The Best Altoona Curve Team


Last night I watched one of the better episodes of The Simpsons, where Lisa has to manage Bart’s baseball team and uses Sabermetrics to take them to the title game. So, for today’s blog, we’ll take a look at something called “The Pythagorean Winning Percentage” to show you how much better the 2010 Curve team was than the 2004 team which has the best record in team history.

If you don’t know, Bill James is a baseball statistician who was one of the first to really analyze the numbers of the game. His ideas have been used all throughout the major leagues, most famously documented in the book Moneyball and soon to be major motion picture due out on September 23rd, 2011…staring Brad Pitt as Oakland A’s GM Billy Beane.

Pythagorean Winning Percentage is a number that attempts to show how well a team performs based on their runs scored versus runs against. It can tell you what teams have been lucky to have been winning games and it can show you how strong one team is against another team. The formula will give you a winning percentage which you can convert into wins and losses. The formula is such:


Curve All-Time Pythagorean Winning Percentage

2010: Actual: 82-60, Pythagorean Winning Percentage: 84-58

2009: Actual: 62-80, Pythagorean Winning Percentage: 61-81

2008: Actual: 65-77, Pythagorean Winning Percentage: 57-85

2007: Actual: 73-68, Pythagorean Winning Percentage: 70-71

2006: Actual: 75-64, Pythagorean Winning Percentage: 75-64

2005: Actual: 76-66, Pythagorean Winning Percentage: 73-69

2004: Actual: 85-56, Pythagorean Winning Percentage: 76-65

2003: Actual: 78-63, Pythagorean Winning Percentage: 83-58

2002: Actual: 72-69, Pythagorean Winning Percentage: 73-68

2001: Actual: 63-79, Pythagorean Winning Percentage: 65-77

2000: Actual: 74-68, Pythagorean Winning Percentage: 70-72

1999: Actual: 67-73, Pythagorean Winning Percentage: 71-69

As you can see, this formula puts the 2010 championship team on top, narrowly ahead of the 2003 squad. Oddly enough, the 2004 team that had the best record in team history falls to third. There are many ways to look at the game of baseball, here’s just one.

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