Evaluating Major League pitchers using Magnum Start Theory.
For those of you who read my combimetrics article regarding Magnum Start Value (MSV), I suggested the divulgence of a second formula in the near future. In case you are wondering, the future is today when Magnum Start Theory (MST) comes into your vocabulary. Why did I create it? Here is an explanation!
While MSV evaluates the performance of individual pitchers, there was no way to compare them to the play of their teams. MST does that to an extent, as the concept is similar to Wins Above Replacement (WAR) but with a twist. WAR is used to put a number on a player’s total contribution to his team, however, MST dissects a club’s performance against league average.
So, how exactly does MST work? Simple, there is a three-part formula with six variables. Keep in mind what I mentioned above, that everything revolves around the concept of league average. With that said, here is the formula itself:
a or c(-81+)+ b or d(-avg league err+)+ e or f(-avg league runs+)=x
To begin explaining this, I will brief you on what each category in the parenthesis indicates. “Eighty-One” has to do with a .500 record, however, it is calculated differently in MST. While many fans would say a team that finishes the year 75-87 is twelve games below .500, MST equates such a season to six below due to the fact that 81-75=6. If that were to be a scenario for a club, a pitcher MST analyzed would be at +6 before additional parts of the formula were calculated.
The second is average league errors, meaning you would take the average league errors for a team and add or subtract them to that teams’ MST total. Keep in mind if a team is below average, it aids a pitcher due to the fact that he would struggle to win more on that club. Lastly, average league runs are no different than league errors, as it is analyzed through the average of whatever league that team is in.
Now since the totals of this formula cannot just be added together in order to attain the proper results, I will reveal every number associated with the variables. One thing must be stated first-there is a process involved with these variables which may seem confusing, however it is quite easy once explained.
Here is the rest of Magnum Start Theory (MST).
*All of the variables must first be multiplied by whichever number appears in the parenthesis. Following that, you divide either four or fourteen into that outcome. Remember, good is bad and bad is good in regards to analyzing MST.
* This is an “end of year” statistic, which means it is not to be calculated during a teams’ season. My reasoning for this is due to the fact that many of the variables would be constantly in flux, and also differ because clubs have different game totals throughout a six-month campaign.
When you actually calculate this formula, it is always done in a left to right fashion. So, in other words, each portion if MST must be completed before moving on to the next step. On top of that, keep in mind that you could be analyzing an equating with both positive and negative numbers so you may be subtracting when it says to add.
Once you analyze the seasons of several clubs, it should be interesting to cross-examine them with individual pitchers. Something to remember is that a very good team will have a score below zero, while bad ones may score over fifteen. MST is created in this way to show the difficulty level winning would be on them.
Basically, Magnum Start Theory is simple. A high MST score and a pitcher’s MSV tally should be looked at closely regardless of his performance. Given there is a litany of other factors that go into this, but how good a hurler’s team needs to be reviewed heavily before individually evaluating him.
All in all, this may seem incredibly complex however once you begin reading these studies it becomes quite simple. Another factor to consider is if a game is canceled or a team finishes .500 because 0.5 is difficult to use in this formula as would be zero. If the latter situation occurs put the team at -1 (or 82-80) and in the former just revert to 81 (could be +1 at 80-81) unless two contests are not played. So that’s all you need to know, so expect studies soon!