I recall conversations I had in the past here at the Fever about Lefty Grove not facing the Yankees much in his prime. Happily one of the position benefits of my latest research products is the ability to rank and rate the strength of schedule for individual starting pitchers (and for teams as a whole, BTW, but that's another conversation).

It might interest some of you folks to get an inside look at how strong offenses were relative to average that faced Grove in his career.

This data is derived from the Fiato/Souders Matrix, which is a comprehensive method for separating out the various contextual factors that can influence run scoring in the linear series of individual baseball games that make up a season. I've introduced the matrix here loosely before but it has undergone some revision and improvement in the last few months so I'll give you gist of how it is now constructed.

In each game there are two scores. A visitor's score and the home team's score. (duh). Each fo those scores is influenced by, minimally, 5 major factors.

a) The league average run scoring rate (serving as a surrogate for the many things that combine to impact every game within a season...ball liveliness, park sizes, mound height, strike zone enforcement etc)

b) The offensive skill of the team doing the scoring

c) The static defensive skill of the team trying to stop the scoring

d) The unique defensive skill of the starting pitcher for the defending team

e) The park in which the game was played.

What the F/S matrix does, essentially, is account for those five contextual factors for each game, and then add the games up, thus producing counts of games played on the left hand side and run scoring figures on the right hand side which when simplified give me a clear picture of what was most likely to have contributed to deviations from league average scoring.

If anyone is interested in a full description of how the matrix really works, I'd be happy to provide some mathematical definitions at a later time.

As I said above, one of the things I can learn from the F/S Matrix is how strong the competition was for a starting pitcher in a given year (look at each of his starts, find the team he faced and attach their offensive skill value to that game...sum the games and find the average offensive skill).

Strength of Schedule for a starting pitcher is expressed as runs per game started above average (meaning how many runs per game above average were the offenses that faced a given starter).

Here is what Grove's career looks like:
Right when he was posting his highest ERA+ seasons, he was also facing some seriously weakened competition.

Grove was pitching in a league with a R/G rate over 5, but even so, in his prime years, the offenses he faced were some 2-5% worse than normal. It may not sound like a lot, but it's something that needs to be considered IMHO.

I've got all kinds of data on the strengths of schedule faced by pitchers, team offenses and team defenses that might interest some of you...

Thoughts?

It might interest some of you folks to get an inside look at how strong offenses were relative to average that faced Grove in his career.

This data is derived from the Fiato/Souders Matrix, which is a comprehensive method for separating out the various contextual factors that can influence run scoring in the linear series of individual baseball games that make up a season. I've introduced the matrix here loosely before but it has undergone some revision and improvement in the last few months so I'll give you gist of how it is now constructed.

In each game there are two scores. A visitor's score and the home team's score. (duh). Each fo those scores is influenced by, minimally, 5 major factors.

a) The league average run scoring rate (serving as a surrogate for the many things that combine to impact every game within a season...ball liveliness, park sizes, mound height, strike zone enforcement etc)

b) The offensive skill of the team doing the scoring

c) The static defensive skill of the team trying to stop the scoring

d) The unique defensive skill of the starting pitcher for the defending team

e) The park in which the game was played.

What the F/S matrix does, essentially, is account for those five contextual factors for each game, and then add the games up, thus producing counts of games played on the left hand side and run scoring figures on the right hand side which when simplified give me a clear picture of what was most likely to have contributed to deviations from league average scoring.

If anyone is interested in a full description of how the matrix really works, I'd be happy to provide some mathematical definitions at a later time.

As I said above, one of the things I can learn from the F/S Matrix is how strong the competition was for a starting pitcher in a given year (look at each of his starts, find the team he faced and attach their offensive skill value to that game...sum the games and find the average offensive skill).

Strength of Schedule for a starting pitcher is expressed as runs per game started above average (meaning how many runs per game above average were the offenses that faced a given starter).

Here is what Grove's career looks like:

Code:

Year GS SOS 1925 18 -0.05 1926 33 0.15 1927 28 -0.09 1928 31 0.03 1929 37 -0.20 1930 32 -0.33 1931 30 -0.12 1932 30 -0.05 1933 28 -0.13 1934 12 -0.06 1935 30 0.17 1936 30 0.41 1937 32 0.14 1938 21 -0.05 1939 23 0.10 1940 21 -0.14 1941 21 -0.19

Grove was pitching in a league with a R/G rate over 5, but even so, in his prime years, the offenses he faced were some 2-5% worse than normal. It may not sound like a lot, but it's something that needs to be considered IMHO.

I've got all kinds of data on the strengths of schedule faced by pitchers, team offenses and team defenses that might interest some of you...

Thoughts?

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