FanGraphs Baseball


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  1. Great! Any reason why coolstandings is used and not baseballprospectus? Do they calculate the odds in the same way?

    Comment by Julian — August 28, 2013 @ 10:38 am

  2. FanGraphs Projection mode seems to be, by far, the most well-informed of these three systems. I wonder if you could take a moment to explain what the advantages of the coolstandings methods are over the FG one.

    Comment by ImmanuelKant — August 28, 2013 @ 10:46 am

  3. …and isn’t the second one just weighting small sample sizes over larger ones? What is the point of that? (Maybe something about new players joining the team, or players making mechanical changes?)

    Comment by ImmanuelKant — August 28, 2013 @ 10:48 am

  4. The FanGraphs projections should be the most predictive, but we wanted to bring over both the “Smart” and “Dumb” systems that were on as well. The original systems can also be run historically and we plan to bring over all the historical data that is available on

    Comment by David Appelman — August 28, 2013 @ 10:55 am

  5. Just a comment. Hovering over the NLDS and NLCS columns brings up a tooltip mentioning the ALDS and ALCS respectively.

    Comment by Richard — August 28, 2013 @ 11:00 am

  6. That should be fixed now!

    Comment by David Appelman — August 28, 2013 @ 11:03 am

  7. Nice addition to the site, guys. Does the DS/CS/WS odds calculator take into account who the starting pitchers would potentially be and simulate for each game that could be in each round of the playoffs? Also does it weight probabilities for each potential team v team playoff matchup? Cheers!

    Comment by Floomp — August 28, 2013 @ 11:03 am

  8. Now that you have these playoff odds, would you be able to tie them to WPA, such that there would be a PPA stat? I know this wouldn’t really be a meaningful stat, but it would be incredibly cool.

    Comment by suicide squeeze — August 28, 2013 @ 11:08 am

  9. Awesome. This is the only thing the Projected Standings were missing.

    Comment by Darren — August 28, 2013 @ 11:09 am

  10. For the playoffs it does not take into account the playoff rotations. It’s something that would be neat to do, but it gets complicated trying to simulate playoff rotations.

    We sim each season in its entirety, so more common matchups will have more weight in the post-season odds, but there is no other weighting applied. We could spit out which matchups are most likely to happen, but we’re not saving that data right now.

    Comment by David Appelman — August 28, 2013 @ 11:12 am

  11. Yes, this is possible to do, though I’m not sure what the timeline would be. Dave Studeman did some great research on this at the 2012 Phoenix SABR Analytics Conference that went through history and did PPA for all players in the post-season. Really fun stuff.

    Comment by David Appelman — August 28, 2013 @ 11:16 am

  12. One comment. I see that under the Projected Standings that teams ROS Win% do not match the ROS Wins and Losses. The Wins & Losses line up with the CoolStandings Playoff odds, but Win% does not. For example, the Red Sox are expected to be 17 and 12 the rest of the way (.586), but the ROS Win% says .601. Why the variance. Thanks

    Comment by Darren — August 28, 2013 @ 11:18 am

  13. The rest-of-season Win Percentage is different from the Depth Charts – e.g. Nationals are .582 on the Playoff Odds page and .539 on the Depth Charts. Is the difference strength of schedule?

    Comment by Paul Clarke — August 28, 2013 @ 11:19 am

  14. The difference is that the projected standings page does not take into account strength of schedule, where the playoff odds do.

    Comment by David Appelman — August 28, 2013 @ 11:22 am

  15. Yep, strength of schedule is the difference!

    Comment by David Appelman — August 28, 2013 @ 11:23 am

  16. Is it possible with these simulations to give confidence intervals (or some other distributional information beyond playoff odds) for the RoS projections?

    Comment by Bryce — August 28, 2013 @ 11:24 am

  17. So by the measure the Cardinals have the hardest schedule down the stretch in MLB, and the Pirates have the second easiest. Very cool

    Comment by Darren — August 28, 2013 @ 11:28 am

  18. Just last week I made a spreadsheet to calculate the Indians’ playoff odds using Fangraphs projections! This is much better, thank you.

    One thing I had fun looking at was playoff odds based on various RoS Win%s. Gives you a good sense of how well a team needs to play to give themselves a good chance of making the playoffs. Any plans to do something like that?

    Comment by Nick — August 28, 2013 @ 11:30 am

  19. No subtracted wrong columns. Braves easiest schedule, O’s hardest schedule.

    Comment by Darren — August 28, 2013 @ 11:40 am

  20. Why not include strength of schedule in the projected standings page? Or do you have plans to do this soon?

    Comment by Anon — August 28, 2013 @ 11:44 am

  21. Right now there are no plans to incorporate strength of schedule into the projected standings. So, if you want strength of schedule use the playoff odds, if you don’t, use the projected standings. There are definitely uses for both.

    Comment by David Appelman — August 28, 2013 @ 11:48 am

  22. This is awesome. Now we can track daily changes in the WS% to figure out the WCPA (World Championship Probability Added) for each game.

