Graphic Scenes – Historical Indices for SSG Baseball

With a new season fast approaching, let’s take stock of what went before.  In a hoped for regular series of articles, ‘Graphic Scenes’ will bring all the fun of number crunching to the SSG website!

Below are graphs for each year that SSG OOTP baseball has been in existence. These graphs plot hitting on the x-axis against pitching on the y-axis.  The data for these is presented in the supporting tables beneath the graphs.  The method is described in the notes below.

Notes:

  • Values are plotted using indices for hitting and pitching where 100 is the MLB mean (average) and values above or below represent a team’s percentage difference compared to the mean.
  • The values are themselves an average of a number of key metrics, as shown in the supporting tables.  Hitting is comprised of average, walk rate, isolated slugging and wOBA, each with equal weighting.  Pitching is comprised of K%, BB%, HR% and FIP, again each with equal weight.  These metrics reduce double-counting, although wOBA and FIP will obviously include aspects of all the other ratings.
  • A team plotted in the middle of a graph would be league average in both hitting and pitching.
  • Better hitting moves the plot point to the right; better pitching moves the plot point up.  Therefore teams in the top right hand block are better than average at both hitting and pitching; teams in the lower right are known for their above average hitting ability but below average pitching; teams top left are the opposite – above average pitching, below average hitting and teams bottom left are below average in both disciplines.
  • The plot points are centered on each team name.
  • Where more than one team has very close plot points those teams are combined with a dash between, e.g. aaa-bbb, and the dash will represent the data point.
  • Each square represents 5 index points (hence 5% difference) in each direction.
  • The all-time graph has fewer outlier values compared to individual seasons so the range of values represented is lower, hence each 5 index point square is larger for this graph.
  • All data was taken from Stats+. Some data, particularly for earlier seasons, had anomalies, for instance the number of runs scored in the team batting statistics did not equal the number of runs conceded in the team pitching statistics. These anomalies are not however significant after converting to indices.
  • The tables at the end include indices for fielding and mean runs scored and conceded. All indices are combined into a single “mean index” (MI) value to give a one-number representation for each team.

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