Improving the 2012 Indians: The Offense

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Indians’ 2011 Pythagorean Record

Predicting a team’s overall record has much to do with examining a teams ability to score runs and prevent runs from scoring. Bill James’ Pythagorean Expectation for Winning Baseball, which got its name for its similarity to the Pythagorean Theorem, is a formula that uses runs scored and allowed to predict the number of games a team should win With 760 runs allowed and only 704 runs scored, the Indians’ Pythagorean winning expectancy of 75-87 lagged slightly behind their actual 80-82 win-loss record—perhaps suggesting that the five extra wins were the result of good luck.

The 75-87 Pythagorean record should not come a a surprise to anyone who watched the Indians team pull out victory from defeat in a season filled with magical moments—the Tribe had 12 walkoff victories and a total of 36 come from behind wins last year. But the Indians can’t count on their clutch streak continuing; in order to remain competitve through July 2o, they will need to improve on their ability to score and prevent runs. Without knowing who the Indians could target at the trade deadline if contending or who they would trade at the deadline if they are not, we’ll have to evaluate the areas the Indians can improve based on the traditional metric of examining the players that they have in camp today.