


The Tigers have allowed more runs than they have scored, yet they still have a winning record.  A simple formula to estimate wins from runs scored and allowed is  W = G * (RS^2/(RS^2 + RA^2).  The Tigers are four games better than their Pythagorean record.  This is not completely unexpected since the average difference between real record and Pythagorean record is usually around 4 games over 162 games.  So, probably there is nothing happening here.  It is just that since the Tigers are so close to 0.500 it stands out.

Here, however, is the distribution of Tigers results through today. (Click on it to make it big and readable.)

Distribution of Tigers Wins and Losses
Distribution of Tigers Wins and Losses

 Comparing the six worst losses to the six best wins accounts for 16 runs of the Pythagorean difference (a little less than half the runs needed).  My eyes are also drawn to the fact that the 4-run losses and 3 run wins are about the same height.  My hypothesis is that middle relief has been awful for Detroit.  If anyone wants to explore this hypothesis the dates of the games are listed.

I plan to redo this with the Tiger starter listed once I have that information, to see if that shows anything interesting.
My data came from baseball-reference.com which I thank for having the results nicely organized.  Add a starting pitcher column though!

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