Saturday, January 10, 2009

A word on the Power Rankings

As I've stated previously, the power rankings are based on stats and their variation, not ranking. Here is a hypothetical example:

Let's say one stat is Stolen Bases. Team A leads the league with 50 SBs. Team B is 2nd with 37 SBs and Team C is 3rd with 34 SBs. If I used a ranking method, then Team A gets X points for 1st, Team B Y points for second, ad Team C Z points for third. The fact that Team A has 13 SBs more than second, while Team B only has 3 more than third is ignored. And that's why ranking systems don't tell the full story.

The way I do it, Team A leads and has 50 SB. So Team a would get 10 points as the leader. Then I take Team B's total and divide by Team A's total (37/50) and convert it into the 10 point scale. Team B would get 7.4 points. Then I divide Team C's total by Team A's total and so on. And for SBs I'd get a list that look something like this-

Team A- 10
Team B- 7.4
Team C- 6.8
and so on.

That's why the leagues can't be compared, the leaders are different and that is the top score. Subsequently, when I made the first combined ranking, sometimes the AL had the top score (usually hitting) and sometimes the NL did (usually pitching) thus the new combined ranking was based on different leaders.

One thing I will reveal is that Wins is a category I use. When I made the first power ranking, the teams with the most wins were all over the scale. I think a team with the 3rd most wins was actually 12th in the power ranking. While this is possible, I simply didn't like it. Because, the team with the most wins, wins. So, I doubled the score for Wins, it's worth 20 points. After all, it doesn't matter how you play the game, just whether you win or lose.

In the end, the power rankings were created to be easy and have something to post during the season. They are by no means a prediction of upcoming events; however, they may have some small use as to how the season is progressing. Mostly, they are just something to talk about...and laugh at!

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