Context is King, vol. MCMXXIX


Former Baseball Prospectus boss Nate Silver created a sweet little niche for himself in recent years, using his mathematical know-how to predict elections (among other things) by weighing various polls to create a statistically-informed opinion of how popular votes should shake down.

Weighting the credibility of each poll is key as certain selection biases and wordings can skew results. With that in mind, I don’t think the L.A. Times’ “Who Will Win the NL Cy Young” poll carries much weight in Mr. Silver’s eyes.

I liberally borrowed the code from the Times but, as you can see, the good people of Southern California carefully considered the choices, placing appropriate ballpark factors and quality of competition (i.e. facing the Giants half a dozen times)into proper context before making their final, solemn decision.

For argument’s sake, let’s consider Roy Halladay starting half his games at Dodger Stadium against the Padreses of the world. Wow, that was mildly pleasurable. I can’t even lie.

Vote Doc.

Comments (11)

  1. Doc may be better (he is) but Kershaw has the pitcher’s triple crown. It may be old school but then so are the voters

  2. Padres is the plural of Padre.

  3. doc’s not goin to win. he should. but he wont..

  4. Verlander and Kershaw both have the old school triple crown right now. Crazy shit.

  5. Kershaw has an edge over Halladay both at the plate and fielding his own position if anyone needs a tie-breaker. They are both pretty awesome candidates, and both have really great arguments. Kershaw will probably win the triple crown, while Halladay is the best pitcher of his generation having the best season of his life (and has marginally better components).

    • Halladay plays in a tiny bandbox and didn’t get to face the worst offense in baseball for 20% of his starts.

      • It wouldn’t be the first time Halladay got screwed out of the Cy Young because his opponent faced weaker competition.

      • Somewhere in my thoughts, I forgot that FIP isn’t ballpark-adjusted. It’s a little annoying not to have my dashboard park & league adjusted number, as wRC+ is for hitters. I’m guessing fWAR for pitchers is ballpark-adjusted, and hence the significant edge for Halladay in fWAR?

        I did take a look at Halladay & Kershaw’s relative strength of opponents. Not surprisingly, Kershaw had slightly easier opponents, but not by as much as you would think. Dropping the starts they had against the same teams, Kershaw’s opponents had wRC+ of 89.4; Halladay 93.1. That’s an average over 13 starts for Halladay, 14 for Kershaw.

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