My new favorite baseball site

No, not Migames… Fan Graphs!

My new favorite stat: WPA or Win Probability Added. The idea is that for each play, the players involved have contributed to their teams probability of winning the gam either positively or negatively. Its a great idea also I have a couple minor complaints with it so far:

1. Defense isn’t calculated into WPA. At least not on their live scoreboard games. Maybe there is a more complicated algorithm that some people use for this but I’m clearly a newbie and havent found it yet.

2. The WPA values aren’t calculated pitch-by-pitch. This would require a whole lot more attention to detail but I think the results would be worth the effort. The game logs apparently aren’t that detailed right now. But they should be.

Also, there is a stat on here designed to quantify how “Clutch” a player has been. Now thats admirable. Heres an example:

ARod’s career postseason “Clutch” stat: 0.60 (thats positive, which means overall he has been more clutch than choke). If you want to know how Clutch is calculated you can visit the Glossary on Fan Graphs.

WPA is really where its at though. The winning team will always have .500 in WPA and the losing will have -.500. Beyond that, the values are split up between each player who appeared in the game.

Example: last night’s Cubs failure against the Astros…

Jason Kendall, 1 for 3 with a leadoff single in the 10th. .066 WPA
Ryan Theriot, 2 for 5 with two doubles, 1 run scored to tie the game and eventually force extra innings. .040 WPA
Rich Hill, 7IP 1HR 3H 6K 2BB .317 WPA

Carlos Lee, 2 for 3 with a walk and 1 HR to put the Astros up 1-0. .213 WPA
Wandy Rodriguez, pitched 8 innings, with 9 Ks 4 hits and 2 walks. .428 WPA
Eric Munson, who was 1 for 1 and delivered the game winning hit with Ty Wigginton on 3rd. .370 WPA

Oh, and Cliff Floyd who struck out swinging at the same horrible pitch three times in a row (coming nowhere NEAR the ball) to end the Cubs threat in the top of the 10th… -.123 WPA


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