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Robert

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:
http://anonymous.coward.free.fr/temp/pappas.png

There are lots of alternatives. Here's one of them:
http://anonymous.coward.free.fr/temp/notpappas.png

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

Kaiser

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.

Robert

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:
http://anonymous.coward.free.fr/rbr/tdf05-1.png
or
http://anonymous.coward.free.fr/rbr/tdf04-bmi.png

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

Robert

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):
http://anonymous.coward.free.fr/rbr/cols05-tdf.png

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