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  • WAR Question

    I was looking at something else, but this kind of jumped out at me.

    Here are two statistical lines:

    G AB R H HR RBI SB BB BA OBP SLG OPS
    129 463 55 132 17 70 8 21 .285 .333 .445 .778
    159 590 69 160 4 46 5 45 .271 .328 .342 .670

    How is it possible for player 2 to have a WAR double that of player 1? The season was 1969. Player 1 was Al Oliver, and player 2 was Ted Sizemore. Sizemore was rookie of the year, and the chart on Baseball Reference was the rookie of the year chart. Sizemore had a WAR of 4.2, Oliver had a 2.1.

    On the rate stats, Oliver had a higher BA, OBP, SLG and an OPS over 100 points higher.
    In the counting stats, Sizemore was 43% higher in Runs and 21% higher in hits. Oliver was 325% higher in HRs and 52% higher in RBI.

    Based on Games Played, Hits and Runs, I can see Sizemore ending up higher. But double?

  • #2
    Al Oliver: 119 OPS+ at mostly 1B with OF sprinkled in.
    Ted Sizemore: 94 OPS+ at mostly 2B with a 1/4 at SS.

    Mostly evaluation of defense, Sizemore as a stud, Oliver as playable.

    Fangraphs has Sizemore at 2.8 and Oliver at 2.4, more toward your inituition?

    And welcome to the party here WinePaul!
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    • #3
      Originally posted by WinePaul View Post
      I was looking at something else, but this kind of jumped out at me.

      Here are two statistical lines:

      G AB R H HR RBI SB BB BA OBP SLG OPS
      129 463 55 132 17 70 8 21 .285 .333 .445 .778
      159 590 69 160 4 46 5 45 .271 .328 .342 .670

      How is it possible for player 2 to have a WAR double that of player 1? The season was 1969. Player 1 was Al Oliver, and player 2 was Ted Sizemore. Sizemore was rookie of the year, and the chart on Baseball Reference was the rookie of the year chart. Sizemore had a WAR of 4.2, Oliver had a 2.1.

      On the rate stats, Oliver had a higher BA, OBP, SLG and an OPS over 100 points higher.
      In the counting stats, Sizemore was 43% higher in Runs and 21% higher in hits. Oliver was 325% higher in HRs and 52% higher in RBI.

      Based on Games Played, Hits and Runs, I can see Sizemore ending up higher. But double?
      Because park, defense, position, baserunning, and playing-time (replacement level points caused by 130 more ABs )are all much bigger factors than you think are all all probably moderately or largely all siding towards Sizemore.

      You can go to BBref and see where each player's WAR are coming-from.
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      • #4
        Oh yeah, 2.8/2.4 much more in line with my expectations.

        BTW, does anyone know of a thread that compares players’ WAR to team outcomes? In other words when you add up the WAR of all the players on a given team, how does it stack up to the actual wins by that team?

        In the example above, the divergence of 1.4 wins for Sizemore should have meant 1.4 more wins for the team. Is there anything out there that has done that kind of comparison? Not necessarily about the divergence between WAR methods, but about correlation between players and team WAR and actual results.

        I’m more about watching games than doing research, but my math and statistics background is generally good enough to understand where the numbers come from. Unfortunately, WAR calculations are beyond what I can do in my head! I wouldn’t mind doing some calculations, but I’m pretty sure the data is already out there. I just have no idea where to begin looking for it.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by WinePaul View Post
          Oh yeah, 2.8/2.4 much more in line with my expectations.

          BTW, does anyone know of a thread that compares players’ WAR to team outcomes? In other words when you add up the WAR of all the players on a given team, how does it stack up to the actual wins by that team?

          In the example above, the divergence of 1.4 wins for Sizemore should have meant 1.4 more wins for the team. Is there anything out there that has done that kind of comparison? Not necessarily about the divergence between WAR methods, but about correlation between players and team WAR and actual results.

          I’m more about watching games than doing research, but my math and statistics background is generally good enough to understand where the numbers come from. Unfortunately, WAR calculations are beyond what I can do in my head! I wouldn’t mind doing some calculations, but I’m pretty sure the data is already out there. I just have no idea where to begin looking for it.
          Can't remember exactly, but WAR and team wins correlate close to r=.9. So, yeah, an extremely high correlation. The biggest question about the correlation is: who deserves the credit, esp. in terms of pitchers vs. fielders (on BABIP) and pitchers vs. catchers (framing). There is no doubt that Team WAR totals are almost always REALLY close to nailing it.
          1885 1886 1926 1931 1934 1942 1944 1946 1964 1967 1982 2006 2011

          1887 1888 1928 1930 1943 1968 1985 1987 2004 2013

          1996 2000 2001 2002 2005 2009 2012 2014 2015


          The Top 100 Pitchers In MLB History
          The Top 100 Position Players In MLB History

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          • #6
            The lower the numbers you are dealing with, the less having 'double' than the other guy means. In this example, that doubling means just 2.1 WAR difference, which can easily be explained by playing time and position. Want a real crazy example? Try this:

            Season 1: 158 G 730 PA 31 HR 113 RBI 26 SB 133 OPS+, every game in RF

            Season 2: 159 G 690 PA 34 HR 100 RBI 13 SB 133 OPS+ , 116 G in RF, 63 G in CF

            Season 1: 9.5 WAR

            Season 2: 1.5 WAR

            This can only be explained by ; 'The makers of WAR really like Mookie Betts and really don't like Bryce Harper.' Unless you believe that defense at the corner outfield spot can not not only make up for the positional difference, but also make one guy a below average player and the other guy an all time great season.
            Last edited by willshad; 02-22-2021, 06:31 PM.

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