A Substitute for War

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Posts Tagged ‘MVP

MVP/Power Rankings Monday: First MVP Rankings and Power Rankings

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Here is my first installment of the MVP rankings and Power Rankings for this season. Remember this is based on the season we’ve had so far, not predicting what will happen from this point forward:

1. SG James Harden – The Beard activated god mode in his first week with the Rockets. 35.3 pts, 6.3 assists 6.3 rebounds and .642 TS% and a 2-1 record. Hard to believe it’s only been 1 week since the trade, isn’t it? Harden is the story of the first week and cruises to the top spot.

2. SF/PF Lebron James – The Heat have been a wee bit slow out of the gates, but look to emulate Usain Bolt after he trails opponents on the blocks before his long legs give him an advantage to blow them away the rest of the race. Lebron is so good that he can make 23.0 pts, 8.7, 6.3 asts on .621 TS% look like commonplace.

3. PG Chris Paul – Like Lebron, Paul can make a 19.0 pts, 12.3 asts, 4.0 rebs, .604 TS% start to the season look “ho hom” and it’s easy to take him for granted. The Clippers at 2-1 are off to a great start offensively despite so many new names, and will be looking to jump the Lakers for the Pacific division.

4. PG Kyle Lowry – Lowry’s first week with his new team has been nearly as impressive as Harden’s. With 23.7ppg, 7.0 asts, and 7.3 rebs, he is leading the team in all 3 categories. With the improvement in his shooting the last few years added to his athleticism and IQ, Lowry has become a star guard.

5.  SG Kobe Bryant – The Lakers may be 1-3, but Kobe has been spectacular playing off his new teammates, scoring 26.8ppg on 59.7% FG and .710 TS%. Kobe looking spry bodes well for their championship chances this season. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by jr.

November 5, 2012 at 11:09 am

Stats Tuesday: A statistical case for Miguel Cabrera as American League MVP + Should a runs involved stat replace RBIs?

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English: Miguel Cabrera at Dodger Stadium.

English: Miguel Cabrera at Dodger Stadium. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The AL MVP race is the most interesting in years due to the debate of traditional stats vs new age sabermetrics, as many have pointed out. As of October 1st, 2012, Miguel Cabrera is in position to win the Triple Crown of leading the league in the traditional hitting stats Batting Average (BA), Home Runs (HR) and Runs Batted In (RBIs), but Mike Trout holds a significant lead in Wins Above Replacement (WAR), 10.7 to Cabrera’s 6.8 according to baseball-reference.com, a massive gap.

Trout’s gap in WAR comes from two places. One, he is given 2.3 points in defensive WAR due to excellent fielding in center-field, while Cabrera’s score is -0.2 at 3rd base. Secondly, Trout’s offensive WAR (8.6) beats out Cabrera’s score of 7.4 on baseball-reference. This is interesting because it is clear that Cabrera is the better hitter statistically, leading in OPS, batting average, slightly trailing in on-base percentage, and having a sizeable gap in home runs. A fascinating statistic is that Cabrera has 137 Runs Batted In (RBI) to Trout’s 83.

RBIs have of course lost favor in recent years for obvious reasons. They’re simply too context based. A player’s RBIs depends on the ones in front of him who get on base. In this case, Trout’s offensive value is more reliant on scoring from the bases than Cabrera’s is. For one, he hits lead-off, a position where where worse batters behind him mean there’s less chance of players to be on base – and the first bat of the game no players can be on base. Secondly, Trout is a fantastic base-runner and base stealer (Leading the AL in stolen bases at 48, amazingly only being caught 4 times). Third, by the fact that less of hits are home runs than Cabrera’s despite a higher on-base percentage, this is another reason why more of his hits end up with him on the bases, waiting for the batters in front of him to hit him in. RBIs of course can’t measure the value Trout brings by getting into scoring position. When a batter in front of him hits Trout in, they are credited with an RBI, while he is given a Run Scored, which is tracked but not given much weight in awards voting. Trout, unsurprisingly, leads the AL in Runs Scored by far with 129 – Cabrera coming in 2nd at 109. Trout leading Cabrera in offensive WAR comes down to favoring this “scoring from the bases” advantage Trout has over Cabrera, outweighing the extra damage Cabrera does at the plate.

We know Trout’s Run Scored nor Cabrera’s RBIs advantage over each other isn’t indicative of their value. Their roles are different, Trout’s favoring scoring off the bases and Cabrera with the bat. This is concerning because fundamentally, we should want to measure how much runs a player actually scored in a game, in a same way we want to know how many points a basketball player actually scored.

