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WPA and the Tigers Opener

For those of you not famliar with Win Probablity Added (WPA), it’s basically a measure of how much a particular player added to his team’s chance of winning based on not only what he did, but when he did it.  One thing I don’t like about it is that it gives more credit to a late homerun then it does to an early homerun which may end up being just as important.  The cool thing is though, you can then map out at any particular point in time what each team’s historical chances of winning are at any point in the game, which is what Fangraphs did here for yesterday’s Tiger game.

So you’ll see the Tigers chance go way down after that rough first inning but then they slowly creep back into the game.  Joel Zumaya ended up leading the team in WPA with those two scoreless innings he threw late in the game and Placido Polanco led all hitters with his three hits.  It looks like the Tigers best chance of winning was in the bottom of the ninth.  Fenando Rodney had the worst WPA amongst the pitchers because of his horrible tenth and then Carlos Guillen was at the bottom of the hitting chart with his 0 for 5 game.

And if the chart is too hard to read, you can also check out the play log.  This is a really fun site and you can go back to the games in 2002 if you want too.

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