Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Potentially Entertaining Game Scores

Some months ago, I mentioned that I was thinking about an alternative to NERD, Fangraphs' method of determining the aesthetic appeal of a day's games. NERD has two problems. The first is that a couple of its categories correlate too closely, I'm told. More importantly, though, NERD is all about new-fangled Sabermetrics (which themselves are arguably outmoded), while I come from old-school Sabermetrics of the 1980s. So I've been working on my own system which is now ready to move from GAMMA to BETA format, and thus is ready to be shared with a wider audience.

For teams, I focus on the five tools of baseball players, plus my own relief preferences. So I assess batting points by hitting for power, getting on base (which replaces hitting for average) and baserunning. For fielding I go for range and arm, using UZR. For relievers I want to watch teams that don't change pitchers too often, who work fast and who leave runners on base. For pitchers, who receive an individual score, I look at the ability to work fast, to induce swings at pitches outside the zone, who miss bats, and who succeed at keeping walks and home runs down. Basically, I thought about the Leverage Index, and tried to emphasise those player skills that contribute to raising the leverage of a plate appearance for hitters, and reducing it for fielders and pitchers.

Everything is converted to the 20-80 scouting scale. 50 is the average score. Above 50 is more likely to be entertaining. Below 50 less so.

Here are today's Potentially Entertaining Game Scores (PEGS)
Atlanta vs Pittsburgh    70
Seattle vs Philadelphia  62
Detroit vs Tampa Bay     58
San Francisco vs Cubs    57
Kansas City vs Colorado  53
Cincinnati vs St Louis   50
Toronto vs Milwaukee     48
Cleveland vs Minnesota   46
Texas vs Miami           45
Angels vs Boston         45
Houston vs Yankees       45
Baltimore vs White Sox   45
Mets vs Oakland          43
Arizona vs Washington    42
San Diego vs Dodgers     42

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