Back when baseball was a simpler sport and all that mattered was the standings, batting averages and ERA’s, it was easy to follow. Everyone read the box scores and had to figure out who was doing what and waited for the Sunday paper when all the batting averages, home runs and runs batted in were listed.
Then Bill James came along and changed how we viewed the game. Today, there is an avalanche of baseball information, some useful, others not so much, but the key is everyone is trying to evaluate what is happening and make sense of it. This is a positive development for baseball bettors.
Yet there are the tried and true elements that still ring true and James’ – Pythagorean Theorem of Baseball – is one of those tools. You can Google the specific details, but essentially, it is about runs scored vs. runs allowed and dividing the first number into the second and arriving at a win percentage.
James believed as many still do, this is a strong indicator of what a team’s actual record should be, subtracting a few other factors that play into larger differentials. When doing this at the midpoint of the season, it can also be an indicator of future results, with all things being equal.
Essentially, any difference of three games is worth knowing and understanding why. Here in this chart is every team’s actual record and what it the anticipated record could be based on run differentials.