A different way of looking at the offseason - Impact on Playoff Hopes

So I thought it would be interesting to do something a little different and review the moves that have taken place this offseason.  I'm not going to do a detailed post with in depth analysis but I want to highlight how the moves this front office has made this offseason have improved the M's chances at making the playoffs.  I'm not worrying about salary or the future.  I'm only thinking about how it affects our production this year.  To do this, I've chosen to use an equation Jeff highlighted a little while back that is from Athletic Nation.

To be clear with my methods, I simply used the equation at Athletic Nation to use my projected win totals to compute our chances at making it to the playoffs.  I loosely used Matthew's projected win and WAR totals.  To understand how the moves affected the team, we are interested in wins above bench (or how much better they were than the player they replaced) and not WAR so I had to fudge stuff a little.  There are also a little fudging numbers (personal opinion) here or there so there is always some questions.  If you are interested in the exact numbers I used, I supplied a table at the end of the post.


This chart shows the chance of the Mariners making the playoffs after each successive move.  It is made in chronological order (I did it by day so the Bradley/Silva and Langerhans moves are combined since they occurred on the same day).  You can see that the Lee move basically propelled our team in one day into the playoff picture and then soon after we were in contention.  Since then we have seen our odds slowly increase to about the 35% mark.


I also made another plot with the same data looking at the change in our playoff chances.  This plot shows better that the Mariners playoff chances were basically made in two days at the start of the offseason.

I thought this was a little different way of looking at the success of the offseason and which moves were important.  It doesn't really say much specifically about the offseason but I thought it was an interesting way to make a timeline.  Also, don't put too much faith in the absolute numbers because of a ton of factors.  I think its a little interesting to think about it this way.  It shows the Figgins move didn't really improve our chance of making the playoffs since at that time the team was not projected to be in contention.  I'll end this with one final plot showing how a win added now is worth much more for this team than it was at the end of the season since this team's expected win total is approaching that magic value of around 90 wins that teams shoot for to get in the playoffs.

With that I'll leave with a final graph showing the increase in playoff odds divided by wins added for each move this offseason.



Date Wins Added Wins Playoff % Change in %
Start 12/1/2009
77.5 0.7 0.0
Figgins 12/8/2009 2.5 80 1.8 1.1
Lee 12/16/2009 5 85 11.9 10.1
Bradley/Langerhans 12/18/2009 2 87 23.1 11.2
League/Morrow 12/23/2009 -0.5 86.5 19.8 -3.4
Bard 12/28/2009 0 86.5 19.8 0.0
Kotchman/Hall 1/7/2010 0.5 87 23.1 3.4
Byrnes 1/29/2010 0.25 87.25 25.0 1.8
Garko 2/1/2010 0.5 87.75 28.9 3.9
Bedard 2/6/2010 0.75 88.5 35.4


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