So what I came up with a little stat to try and incorporate both runs batted in and runs scored off the bases for a player. I can’t be the only one who’s tried this, but nonetheless here’s what I did: I took a player’s Runs Scored and subtracted Home Runs, as when a player scores a Run off a homer, it’s counted as an RBI. A good term for the total Runs Scored not counting Home Runs, is “Baserunning Runs Scored”. I then added this number to RBIs. The stat thus is simply (Runs Scored – HRS) + RBIs, or Baserunning Runs Scored + RBIs.

Thus this counts the “Total Runs Involved In” for a player, accounting for the runs a player scores either with his bats or from baserunning Read the rest of this entry »

Written by jr.

October 2, 2012 at 1:35 pm

MVP/Power Rankings Monday: MVP predictions for the 2012-2013 NBA season

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Here is my predictions for the 2012-2013 MVP race in the NBA:

Honorable mentions:

Dirk Nowitzki – Should have another strong season, but when a player passes his statistical prime it’s hard to rejoin the MVP conversation

Kobe Bryant – I’m expecting age and the odometer to rear up this year for Kobe, but another 25 point per game season is possible

Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili – I expect another strong season for the Spurs, after after the novelty of putting Parker in the top 5 last year, I expect the MVP votes go in other directions

Dwight Howard and Derrick Rose – Will miss too large a portion of the season to make a dent in the race

Kevin Love – The hardest omission from the top 10. The biggest factor is my prediction that the Wolves have a disappointing season, which I’ll cover later this week

9-10 Elite 2nd bananas

10. Russell Westbrook – Russell’s scoring could finally plateau this year with James Harden’s increased usage on the perimeter, but his motor and energy continue to define the Thunder even more than Kevin Durant and on an elite team should find himself with a number of top 10 finishes in his career

9. Blake Griffin – Many star players break out statistically in year 3. Remember Blake was thought as a future MVP candidate after his rookie season. With a PG who’s used to him now and a midrange shot that’s dieing to get consistent, he could be in for a massive season that makes the media reconsider his ceiling back to that superstar level.

5-8: Star production, but not a high enough team record to compete for MVP Read the rest of this entry »

Written by jr.

September 24, 2012 at 2:50 pm

2011 Player of the Year – Final

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The Player of the Year Watch has gone on all season long. Here we have the Final ranking.

Player (last rank)

1. Dirk Nowitzki (1A)

This is an easy choice for me. When it comes to literally lifting a team, Dirk has been the personification of this all year long. With the way LeBron came on against Chicago, I thought he was going to make me toss that aside but it didn’t happen.

I’ll admit that I actually thought that Wade was the MVP of the Finals over Dirk, but over the course of the entire season, nobody contributed value like Dirk.

2. Dwight Howard (3)

My regular season MVP got knocked off his perch down to the 3rd spot after the Conference Finals. However he floats back up a spot after LeBron’s weak Finals play. I’m always hesitant to let someone who has already been eliminated rise in my rankings, particularly when they were eliminated in an upset in the first round, however I can’t find real fault in Howard’s playoff performance, and what happened in the Finals did sway my opinion on LeBron’s season.

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Letting the Lamppost Illuminate

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Image by motiqua via Flickr

He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts…

For support rather than illumination

Andrew Lang (1844-1912)

I’ve been rather crucified lately for having Kobe Bryant so low on my MVP list, and I completely understand why. He’s the player many consider to be the best in the game, his team has an elite record, and as we approach the final stretch of the regular season, both he and his team appear to be entering back into their familiar, championship-winning groove. How can he be not anywhere near the top 5 in the MVP race?

And I answer, knowing that my response hurts my credibility among quite a few not simply because they disagree with me, but because a significant influence on where I place Kobe is his poor performance in adjusted +/- statistics (APM).

Remaining Sober

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Written by Matt Johnson

March 19, 2011 at 9:52 am

2011 NBA POY Watch 1/24

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My version of the NBA MVP list. Updated weekly.

Player (Last Week’s Rank)

1. Derrick Rose (1)

Another week, continued success for the Bulls. With incredible defensive dominance and offensive reliance on Rose, could we be seeing another Iverson-style MVP? This is shaping up to be an MVP race where people meditate and change opinions based on exactly what they decide their philosophy of MVP determination is.

2. Dwight Howard (4)

As others slide, the solid Howard steps up. Still, this Magic team has had a pretty major drop off from last year, hard to imagine Howard will earn his first MVP this year unless his team really catches fire.

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Written by Matt Johnson

January 24, 2011 at 12:09 pm