Wednesday, April 16, 2014

First Charts of 2014 Durham Bulls

Regular readers of WDBB know that I try to make pictures of how the team is doing. The Bulls are back in town tonight and it seems to me that it’s time to put up our first set of team charts. Larger views of the charts can be obtained by clicking on them.

I like the way that tracking games above/below.500 gives you a sense of how team performance is trending over time. After all, in the end a championship is decided by how many wins you have. The Bulls have ripped off an early streak of 7 games in a row and go into tonight’s game 3½ games ahead of Gwinnett in the IL South.

This chart will get more meaningful over time. It is a display of the game to game net of the runs scored minus the runs allowed. The intent is to provide a visual supplement to what called “Pythagorean Expectation” or PE. PE is the spooky observation that if you take runs scored minus runs allowed and run them through an equation, you can come up with a “expected” run-loss for the team. The Bulls current PE is 9-4 whereas their actual is 10-3. That is, the team is doing slightly better than the PE would project. We will have to see. In general, the variance of actual vs expected is attributed to relief pitching.

Which leads us to our next chart, Bulls pitching.

This is the cumulative ERA for the Bulls over the last ten games. As can be seen, the relievers are doing better than the starters, but both are doing very, very well. They are the best in the IL as a matter of fact.

Lastly, the hitting.

For this chart we have simply figured out the weighted On Base Average (wOBA) for the entire team for each game, then displayed the last 10 games. We prefer wOBA over any other hitting stat even if it isn’t all that well known. Think of it as a mashup of on-base percentage and slugging with a slightly more sophisticated weighting of extra base hits than OPS and adding in base running.

The Bulls are doing very well (.400 is considered an top-rated wOBA)

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