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Pythagorean expectations for 2007 playoffs

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04-11-2007, 08:21 PM
  #1
viasyncro
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Pythagorean expectations for 2007 playoffs

Pythagorean expectation is a formula invented by Bill James to estimate how many games a baseball team "should" have won based on the number of runs they scored and allowed.

I don’t want to get into details of the formula or it’s validity, but I thought it would be interesting to apply the same principle to Hockey in order to predict the playoff winners.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pythagorean_expectation for the formula and explanation.




Using goals for and against instead of runs scored and allowed, Here are the EXP W%, (Expected winning percentage) for each team in the league for 2007. Beside it is the ACT W% (Actual winning percentage). Finally the last column compares the results of the season with the expectations of the formula, by substracting the ACT W% to the EXP W%.

From these assumptions, it could be debated that Ottawa, Calgary, NY Rangers are better then their record indicates. Also that Dallas, Vancouver, New Jersey and Tampa Bay overacheived or got more breaks than they derserved.

While any team can win or get far in the playoffs, reasearch show that teams within the top EXP W% have a much greater chance of capturing the final prize.

For example, I haven’t done the exercise for hockey, but in NFL Football, only one team out of the top 5 EXP W% was won the Superbowl in the least ten years.

BTW, I'm not commenting on the firing of Claude Julien, but if you look at the EXP W% of New Jersey, they are 13th in the league. Also they have the highest differential between EXP W% and ACT W% (or LUCK)

For your entertainment only. Let the games begin.

Cheers.


Last edited by viasyncro: 04-12-2007 at 08:02 AM.
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04-11-2007, 08:53 PM
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Goldthorpe
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Which exponent value did you used?

it's 2 for baseball, but that's an empirical result, not a theorical one. It could very well be different for hockey.

Thanks for the wikipedia link, it is a pretty good read.

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04-11-2007, 09:05 PM
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viasyncro
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goldthorpe View Post
Which exponent value did you used?

it's 2 for baseball, but that's an empirical result, not a theorical one. It could very well be different for hockey.

Thanks for the wikipedia link, it is a pretty good read.

Good point, I used 2 as a general guideline. I tried quite a few others but 2 seemed to give quite realistic results. I know for baseball the 1.81 is more precise, but if you saw how much trouble they went into calculating that, you probably would do like me and stick to 2, although something other then 2 might very well be more accurate.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/ar...?articleid=342


Last edited by viasyncro: 04-11-2007 at 09:10 PM.
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04-11-2007, 09:27 PM
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Istvan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by viasyncro View Post
Pythagorean expectation is a formula invented by Bill James to estimate how many games a baseball team "should" have won based on the number of runs they scored and allowed.

I don’t want to get into details of the formula or it’s validity, but I thought it would be interesting to apply the same principle to Hockey in order to predict the playoff winners.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pythagorean_expectation for the formula and explanation.




Using goals for and against instead of runs scored and allowed, Here are the EXP W%, (Expected winning percentage) for each team in the league for 2007. Beside it is the ACT W% (Actual winning percentage). Finally the last column compares the results of the season with the expectations of the formula, by substracting the ACT W% to the EXP W%.

From these assumptions, it could be debated that Ottawa, Calgary, NY Rangers are better then their record indicates. Also that Dallas, Vancouver, New Jersey and Tampa Bay overacheived or got more breaks that they derserved.

While any team can win or get far in the playoffs, reasearch show that teams within the top EXP W% have a much greater chance of capturing the final prize.

For example, I haven’t done the exercise for hockey, but in NFL Football, only one team out of the top 5 EXP W% was won the Superbowl in the least ten years.

For your entertainment only. Let the games begin.

Cheers.
Wait a minute! Isn't pythagorus a lazy Russian?? You can't post that here.

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04-12-2007, 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Istvan View Post
Wait a minute! Isn't pythagorus a lazy Russian?? You can't post that here.
Don't start trouble gypsy boy.

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04-12-2007, 10:14 AM
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Istvan
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Don't start trouble gypsy boy.
you have keen insight for a goat herder.

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04-12-2007, 10:27 AM
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I was specifically told there would be no math on these boards.

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04-12-2007, 10:28 AM
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Vancouver and the Devils are "lucky"... you know why?

Could it be because Luongo and Brodeur can steal some games now and again?

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04-12-2007, 10:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NORiculous View Post
Vancouver and the Devils are "lucky"... you know why?

Could it be because Luongo and Brodeur can steal some games now and again?
Yes because of the goalies, and also because their defensive styles do not give very high GF - GA differentials, which are the basis of these assumptions.

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04-12-2007, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by NORiculous View Post
Vancouver and the Devils are "lucky"... you know why?

Could it be because Luongo and Brodeur can steal some games now and again?
Not to mention 13 overtime wins and one goal wins.

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04-12-2007, 11:09 AM
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On the other hand, Tampa Bay have a luck factor around the same as Vancouver & NJ (higher than Vancouver, lower than NJ). Definitely not because of goaltending or defensive systems there.

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04-12-2007, 11:19 AM
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Pythagoras was Greek. And I don't know if Tom Kostopolus is lazy, you'd have to ask him.

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04-12-2007, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Low Carbo Diet View Post
I was specifically told there would be no math on these boards.
Am I the only one who gets the Chevy Chase reference here ?

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04-12-2007, 12:58 PM
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Istvan
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Pythagoras was Greek. And I don't know if Tom Kostopolus is lazy, you'd have to ask him.
A geek you say. Why would you call such a nice young man a geek? What? What's that? Oh, Greek. I'm sorry. Never mind.

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04-12-2007, 01:00 PM
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Istvan
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Originally Posted by mcphee View Post
Am I the only one who gets the Chevy Chase reference here ?
no. but you are one of the few mature enough to have probably watched the original snl skit with Chase as pres Ford.

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04-12-2007, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Istvan View Post
no. but you are one of the few mature enough to have probably watched the original snl skit with Chase as pres Ford.
Thanks for using 'mature'. I also got the 'Never Mind' Gilda Radner reference.

I don't think any other television show put more words or phrases into everyday speech.

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04-12-2007, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by mcphee View Post
Thanks for using 'mature'. I also got the 'Never Mind' Gilda Radner reference.

I don't think any other television show put more words or phrases into everyday speech.
I'm going to have to look for a thread that I can fit "cheeseburger cheeseburger cheeseburger" into

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04-12-2007, 01:29 PM
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Mathletic
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it's not applicable for playoffs because teams don't play enough games to even things up

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04-12-2007, 09:25 PM
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Istvan
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I'm going to have to look for a thread that I can fit "cheeseburger cheeseburger cheeseburger" into
well excuse me for forgetting the cheesburger.

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Old
04-13-2007, 07:03 AM
  #20
mcphee
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well excuse me for forgetting the cheesburger.
You should've lengthened the 'excuse me'. Steve Martin started that one on SNL didn't he ? My Mom still has no idea why whenver she gives me something to drink, I say 'Good Tang, Mrs. Lubner'. Then again,she stopped wondering about a lot of things many years ago.

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