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Article: Five Potential Dual Pitcher Trades the Twins Cou...

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 09:15 PM
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Report From The Fort: The Twins Strength Of Schedule

Even if the Twins make it to the playoffs again this year, will their success be tainted by a weak AL Central? Just how weak is the Twins schedule?

When the Twins were winning championships in the mid-2000s but being bounced out of the playoffs by the Yankees, one of the popular narratives was that their success was tainted because the AL Central was weak. With 76 games versus that division, and with several weak teams in that division, the Twins could rack up wins but fold against stronger competition.
Image courtesy of © Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
Yesterday, I did a quick analysis of how much it is worth to the Twins to be in the AL Central, where three teams appear to be only nominally competing this year. The answer was that it was worth about 2.5 wins, so the Twins baseline would be an 83-84 win team. But the rest of the American League (and some interleague foes) await and might affect that number.

So let’s look at the Twins whole schedule today, again in a back-of-napkin kind of way. I promise you, you can do this with a spreadsheet and it takes no math more complicated than some long division. We’ll do the same thing as yesterday:

1. Find out the over/under for each team from Vegas and turn it into a win percentage.
2. Multiply that percentage times the number games the Twins play against each one of them. That will give the average number of times an opponent should win or lose versus them.

Here are the final result:

Attached Image: Twins Scheduled.PNG

The Twins (as we suspected) face a weak schedule, but the weakness turns about 1.5 games from losses to wins. As a result, the Twins baseline seems to be about 82-83 wins, which is coincidentally exactly what Vegas is has for the Twins over/under number this year: 82.5. Funny how that works out.

The back-of-the-napkin analysis suggests that the argument about weakness of schedule in the 2000s was itself a little weak. It’s hard to imagine a division being much weaker than this year’s AL Central. But it’s still just a 1.5 game downhill slope for a team lucky enough to be in it.

On the other hand, It’s not nothing. By comparison, Eduardo Escobar last year was a 1.3 WAR player. Having him on the team last year was absolutely a benefit, especially when Sano was hurt. Or, if you want to go back to that era, in 2008, Christian Guzman had a 1.4 WAR in 2004, his last year with the Twins. It’s the difference between a useful player and a guy you get off the waiver wire.

Any team will take an extra 1.5 wins, but that impact feels small in the larger view of the season. No, any success the Twins might have should not be tainted. For that matter, neither should the success they had a decade ago.

 

(A lot more research could be done on this, and if you would like to do so, here is a head start. This is the spreadsheet I used. It’s view only, so you’ll need to download it or copy it to your own Google account to work with it, but if you find something interesting, feel free to share it in the comments below.)


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3 Comments

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theBOMisthebomb
Mar 11 2018 03:52 AM
The other guys in the AL Central get a paycheck, too. A win is a win.
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The Wise One
Mar 11 2018 05:30 AM

Vegas odds are set in a manner so as to extricate money from people. They are not rewarded for an accuracy other than the accuracy of betting incorrectly 

    • ThejacKmp and Minny505 like this
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The Wise One
Mar 11 2018 06:15 AM

Also when 3 teams play each other 19 times and each have the same low win percentagethey should be near .500 when they play each other and thus worse against other teams. 

    • ThejacKmp likes this

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