To do this, I’m going to take a look at the Pythagorean Record of the team, which is based on runs scored and runs allowed. (For a further explanation of the formula, please click here and here.)
For those so interested, I’m using the ^1.83 model.
Currently, the team’s pythag winning percentage is 37%, which puts them on pace for just over 100 losses this season.
However, on a month by month basis, the boys in blue have made incredible strides towards becoming a respectable team.
Month Pyth %July’s results are of a negligible sample size, but the improvement for the month of June is certainly encouraging. That’s a 75-87 team over the course of the season, which is far from fantastic, but much closer to the league-average expectations many of us had heading into the season.
The chart below shows the winning percentage as a ten game rolling average.
Man, did April and May suck.
A 4-0 loss to the White Sox on April 19th had the Royals looking at a 14% winning percentage over the previous ten games. That’s a 23-win season. That’s beyond bad.
Luckily, the schedule requires teams to actually play the rest of their games. By May 2nd, the team seemed to have turned things around, posting a ten game pythag percentage of 43% despite losing to Detroit 4-1.
This being the Royals, though, they promptly lost 14 of their next 18 games and hit another low point on May 23, playing like a 30-132 team (18%) and losing to Detroit 8-5.
Thankfully, all has not been lost. From that point forward, we have seen a steady climb to mediocrity with a high point of a 65% pythag record over a ten game stretch from June 16th through the 27th (capped off by a 9-8 victory at Cincinnati).
Heading into the All-Star break, the Royals have managed to impersonate an above average major league baseball team. Over the last 30 games, the numbers say the Royals should be winning 53% of the time. That’s an 86-76 ball club only needing a few more pieces to contend.
That’s a team that’s fun to root for.
Enjoy Pittsburgh, Mark Redman.