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What Makes a Team's Winning Percentage Deviate from the Pythagorean Relationship?

Difficulty
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Basic knowledge of Microsoft Excel and statistics
Material Availability Readily Available
Cost Very Low (under $20)

Abstract

What makes a winning team? Getting all the best players? Good coaches? Good chemistry? This project will show you how you can use math to help you test your hypothesis about what makes a winning team.

Objective

The objective of this project is to determine why teams win many more or fewer games than they're expected to based on runs/goals/points scored and allowed.

Credits

Gabriel Desjardins

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Last edit date: 2013-11-16

Introduction

The Pythagorean relationship is a fundamental one in sports: it correctly predicts the records of 98% of all teams. But in 2% of cases, it fails. Why does it fail?

Terms and Concepts

Pythagorean Relationship, Bill James

Experimental Procedure

Find teams that deviated substantially from their expected Pythagorean record (this information is available for baseball teams on www.baseball-reference.com). Then look at their situational statistics (this information is available on ESPN.com) and determine what they did that resulted in more or fewer wins than they otherwise should have had. Determine what the teams have in common.

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I did this project I Did This Project! Please log in and let us know how things went.


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