    Comment by tz — August 28, 2013 @ 11:56 am

  23. Playoff odds stats have never sat right with me. It’s something to do with how early teams who are at the top of the standings are said to have a 98% or above chance of making the playoffs. For instance, the Braves right now are said to have a 99.9% chance of winning the division, and a 100% chance of making the playoffs, and yet I can envision a scenario (unlikely, yes, but not impossible) in which they do neither. The odds don’t seem designed to account for in-season personnel changes, whether due to injury or trades that work out particularly well or poorly. And the odds tend to get talked about primarily in retrospect (they blew a 98.8% chance of making the playoffs!…well, yes, their chances did bubble up to 98.8% that one day in early August), not as a tool of utility in the moment.

    Comment by sansho1 — August 28, 2013 @ 12:09 pm

  24. Nice, I’ll have to look into that. Thanks for adding the playoff odds…just realized I didn’t say that in the first post.

    Comment by suicide squeeze — August 28, 2013 @ 12:14 pm

  25. This is great. I thought it was silly earlier this year when the Braves had 50 games left and 43 were against teams with losing records, but were projected to go 27-23.

    Comment by TKDC — August 28, 2013 @ 12:55 pm

  26. I believe it is just rounding to 100%. Of course until you actually clinch your chances of making the playoffs are never 100.000000000000%

    Comment by TKDC — August 28, 2013 @ 12:58 pm

  27. Does the strength of schedule calculation include off days? I know the Red Sox are facing some good teams down the stretch, but also have a number of days off, so just going on strength of opponent might make it look worse than it really is for them. Also, thanks! This is another great tool to add to the site.

    Comment by Henry — August 28, 2013 @ 1:01 pm

  28. How is it predicting the win expectancy of each game given the input projections. Is there a previous post somewhere that explains this methodology?

    For example, are you morphing all five starting pitchers and all bullpen members together to create one same pitching input for every single game a team plays?

    Is there a HFA adjustment? If so, what is it?

    Is defense taken into account?

    Comment by Xeifrank — August 28, 2013 @ 1:54 pm

  29. why is WS odds not half AL/NLCS odds in coin-flip mode?

    Comment by mettle — August 28, 2013 @ 2:21 pm

  30. Dave Studeman did this in 2009 at THT if you’re interested.

    Comment by Toffer Peak — August 28, 2013 @ 2:55 pm

  31. Do the simulations include the possibility of multiple significant injuries happening to one team at one time?

    Comment by ralph — August 28, 2013 @ 4:11 pm

  32. According to Fangraphs Mode, the AL team seems to be about a 2:1 favorite in the World Series. Am I reading that right?

    Comment by Ivan Grushenko — August 28, 2013 @ 4:31 pm

  33. Would the projected odds be different if team talent wasn’t a point estimate, but rather a range?

    For example, Boston has the talent of a .601 team (according to the standings), leading to an expected win percentage of .581 for the rest of the season (discrepancy owing to SOS, apparently). But what if you assumed a range of talent levels for Boston between .561 and .641, say? Probability-weighted, presumably, and likely regressed, given the greater likelihood of .561 over .641. Would their odds still be 98.1%, or lower? I would have thought lower, but I’m not sure.

    Comment by Levarkin — August 28, 2013 @ 4:54 pm

  34. Chinese people shouldn’t be allowed to play baseball.

    Comment by Jason Davis — August 28, 2013 @ 7:04 pm

  35. I appreciate coolstanding’s diligence in running all those simulations, but recent performance is way overweighted in their calculations. One win or loss in the last game makes a big difference.
    Can you make them change this?

    Comment by Baltar — August 28, 2013 @ 7:58 pm

  36. On FanGraphs we are now using our projections to power the projections in addition the other other methods. At this point in the season, 1 win or loss is going to make something of a difference in terms of playoff odds anyway.

    Comment by David Appelman — August 28, 2013 @ 8:34 pm

  37. Can you allow the user to choose Steamer alone as the projection source? As has been shown by others, ZIPS rest-of-season projections are simply not very good.

    Comment by evo34 — August 29, 2013 @ 5:15 am

  38. The probabilities are perhaps a little extreme (i.e. too close to 100%) but not ridiculously so. But I do agree that early in the season (say April through June), the alleged playoff probabilities calculated by most of these websites (BPro in particular; I haven’t paid as much attention to CoolStandings) had been way too extreme. Basically they failed to do enough regression to the mean. However BPro re-tooled their formulas this season and seemed to have less extreme early-season probabilities.

    Comment by mkt — August 29, 2013 @ 7:03 am

  39. This is probably a dumb question – math was never my strong suit – but do any of the projection methods indicate clearly when a team has been “mathematically eliminated” from the playoffs? I see a bunch of teams with 0.0% chances, but does that mean it is mathematically impossible to reach the playoffs, or just that the projections think they have no chance, even if it’s not mathematically impossible?

    Comment by Incitatus — August 29, 2013 @ 11:44 am

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