Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Royals Seasons By ERA+ & OPS+

This post is directly ripped off inspired by this cool piece on Giants blog Bay City Ball in which every Giants season was plotted by ERA+ and OPS+. You end up with four quadrants: in the upper left are teams that were below average hitting teams but above average pitching/defensive squads. In the lower right quadrant are teams with plus hitting but poor pitching/defense. The lower left quadrant is for teams that were deficient in both areas, and the upper right is the sweet spot of good hitting and pitching/defense. Playoff teams are highlighted with red bullets.
  • Only six Royals teams have had an OPS+ and ERA+ above average (100), and all six came in a seven year span between 1975 and 1981.
  • The biggest discrepancy between team OPS+ and ERA+ came in strike-shortened '94 (91 OPS+, 118 ERA+). The biggest discrepancy on a team with a better OPS+ than ERA+ was last year's team (100 OPS+, 85 ERA+).
  • Royals fans know the 1985 team's success was built on pitching; turns out, that combination of middling offense and great run prevention is a fairly common trait for World Series winners. On the other hand, it is almost unheard of to win the whole cheese with a big offense but no pitching/defense.
  • Those '85 Royals - 95 OPS+, 119 ERA+ - were similar to last year's champion Giants - 95 OPS+, 121 ERA+.


  1. I'm sure this isn't the type of question you normally get, but I found this blog looking to re-create a scatter plot with crosshairs similar to this one. I'd love to know how you created it. Thanks!

    1. Hope this helps: in Microsoft Excel, select the data you want to chart, then click the "insert" tab at the top of your screen. One of the choices for a chart should be "scatter." You can play with the settings in Excel from there, and I also modified the graph a bit in Photoshop.