FanPost

WAR: another look at Replacement Team Wins

NOTE: updated March 7, 2013 due to incorrect values for Runs for several teams.

In my last FanPost regarding WAR, commenters were suggesting that actual record isn't a good reference for WAR, since it is likely that a team could have many wins that were the result of close games, and then have blowouts losses, such that there is a large discrepancy between pythagorean record and actual wins (what BR calls "Luck"). I even noted that there was a slight correlation between RT Wins and Luck. OK, so let's forget about actual wins, and let's look at run differential.

WAR is attempting to measure runs created/saved by players, which can also be interpreted as adding to a team's run differential. A team's total WAR can be converted to this added run differential by multiplying it by 10. If we take a team's total added run differential from WAR and subtract it from its actual run differential, you would get a team's replacement level team run differential. I would expect this value to be pretty consistent among all teams, if WAR is representing what it is supposed to. But I'm finding this is not true.

Team Off fWAR Pit fWAR Total fWAR R RA R-RA fRT Runs fRT Wins
Astros 9.6 8 17.6 583 794 -211 -387 42.3
Indians 11.9 7.8 19.7 667 845 -178 -375 43.5
Cubs 13.5 7.7 21.2 613 759 -146 -358 45.2
Blue Jays 15.8 7.6 23.4 716 784 -68 -302 50.8
Mariners 13.5 13.5 27 619 651 -32 -302 50.8
Twins 22.5 5.6 28.1 701 832 -131 -412 39.8
Rockies 17.9 12.1 30 758 890 -132 -432 37.8
Marlins 14.8 15.8 30.6 609 724 -115 -421 38.9
Padres 25.6 5.7 31.3 651 710 -59 -372 43.8
Mets 19.3 12.5 31.8 650 709 -59 -377 43.3
Orioles 15.3 16.6 31.9 712 705 7 -312 49.8
Royals 17.3 15 32.3 676 746 -70 -393 41.7
Pirates 20.5 12.2 32.7 651 674 -23 -350 46
Red Sox 20.8 13.7 34.5 734 806 -72 -417 39.3
White Sox 18.9 18.2 37.1 748 676 72 -299 51.1
Dodgers 20.3 16.8 37.1 637 597 40 -331 47.9
Athletics 23.7 18.1 41.8 713 614 99 -319 49.1
Phillies 23.4 19.3 42.7 684 680 4 -423 38.7
Giants 29.9 14.7 44.6 718 649 69 -377 43.3
Rays 22.3 23.2 45.5 697 577 120 -335 47.5
Tigers 21.1 24.8 45.9 726 670 56 -403 40.7
Reds 25.9 21 46.9 669 588 81 -388 42.2
Angels 37.4 10 47.4 767 699 68 -406 40.4
Braves 29 18.5 47.5 700 600 100 -375 43.5
Diamondbacks 26.6 21 47.6 734 688 46 -430 38
Nationals 28.7 21.4 50.1 731 594 137 -364 44.6
Brewers 33.6 16.7 50.3 776 733 43 -460 35
Rangers 26.5 23.9 50.4 808 707 101 -403 40.7
Yankees 30.8 20.3 51.1 804 668 136 -375 43.5
Cardinals 33.4 18.9 52.3 765 648 117 -406 40.4

In this chart, sorted by total fWAR, fRT Runs is run differential minus 10 times total fWAR. fRT Wins = 81 + fRT Runs / 10.

You again notice strange deviations, such at the large values for Blue Jays, Mariners, and White Sox, and small values for the Diamondbacks, Rockies, and Brewers.

Perhaps it is as others have suggested, that Pitching WAR just needs some more work. That may be true, but until it is improved, or even after it is, I think there might be a way to handle this, and I'll have another FanPost coming soon with my idea.

This Fan-Post is authored by an independent fan. Tell us what you think and how you feel.

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