(not) Beating the Theorem in 2022

The Theorem.

It is supposed to tell us how many baseball games a team should be winning based on runs for vs runs against. Some feel it is a more statistically accurate portrayal of how good a baseball team is than their actual record. Last year the Theorem and the Brewers actual win total were in agreement that the Brewers should have won 95 games.

In every other year since 2015 the Brewers have out performed, in wins, their expected wins based on runs for vs runs against.

At this point of the year, the Brewers expected win/loss based on theorem is 84 -76. There actual totals right now are 85 - 75. Not a significant difference.

Beating the theorem is one of those small market ways to beat conventional wisdom and win more games than some may think the team actually should. After 20 games the Brewers had scored 3 more runs than they had given up. The theorem believed that they should have been 10 -10 on the season. They were 13 -7. Already three games ahead of the theorem.

At another point the Brewers were 58 - 50 with 500 runs scored and 464 runs allowed. Their actual record and their theorem projected record were the same. I believe this played into the trade deadline strategies to deepen the bullpen to win more close games late.

Although they have improved slightly from that point in the season, the Brewers still aren't beating the theorem as much as they needed to with this team. Defense and costly mistakes is one reason. Another is blown late leads.

The final reason could be the inability to play situational baseball in the extra innings. The Brewers were 9-9 in the extra innings (.500 vs opposed to .531 overall for the season). This could be some luck but could also be the ineffectiveness of the mid tier of the bullpen which often takes over in extra innings. And also the unwillingness of management to engage in one run strategies which is likely based on the personnel on the team.

The margin of error for this team was so small. Many single game decisions or inefficiencies led to a team that had outcomes that matched the expected. The way the Brewers would have made the playoffs this year was to have a higher differential between actual wins and the Theorems projection.

They didn't really get that done.