2010 Team Level Pitching Runs Above AveragePosted: December 13, 2010
I’ve completed my run through the Big Ten’s pitching staffs on an individual level with my Runs Above Average statistics and wanted to have a post that included the team totals.
Below, I have my Unadjusted Runs Above Average (uRAA).
If you’ve read all of the write-up’s, you’ll know that Penn State and Indian both were not good on the mound. On the flip side, Purdue comes out well ahead of second place Minnesota. Michigan’s 14-10 conference record didn’t come on the back of great pitching, as they were essentially league average. Ohio State finished 11-13 in Big Ten play and 28-23 overall. Had Alex Wimmer stayed healthy for the majority of the year, their numbers would’ve looked even better. Wimmers buoyed the Buckeye’s numbers greatly, as you can guess. He had an uRAA total of +33, meaning that the remainder of Ohio State’s pitching staff was -23. Essentially, Ohio State’s pitchers not named Alex Wimmers was as good — well, bad — as Iowa’s entire pitching staff.
Now, we’ll move on to the Adjusted Runs Above Average (aRAA) at the team level.
The aRAA totals operate under the assumption that batting average on balls in play isn’t a large skill that pitchers possess. Whether this applies to college baseball, I’m not sure. I’m assuming that it does in calculating these numbers, but there’s a very good chance that I’m completely wrong.
The disclaimer out of the way, we see that even though the gap in team BABIP’s for pitching staff don’t vary that much, the gap between the best and worst in aRAA is much smaller (98 runs) than the gap between the best and the worst of the uRAA (156 runs).
To take that even a step further, we can estimate the runs-to-wins conversion rate as well. In Major League Baseball, the standard rule of thumb that every 10 runs equals roughly one win. I’ve figured that in the Big Ten it’s around 12-13 runs (12.6 to be a bit more exact) per win. The gap between the top and bottom teams in aRAA is right around 7-8 wins worth. For the uRAA numbers, it’s closer to 12 wins worth. Quite the difference.
The only difference in ranking, however, is that Northwestern flip-flops with the Buckeyes between the two RAA lists. Otherwise, it all remains unchanged, just with a smaller gap between best and worst.
Indiana was 28-27 on the season (.509 win percentage) and 12-12 in Big Ten play (.500). I estimate them, based on an estimation of runs created and runs allowed at being closer to a .523 talent team which over a 24-game Big Ten conference schedule is essentially 12-13 wins. Indiana has a wonderful hitting team (based a ton on power), but could really use some arms to step up this season in what will likely be Alex Dickerson’s final season. It’s very unlikely they have a third first round draft pick in the lineup for the next couple seasons to carry the offense. Having Josh Phegley a couple years ago followed by Dickerson is fantastic, but they could use more league-average arms.