Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Introducing the Love/Hate Ratio

So while having fun on Twitter this morning looking at the ridiculous comments left about Billingsley, I wondered if I could quantify the reputation that a pitcher has. Capuano and Billingsley have very similar statistics like xFIP, yet their reputations are wildly different. Is there any way, then, to look at the statistics and predict reputation? I came up with a little formula and here are the numbers that I pulled out.

Capuano: 3.5
Billingsley: -1.6

Well good so far. Billinglsey has a negative value and Capuano is positive. What about the others in the rotation?

Kershaw: 2.4
Harang: 0.6
Eovaldi: -1.0

This also seems to make sense. Kershaw has a positive number, but not as high as Capuano's. Harang has a low positive number since expectations before the season were not too high for him. Eovaldi has a negative number, but not as bad as Billingsley.

Well that's fine, but you can easily claim that I'm just fitting the numbers to the names. True enough, so let's see how it works for pitchers outside of the Dodgers rotation.

Zach Greinke: -1.1

This one was interesting. Greinke is having a great year by xFIP, but was snubbed from the All-Star game. Love/Hate predicted this.

2011 Tim Lincecum: 2.2
2012 Tim Lincecum: -3.7

Lincecum had a nice reputation last year, but his star was diminishing, which is why his number is high, but not as high as Capuano. His number this year is the lowest by far, which is indicative of the near universal scorn he has garnered this year.

2011 Ian Kennedy: 2.0

Ian Kennedy was a 20 game winner despite having a 3.5 xFIP. Far exceeding expectations, he had an excellent reputation last year.

In all, it seems like a fun statistic. It's not really serious, but the main point is that expectations warp our view of the effectiveness of a pitcher. No one expected much from Capuano, everyone expected the world of Billingsley, hence the big difference in reputation. Now what happens when regression sets in?

Love/Hate Ratio Formula:

Try out the formula and see what you think.

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