« Baseball ROI 2: scatter plots | Main | One for the cutting room floor »



The Pappas efficiency metric heavily rewards the first few wins above .300, i.e., every win just after 48 improves efficiency a lot. Using the Pappas metric, KC looks worse than the Yankees but even one additional win gives a big efficiency jump. The Pappas metric isn't very robust to small differences in the number of wins:

There are lots of alternatives. Here's one of them:

Of course, this alternative also suffers a flaw: in reality, the Royals really do suck.


Robert, your first graph would be great if we'd like to use scatter plots to divide the teams into segments using the Pappas metric.

How do you define your 2nd metric? I notice the lines are curved.


If you use the payroll/median payroll and win/loss ratio for the axes (instead of the team payroll and the projected wins), the lines are straight. However, the comparison between two different metrics is easier when the plot axes are the same and the contours are different than the other way 'round; try it the other way if you'd like to see why.

Using scatterplots to show X, Y, and f(X,Y) is a pretty handy technique that I think is underutilized. Here are a couple of other (sports-related) examples:

BTW, the baseball plots let you see payroll, wins, team name, league, and efficiency (for a particular metric).


Should've clarified for those who have a parochial view of sport that those are from the Tour de France. Here's yet another damn example of using a scatterplot to show X, Y, and f(X,Y):

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)


Link to Principal Analytics Prep

See our curriculum, instructors. Apply.
Marketing analytics and data visualization expert. Author and Speaker. Currently at Columbia. See my full bio.

Book Blog

Link to junkcharts

Graphics design by Amanda Lee

The Read

Good Books

Keep in Touch

follow me on Twitter