Now, I really had no idea what this study would find. What I was interested in was whether one pitcher's team would win the pennant more often than the other pitcher's team. I would probably have guessed, had I made a guess, that there would be no real difference, that the Pappas/Sutton pitcher would yield as many pennants in a career as the Drysdale/Carlton type.
The result was almost shocking. In 3,000 simulated seasons, the .500 team with no pitcher added won its pennant 88 times, or 2.9 percent of the seasons.
The team with the Pappas/Sutton type pitcher increased this to 159 pennants, or 5.3 percent of the seasons.
The team with the Drysdale/Carlton-type pitcher increased it to 218 pennants, or 7.3 percent of the seasons. Sixteen of these pennants were accounted for in "out years" after the pitcher was retired; while he was active, his team won the pennant 202 times in 2,400 seasons, or 8.4 percent...
The incremental benefit of the Pappas/Sutton-type pitcher was 71 pennants in 3,000 years. Even though his overall record was the same, and the overall record of his team was the same, the incremental benefit of the Drysdale/Carlton-type pitcher was 130 pennants in 2,400 years.
I decided to repeat the study, with two changes. First, because the number of pennants involved is small enough to be subject to random fluctuations, I decided to extend the study to 10,000 simulated seasons, rather than stopping at 3,000. Second, I put in a randomizer so that a team would not automatically win the pennant if they won 93 games, but rather might win it with anywhere from 90 to 96 wins. Less than 90 wins, no pennant; above 96, automatic pennant. This increased the number of "pennant" seasons.
The data from the second study is substantially the same as the first study -- but even more dramatic.
The incremental value of the Pappas/Sutton-type pitcher was 231 pennants in 10,000 years. The incremental value of the Drysdale/Carlton-type pitcher was 420 pennants in 8,000 years -- a huge difference.
Copyright © 1994, 1995 by Bill James. Excerpted with permission.