April 4, 2006


The Bill James Indicators (Craig Burley, April 03, 2006, Hardball Times)

Without further ado, let's take a quick look at how the indicators stack up.

The team with the most positive indicators is the Kansas City Royals. The Royals underperformed their Pythagorean record by two games. They were the worst team in baseball. They had declined by two games from the previous season. Both hitters and pitchers were quite young (youngest pitchers and fourth youngest hitters). They also performed better after the All-Star break. The only non-positive indicator was their Triple-A affiliate in Omaha, who finished exactly at .500 to earn the Royals half a point. The Royals score 5.5 out of 6.

Two teams, Colorado and Pittsburgh (the NL's basement franchises) scored five out of six. Pittsburgh declined in the second half, while Colorado's Triple-A affiliate in Colorado Springs was below .500. Those were the only non-positive indicators for those two teams.

Three other teams, the Detroit Tigers, Cincinnati Reds and Oakland A's, almost matched the Rockies and Pirates with five. The average age of Tigers and A's hitters was 28.6 years, in each case exactly straddling the median line in the AL. They each had a quarter point (half of a half-point for hitters' ages), and totalled 4.75 points each. The Tigers lost their point in late-season performance, the A's lost theirs for being over .500. The Reds, on the other hand, lost a full point for Triple-A performance and a quarter point for being on the median age line for National League pitchers.

If you're looking for a team likely to decline, the James Indicators say to look no further than the World Champions. The White Sox have all six negative indicators, and are the only MLB team to have 0 points under the system. Close on their heels are the Angels, Padres, and Cardinals, all of whom have only one point. St. Louis and San Diego get theirs for having declined from their 2004 records, while the Angels had a good AAA team in Salt Lake. Another team, the Washington Nationals, didn't score a full point in any category, but had 1.25 points thanks to a .500 record, young hitters, and pitchers that were right on the median age line.

So there's six teams picked to improve (Royals, Rockies, Pirates, Tigers, Reds, A's) and five to decline (White Sox, Angels, Padres, Cardinals, Nationals). The system also picks the D-Backs as a bad bet and the Rangers and Brewers as improvement candidates.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 4, 2006 6:10 AM

Since the season has been statistically mapped out, and my team is expected to do poorly, what's the point of watching baseball anyway?

Posted by: Brandon at April 4, 2006 12:31 PM

Who cares how your team does? The game's the thing.

Posted by: oj at April 4, 2006 1:36 PM

Spoken like a true Red Sox fan.

Posted by: Brandon at April 4, 2006 11:02 PM