Pirates at the halfway mark: How many games will they win?

The Pirates swept their weekend series with the Brewers leaving them 51-30 at the season’s halfway point. I performed two analyses similar to those I posted on Friday. I looked at the 200 teams in baseball history with the most similar first-half-seasons. In the first analysis (herafter referred to as the actual winning percentage, or AWP, analysis), similarity was determined by the absolute value of the difference between current Pirates winning percentage (.630) and the other teams’ winning percentage. The second analysis (EWP) was the same except expected winning percentages were substituted for actual winning percentages. In both analyses I looked at the number of wins the Pirates would have if they finished the season with the same winning percentage as the “similar” team.

In the EWP analysis, two teams finished below .500, four finished at exactly .500, 102 finished with 95 or more wins (Pirates manager Clint Hurdle’s goal for the season), and 16 teams finished with 105 wins or more (105 losses to 105 wins in three seasons). This analysis suggests that it is 8x as likely that the Pirates finish with 105 wins than with another losing season.

The Pirates actual winning percentage (.630) is much better than their expected winning percentage (.569), so the AWP analysis unsurprisingly looks even better for the Pirates. In the AWP analysis, only one team finished below .500, two at exactly .500, 128 with at least 95 wins, 23 with at least 105 wins, and even one team with more than 110 wins. As I said on Friday, I strongly prefer the EWP analysis, so read the AWP results with caution.

For those who would like to explore the data a little further, I’ve made a bar chart with the results of both analyses. If you click on the chart on this site it will take you to an interactive version on my CMU website. The chart is here:

How many games will the Pirates Win?


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