Angels Schedule Breakdown:
As a longtime reader, I felt it was about time that I made some kind of contribution, and hopefully I can continue with something insightful every once in a while…
I was thinking back to last season with the Angels falling behind like the tortoise in an F1 Race, and looked to see what the schedule was like in the beginning month of the season – Reds, Rangers, A’s, Tigers, etc… This did not look like the group of teams that we needed to see to start a season filled with so much expectation. But I wanted to see more concrete evidence that this was indeed a brutal month, especially with games against the Astros, Mariners, and Twins in the middle.
I am a stats guy – I want to quantify everything into a number if I can. That is one of the great things about baseball, right? The game has been the same pretty much it’s entire existence. 90 feet to first was the same in 1913 as it will be in 2013. But how can you quantify a schedule? You can look at a schedule as the season goes on using the win-loss percentage leading up to that moment, but that does not do for this test. You can look at records from the previous season, but with free agency so prevalent, that would not really be a very suitable method of ranking the teams. The only suitable way that I could think about coming up with these numbers is to use the very subjective method of computer generated standings.
I found a current projection from a reputable website. I took the number of games that the Angels were playing against each team for the month and put that against it's winning percentage in the computer model. As an example - the computer had the Marlins finishing with the worst record (.384), the Rays were right around .500 (.502), and the Tigers - along with their weaker division - had the best record (.597). The Angels were projected to win the West with a .562 (91-71).
So here are the results, with home and away game totals…
Apr – .514 (H:12, A:15)
May – .483 (H:16, A:13)
Jun – .478 (H:15, A:12)
Jul – .497 (H:12, A:12)
Aug – .491 (H:13, A:15)
Sep – .513 (H:13, A:14)
So what did I get from these numbers – other than I have way too much time to dwell on the Angels…
- The Angels start against some pretty good competition, as previously stated, playing 17 of 27 games against teams with projected winning records in April. This includes 6 games against teams that are projected to have a better record (Reds and Tigers), the most of any month this season. This means if they start slow it is not the end of the world, but the pressure would be very heavy on the team and their management.
- In the two toughest months of the season the Angels play more road games than home games – not as significant as most other teams because they always play well on the road.
- June needs to be a good month for the Angels – they only play 6 games against teams projected to be above .500 (Tigers and Yankees).
Many more items can be gleamed from these numbers, but I’ll leave that up to the great minds on this site. I know these computer models can change on a daily basis, and teams will out or under perform these projections, but it was an interesting trip none the less. I thought I would just throw out something I worked on for a bit – maybe some other stat-head out there will appreciate it!