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  1. Nearly 3 extra wins for miss. That’s absurd. Here’s hoping we win 7 of our last nine and put this thing to bed

  2. I’ve read (can’t find the article) that most experts postulate that two factors contribute to why a team may outperform or underperform their Pythag record: manager and bullpen. In other words, the fact that Auburn has underperformed its Pythag by so much is a combination of a poor manager and a poor bullpen. Obviously, I don’t believe this is necessarily the case (at least re: manager), but it’s interesting to hear. Also, it’s still only 21 games, which is essentially a sample size of nil when it comes to baseball statistics.

  3. J.D., I also think I’ve seen that floated somewhere, but I think that was an explanation for teams that consistently (i.e. over looooooong stretches of time) underperform their Pythag. I’d feel fairly confident that most statheads would call Auburn being 2 games through 21 pure, unadulterated luck. I think.

    Jonesy, yeah, I’m thinking 7-2 as well. But I also think 8-1 is more likely than 6-3.

  4. That’s true. I’m surprised to learn we’re 9-5 in 1-run games over the whole season (4-3 SEC). Seems like when we’ve won, it’s been by a ton, and when we’ve lost, it’s been a close game.

  5. I hate to look at the negative, but I hate to see that MSU is two games below their Pythagorean expectations. I hope they don’t start to equal that out against us. Then again, maybe it just means they are not as bad as their record shows, not that they are “due.” If they had 7 wins, we would still think we should beat them in the weekend series.

  6. Yeah, I thought about that too, TX. But it just means a sweep is a little less likely. That the series is in Auburn is a help, too.

  7. I’d venture a guess that it has a lot to do with your bullpen. A few years back, in 2007, we had a ridiculous number of 1 and 2 run losses. In fact, we had very few losses that year at all where we lost by more than 1 or 2 runs.

    In fact, here is a break down of the 25 losses we had that season:
    1 runs – 14
    2 runs – 3
    3 runs – 3
    4+ runs – 5

    I’d venture a guess that your stats would say that our 2007 team that went 16-14 should’ve won the SEC that year.

    The problem is, our offense wasn’t good enough to separate from teams, and our bullpen had a problem closing out close games all year.

    I know Auburn’s offense is great, so I’d venture a guess that your problem is your pitching as a whole isn’t that good, and your bullpen in particular is having trouble with the close games.

    I wouldn’t call it luck as much as I’d say it’s the bullpens. Our bullpen has done a pretty good job when faced with tight games. They’ve been hit hard at times, but that’s usually when we fall behind big. When they are under pressure with tight games, they’ve responded.

  8. Rebel, thanks for stopping by. I have no doubt that with 14 one-run losses (holy crap!) Pythag would have loved that 2007 team.

    If we were talking about a larger sample size, I might agree with you about the bullpen, and it’s fair to say that it’s not a strength of Auburn’s team. But without being able to tell you off the top of my head the starters vs. bullpen’s ERA, I don’t _think_ they’ve been any worse than the starters; there have been plenty of games, in fact, where our starters have gotten rocked and the bullpen’s kept us within striking distance. And over the course of 21 games, I don’t know if any factor would have enough impact for us to say for certain “that’s it.” It may in fact be the issue behind Auburn’s underachievement record-wise, but at this point I think it’s still safer to call it luck IMHO.

  9. Fair enough, and to be honest, I’m very concerned about Auburn in the West race/hosting race. We have a big one with Arkansas this week, but based on the schedules (UT and MSU coming up for you, South Carolina and Vanderbilt for Arkansas following this weekend), I expect that the final weekend in Oxford may very well decide the SEC West, assuming we can take 2 from Arkansas this week.

  10. I’ll be up-front and admit I’m an Ole Miss fan, and I think that we have been one of the luckier teams in the SEC.

    There’s a more advanced form of the Pythagorean Expectation in which you use ((RA+R)/GP)^0.285 which has been agreed upon by several sabermetricians to be the most “accurate.” Interestingly, I recalculated everything (leaving out Friday’s games) using that method, and Ole Miss falls to 9.846, meaning a differential of +4.154! It hardly affected the other teams.

    Naturally, the small sample size and the fact that the formula was derived using MLB scoring patters makes these results more interesting than telling, but fun to consider nonetheless.

  11. Thanks for the info, Duker! I considered using the “Pythagenpat” formula you’ve got there ,but I’m not a math major by any stretch of the imagination and figured the regular formula was complicated enough for me. Interesting that Ole Miss was the only team whose results changed that much.

    Best of luck going forward, last weekend of the season excepted, naturally.

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