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Do Mike Scioscia’s teams perform better in the second half?

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Legend has it that the skipper’s teams do better later on in the season. Is that true? Here’s the data.

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Los Angeles Dodgers Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

In an effort to tell whether Manager Mike Scioscia’s teams perform more favorably later on in the season, I’ve done all the leg work. For each of the years Scioscia has managed, included in the table below is the record in each half, taking the second half minus first half difference. A positive difference in winning percentage indicates the team performed better in the second half than the first half (which is good), while a negative difference means the opposite.

First half versus second half performance of Scioscia’s teams

Season Record in first half Winning % Record in second half Winning % Difference (2nd half - 1st half)
Season Record in first half Winning % Record in second half Winning % Difference (2nd half - 1st half)
2000 47-41 0.534 35-39 0.473 -0.061
2001 42-45 0.483 33-42 0.440 -0.043
2002 51-35 0.593 48-28 0.632 0.039
2003 49-43 0.533 28-42 0.400 -0.133
2004 47-40 0.540 45-30 0.600 0.060
2005 52-36 0.591 43-31 0.581 -0.01
2006 43-45 0.489 46-28 0.622 0.133
2007 53-35 0.602 41-33 0.554 -0.048
2008 57-38 0.600 43-24 0.642 0.042
2009 49-37 0.570 42-32 0.632 0.062
2010 47-44 0.516 33-38 0.465 -0.051
2011 50-42 0.543 36-34 0.514 -0.029
2012 48-38 0.558 41-35 0.539 -0.019
2013 44-49 0.473 34-35 0.493 0.02
2014 57-37 0.606 41-27 0.603 -0.003
2015 48-40 0.545 37-37 0.500 -0.045
2016 37-52 0.416 37-36 0.508 0.092
2017 45-47 0.489 12-11* 0.522*
Sum of differences 0.006
Average difference 0.000352941176

*I did not include 2017’s difference, since this would make the data misleading and incomplete. Seventeen years, the equivalent of 2,754 games, is quite a large sample size to judge by, so naturally the data presents an interesting finding.

The sum of these differences is positive at 0.006, meaning Scioscia’s winning percentage is 0.6% greater in the second half than in the first, in total. As you might imagine, this is not a meaningful difference, which means that Scioscia’s teams do not perform significantly better or worse in the second half than they do in the first half.

It looks like the biggest second - first half differences (min. 4%) came in 2006, 2016, 2009, 2004, 2008, and 2002.

The lowest (min. -4%) came in 2003, 2000, 2010, 2007, 2015, and 2001.

Could the data suggest the idea that a manager is more successful when the personnel plays to his strengths? It is certainly possible.

Poll

Are you surprised by the data?

This poll is closed

  • 11%
    Yes
    (30 votes)
  • 41%
    No
    (110 votes)
  • 18%
    I am somewhat intrigued
    (48 votes)
  • 28%
    Fire Scioscia immediately!!
    (76 votes)
264 votes total Vote Now