Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Long and the Short of Winning and Losing

Here's a baseball replication of these NYT sector snapshots that's more faithful than the earlier one I made:

(click image to enlarge)

As with the real sector graphs, the above attempts to visually communicate each team's recent results versus their longer-term performance while also throwing in a wealth-related metric (data through Sunday's games):

  • The team's performance over its last 10 games is plotted along the X axis.
  • The team's performance over the season is plotted along the Y axis.
  • The size of the circle corresponds to the team's total payroll.
  • The color of the circle designates the league or division in which the team plays.

The teams thusly fall into four categories:

  • Leading - These teams are doing well both over the season as well as over the last 10 games. The Angels and Cubs the two strongest such teams. And with their recent surge, the Dodgers fall mildly into this quadrant as well.
  • Improving - This includes teams that have struggled over the season but just recently are showing some life. Kansas City's recent 8-2 surge puts them here.
  • Slipping - These teams that have seen their overall strong season start to slip. Milwaukee, anyone?
  • Lagging - Hello Seattle. When they were 57-87, you thought they'd reached the pinnacle of sucking. But they proved you wrong by proceeding to lose their next twelve (and counting).