More Projections: An early look at the Phillies' April schedule

By PATRICK GORDON | Managing Editor
@Philabaseball

The Phillies' April 1 regular-season opener in Atlanta will be carried nationally by ESPN2 as part of an Opening Night prime-time doubleheader. Following the two-game set the Phillies return home and open at Citizens Bank Park against Kansas City. 
In total, the Phillies have 26 games in April against eight different opponents. Combined, those clubs finished with a .495 winning percentage last season (641-655). 

With all the hoopla surrounding the release of the ZiPS and Bill James projections, I figure let's have some fun and forecast the Phillies' record over the first month of the season. We know the opponents and their winning percentages, so we can plug everything into Bill James' log5 prediction formula. 

For those unfamiliar, James introduced the log5 concept in his 1981 Baseball Abstract. Boiled down, log5 answers the question, "how often should team A be expected to beat team B?"

The log5 formula: (A - (A*B)) / ((A+B) - (2*A*B)) A = Team A Winning Percentage, B = Team B Winning Percentage. 

We know the Phillies finished last season at .500 and the eight opponents finished at .495, so our formula reads: (.500 - (.500*.495)) / ((.500+.495) - (2*.500*.495). The result is .506, meaning the the Phillies are projected to carry a .506 winning percentage out of next April - essentially a 13-13 mark.

But let's not stop there. 

To account for home field advantage you add or subtract .042 from the projected winning percentage (the number we just found via the equation.) We know 14 of the 26 games are at home, so the Phillies projected winning percentage at home jumps to .548 while the projected winning percentage on the road falls to .464.

A .548 winning percentage in 14 games equals 7.7 wins (.548 * 14), so at Citizens Bank Park we can forecast the Phillies to go 8-6. On the road, the .464 winning percentage in 12 games equals 5.6 wins, so rounded we can expect the club to go 6-6.

Combined, we can forecast the Phillies to go 14-12 in April.  

Just a little insight as we sit nearly three months away from Opening Day.

- Patrick Gordon is managing editor of the Philadelphia Baseball Review. Follow him on Twitter @Philabaseball or e-mail him at pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

No comments: