Monday, May 12, 2008

Marlins Played Weak Opponents? Guess Again!

The prevailing argument over talk radio, ESPN, and other media outlets against the Marlins is that they've played weak competition. Even Marlins enthusiasts have touted that theory. How wrong they are!

There's an obvious component to playing teams with bad records that pundits always seem to forget...when you beat a team 8 out of 9 times (the Nationals), their record is going to get worse. It's simple logic, and yet analysts forget it every time.

According to ESPN's RPI, the Marlins have a .504 strength of schedule (which is above average... .500 is average). And who has the toughest strength of schedule? The Brewers, at .529. Second place? The Nationals, at .524. Hmmm. Could it actually be that the Marlins are really good, and they just beat a bunch of teams?

Let's break it down more closely. Here are the Marlins' opponents records, with overall record and record against the rest of the league respectively:

NY Mets - 19-16, 17-15
Pittsburgh - 18-20, 16-17
Washington - 15-23, 14-15
Houston - 21-17, 19-16
Atlanta - 19-18, 17-15
Milwaukee - 18-19, 17-14
LA Dodgers - 19-18, 16-18
San Diego - 14-24, 13-22

Combined records: 143-155
Combined against rest of the league: 129-132

The Marlins' strength of schedule isn't bad at all. Argument disproved.


E.J. said...

Yes, the funny thing about the "weak schedule" argument is that it forgets to note that what makes a team's schedule weak is that very team being considered strong.

The "experts" are making the point about the weak schedule to say that the Marlins aren't too good - yet, that is contradicted by those very experts saying that we keep facing opponents far weaker than us. Well...doesn't that make us, oh, I don't know, strong???

ASponge said...

Yes. It amuses me to no end.