Over the past few years, I’ve been calculating cluster luck in baseball. This is based on the idea that teams can score more runs when they cluster their hits together (or allow fewer runs when pitchers scatter hits).
However, teams can’t consistently cluster hits together. Cluster luck calculations show us which teams will not keep up their torrid early season pace.
Last week, Jonah Keri used my cluster luck numbers on FiveThirtyEight to show how this has happened San Francisco and closer Sergio Romero. Then he discussed how cluster luck continues to help Seattle but regression could hit soon.
Getting him the updated cluster luck numbers was simple, as I just use widely available season totals. However, creating the above graph was a lot of work, since it required box score numbers on a daily basis.
However, the work was worth it, as I’m cooking up a way to incorporate cluster luck into my MLB rankings. It should give us a better grasp on Oakland, a team that can’t possibly be more than 1.4 runs better than MLB average.
To read Jonah Keri’s article on cluster luck based on my numbers, click here.
Jim Bouldin says
Where are the actual numbers Ed?
Ed Feng says
Cluster luck numbers are in the article. http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-giants-clustered-their-luck/
This is wonderful information. How often can we expect you to update these numbers?
Ed Feng says
Thanks, Will. I have yet to decide when I’m going to update the cluster luck data. But Jonah does bug me about them every few weeks.
Sounds good, Ed. Looking forward to seeing another update.