Monday, March 28, 2005


Baseball "Luck" and the Dodgers Offseason

Here's an interesting article on baseball. I'll relate this to some of the recent Dodger transactions.

To summarize, there's a correlation between the % of line drives hit and AVG . This makes sense - if you hit more line drives into play, more of your ABs are likely to be hits. So if a hitter's batting average is unusually high compared to the his line drive rate, then there is a good chance that some luck was involved. (even if he's a fast runner, or has good power so the line drives are usually smoked, etc.) It would then follow that there is a good probability for a return to the norm - you can't be lucky forever. In a similar analogy, the same applies to a pitcher in that if he allows more line drives, his AVG-Against will likely be high. If a pitcher is unually out of step with this notion, there may be some luck involved.

In a similar argument (but more roundabout), an ERA lower than what defense-independent pitching stats (K, BB, HR) would suggest implies a bit of luck, too.

The article analyzes on the 2004 season and lists the luckiest/unluckiest players. Six Dodgers from either the 04 or 05 roster are listed, and they are shown as follows:

Jason Phillips was unluckly.
Lowe was extremely unluckly.
Alvarez was somewhat unlucky.

Ishii was lucky.
Lima was luckly.
Odalis was somewhat lucky (although his numbers were still good, lucky or not)

The article does not encorporate park effects or fielding efficiency. I would think a part of the "luck" that Ishii, Lima, and Odalis enjoyed had to do in part to the strong fielding lineup the Dodgers had in 04. If so, then Alvarez was not "somewhat unlucky" but "strongly unlucky" - the line drives fell for hits despite the fantastic glovework of Izturis and Co.

What I find significant is how this relates to the Dodgers offseason. Alvarez (unlucky) was resigned, Lima (lucky) was not resigned, Ishii (lucky) was traded for Phillips (unlucky), and Odalis (somewhat lucky) was resigned at terms lower than many expected (way lower than Lowe). Coincidence? I think not. Depodesta obtained the undervalued (unlucky) players while shedding the overvalued (lucky) ones.

Food for thought.

Nice observation. I think you make a good point. And good luck with your new blog.
^^ Visit My Dodger Website ^^
thanks. your website address sounds familiar...
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?