The 2011 Brewers Season in WPA

As most of you folks know, we've been using Win Probability Added, or WPA, to assign the MVP and LVP each Brewers game for the past couple of years. It's at once a simple and weird stat - simple because all it tries to do is take a basic measure of the effect each player has on his team's chances of winning, and weird because that results in all kinds of crazy under- and over-valuations, depending on context.

But I like it because it gives a decent sense in both small and large samples of who came up huge for the team, and who absolutely blew it. At the All-Star Break, I used WPA to break down the Brewers' first-half performances in two posts; here, I'll look at the season as a whole in one. (Here's the Google Doc, in case you want to look at all the data.) First off, your single-game MVP and LVP final standings:

Brewers WPA MVP Leaders

23 - Prince Fielder
18 - Ryan Braun
12 - Rickie Weeks
11 - Randy Wolf
10 - Shaun Marcum
9 - Yovani GallardoCasey McGehee
7 - Yuniesky BetancourtCarlos GomezNyjer MorganChris Narveson
6 - Zack GreinkeMark Kotsay
5 - Marco EstradaCorey HartJonathan Lucroy
2 - John AxfordGeorge KottarasMike McClendonSergio Mitre
1 - Erick AlmonteTim Dillard, Jerry Hairston, Kameron LoeJosh Wilson

Brewers WPA LVP Leaders

15 - Yuniesky Betancourt, Casey McGehee
10 - Yovani Gallardo, Corey Hart, Kameron Loe, Chris Narveson
9 - Rickie Weeks, Randy Wolf
7 - Prince Fielder
6 - Ryan Braun, Marco Estrada, Zack Greinke
5 - Shaun Marcum, Nyjer Morgan
4 - Mark Kotsay
3 - John Axford, Carlos Gomez, Jerry Hairston, Jonathan Lucroy, Francisco Rodriguez
2 - Erick Almonte, Zach BraddockCraig CounsellTaylor GreenFelipe Lopez
1 - Tim Dillard, Sean Green, Danny Ray Herrera, Brandon KintzlerTakashi Saito

And here are the batting-only standings, which tend to be a bit more telling for the team's hitters:

Brewers WPA MVP Leaders (Batting Only)

37 - Prince Fielder
29 - Ryan Braun
18 - Rickie Weeks
13 - Casey McGehee
11 - Yuniesky Betancourt
10 - Nyjer Morgan
9 - Corey Hart
8 - Carlos Gomez, Mark Kotsay
6 - Jonathan Lucroy
3 - Jerry Hairston, George Kottaras, Josh Wilson
2 - Craig Counsell
1 - Erick Almonte, Felipe Lopez, Wil Nieves

Brewers WPA LVP Leaders (Batting Only)

28 - Casey McGehee
26 - Yuniesky Betancourt
18 - Rickie Weeks
14 - Corey Hart
13 - Prince Fielder
12 - Ryan Braun
10 - Mark Kotsay, Nyjer Morgan
8 - Jonathan Lucroy
6 - Craig Counsell
5 - Carlos Gomez
3 - Erick Almonte, Jerry Hairston
2 - Taylor Green, Felipe Lopez
1 - George Kottaras, Wil Nieves, Josh Wilson

And finally, to isolate the games where the players made a huge difference, the Brewers' leaders in games with a WPA above .250 (a quarter of a win) or below -.250 (a quarter of a loss):

Most games with .250 WPA or above:

12 - Prince Fielder, Randy Wolf
7 - Yovani Gallardo, Shaun Marcum
6 - Chris Narveson
5 - Ryan Braun, Zack Greinke
4 - Mark Kotsay, Rickie Weeks
3 - Casey McGehee, Nyjer Morgan
2 - Yuniesky Betancourt, Kameron Loe
1 - Tim Dillard, Marco Estrada, Carlos Gomez, Corey Hart, George Kottaras, Jonathan Lucroy, Josh Wilson

Most games with -.250 WPA or below:

9 - Yovani Gallardo
7 - Kameron Loe
5 - Randy Wolf
4 - Shaun Marcum, Chris Narveson
3 - John Axford, Zack Greinke
2 - Yuniesky Betancourt, Zach Braddock, Casey McGehee, Francisco Rodriguez
1 - Erick Almonte, Tim Dillard, Sean Green, Corey Hart, Latroy Hawkins, Mark Kotsay, Jonathan Lucroy, Mike McClendon, Takashi Saito

Here's what jumps out to me:

- Randy Wolf looks like he comes out here as a great clutch pitcher, but I'm guessing it's just more a function of his relatively bad run support. The opposite is probably true for Greinke: He had several games where the Brewers' offense gave him a big early lead, so his WPA couldn't climb as high.

- It's kind of bizarre how badly Corey Hart comes out with these stats. I think it has something to do with WPA not being particularly kind to leadoff hitters (Rickie Weeks didn't look great during the first half of the season), but maybe there's something else at work there, too.

- Yup, Casey McGehee and Yuniesky Betancourt are actually kind of bad.

- Yup, Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun are actually kind of good.

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