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Reality vs. Expectations
2004-07-12 13:17
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

According to ESPN's RPI rankings, which take into account strength of schedule, the Dodgers are 10th in baseball, the Giants are 12th and the Padres are 21st.

According to the Pythagorean Standings (scroll down on Rob Neyer's ESPN.com home page), which calculate expected performance based on runs scored and allowed, the Dodgers should have a two-game lead on the Padres and a 2 1/2-game lead on the Giants. In real life, the Dodgers and Padres have one victory more than expected by the Pythagorean Standings; the Giants have three.

The difference is even more pronounced in the Adjusted Standings on Baseball Prospectus. Using more advanced calculations, the NL West leaders are:

Dodgers (47-39 expected, 48-38 actual)
Giants (45-44 expected, 49-40 actual)
Padres (42-46 expected, 47-41 actual)

What this implies is that the Giants and Padres are playing more over their heads than the Dodgers are. However, the Giants outperformed their expected win total throughout 2003.

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