FanGraphs: the Game is real. I have proof.
First, how else can you explain my Giants first baseman? He’s ‘hitting’ .235/.314/.350… and Giants’ first basemen are hitting .207/.312/.336. My dude has a better ISO, the Aubrey Huff / Brett Pill / Brandon Belt monstrosity has a better walk rate. Both are right around replacement. Somehow I have my pick of the entire league, and the Giants have their pick of those three dudes, and we ended up in the same place.
On the other side of the coin, cwhitman is doing a heckuva job. His Nationals starter is performing like… a Nationals starter. His starter has an 8.76 K/9, 2.87 BB/9, and 0.83 HR/9 — the staff in our nation’s capital has an 8.48 K/9, 3.04 BB/9, 0.71 HR/9. Again, they had no choice beyond what was on their roster or in their system, cwhitman had plenty of choice, and they ended up in the same place.
Look at counting stats. The real-life league leaders in wins have nine wins (R.A. Dickey and Lance Lynn). jwagner430 has nine wins for the virtual Yankees. Michael Barr has 15 saves, which would be five off the real-life league lead (Chris Perez).
You’d think being able to pick your pitching matchup (and home park) would lead to insane home run totals. But asdruballs has 24 home runs, and is only two ahead of Josh Hamilton‘s real-life pace. And dacrazydon only has five more RBI than Hamilton’s league-leading 62. Real life even trumps the game in stolen bases — Dee Gordon has 20, but dabighokie only has 17.
So that’s it. We think we are so smart, and yet we’re just about as good as the random bounces of the real-life baseball? Let’s graph the number of players at each WAR level in real life and in the game to make sure. Graphs prove everything.
It’s science. The Game is real. Real Life is a game.