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Michael/Male/26-30. Lives in United States/Pennsylvania/Wexford/Christopher Wren, speaks English. Spends 20% of daytime online. Uses a Fast (128k-512k) connection. And likes baseball /politics.
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United States, Pennsylvania, Wexford, Christopher Wren, English, Michael, Male, 26-30, baseball , politics.

Friday, June 04, 2004

The Power of ISO! 

Probably not much of a surprise that the teams that lead the league in ISO are also some of the top offensive performers:

2004 ISO: (as of May 31, 2004)
1. Colorado .196
2. Chicago .185
3. St. Louis .184
4. Philadelphia .175
5. Arizona .172

vs.

2004 GPA:
1. Colorado .272
2. Houston .270
3. Pittsburgh .264
4. Chicago .263
5. St. Louis .262

What struck me though, looking at ISO stats compared with GPA, was that teams could be successful without much power: the Padres are fifteenth of sixteen teams in the NL in ISO (.122, just .005 ahead of the Expos), but they are tenth in GPA and they have played well in ’04. Ditto the Pittsburgh Pirates: eleventh in ISO (.154), but third in GPA (.264). DePodesta and Beane are probably correct in that the ability of an offense to produce runs is intrinsically intertwined with its ability to get on base and prevent itself from making outs. Thus, power is less important than the simple ability to get on base, which is why I’d like to see the Phils improve their OBP from sixth over all (which is what their GPA ranking is too), to close the gap with their impressive ISO numbers.

I ran the home ISO numbers and got this:

2004 ISO (home)
1. Colorado .232
2. Chicago .204
3. Philadelphia .200
4. Arizona .190
5. St. Louis .173

In the case of the Rockies and Cubs and Phils, these are teams that rely upon their ability to clobber the ball in their home ballparks to generate offense. What disturbs me is that the Phils road ISO is a pretty anemic twelfth: .150, ahead of just the Dodgers (.147), San Diego (.131), Montreal (.127), and San Francisco (.109). (The Rockies, I note, when removed from the cozy confines of Coors fall to an ordinary eighth, with .160 …) One problem that caught my eye: of the twenty-plus games that comprise the Phils road stats, four of them were against the Rockies at Coors, thus the Phils anemic ISO numbers are probably inflated. Chew on that.

Mercifully, the Phils ability to draw walks on the road is pretty impressive. They are a tale of two ball clubs: home run sluggers at home, tough outs and doubles hitters (they are second in doubles after Atlanta on the road) on the road.

One team that struck me as well-prepared to excel was the Cardinals: fifth in home ISO, but first in road ISO with a robust .194 … the Cards offense strikes me as being very efficient and powerful at home and on the road. These guys could score a lot of runs…

In case you guys were wondering who the top ISO teams were in 2003 …

2003 ISO
1. Atlanta .191
2. Colorado .178
3. St. Louis .175
4. Houston .168
5. Milwaukee .163

… and in 2002 …

2002 ISO
1. San Francisco .175
2. Chicago .167
3. Philadelphia .163
4. Colorado .158
5. St. Louis .157

Update Monday! I’m officially graduating from law school this weekend!

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