Baseball Player Won-Loss Records
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Mark McGwire
2013 Hall of Fame Ballot Series: Mark McGwire

The first table below presents Mark McGwire's career as measured by Player won-lost records.

Mark McGwire
Basic Player Won-Lost Records
Value Decomposition
Season Team Age Games pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWin Pct. eWOPA eWORL
1986OAK22
18
1.81.50.5430.1
0.3
1.51.70.457-0.2-0.0
1987OAK23
151
17.113.50.5591.0
2.2
18.013.10.5801.72.9
1988OAK24
155
19.313.20.5932.6
3.8
16.514.10.5390.81.9
1989OAK25
143
16.012.70.5580.9
1.9
15.612.90.5470.61.6
1990OAK26
156
18.613.20.5852.1
3.2
17.113.60.5571.12.3
1991OAK27
154
13.613.00.511-0.1
1.0
14.212.50.5330.51.6
1992OAK28
139
18.012.50.5902.2
3.4
17.712.00.5962.33.4
1993OAK29
27
3.52.60.5750.3
0.6
3.32.00.6300.60.8
1994OAK30
47
4.83.50.5740.4
0.8
4.13.20.5590.30.6
1995OAK31
104
13.88.00.6342.4
3.4
12.87.50.6302.23.0
1996OAK32
130
16.610.00.6232.8
3.9
15.59.20.6262.73.7
33
156
18.215.30.5430.4
1.7
19.013.40.5861.83.1
1998SLN34
155
21.412.80.6263.2
4.6
23.313.50.6333.75.2
1999SLN35
153
17.613.10.5731.4
2.6
20.813.80.6012.63.9
2000SLN36
89
10.45.70.6451.8
2.5
9.65.60.6311.52.1
2001SLN37
97
9.48.00.5380.1
0.9
8.37.40.529-0.00.7
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER (reg. season)
1,874
220.1158.90.58121.9
36.7
217.3155.70.58322.236.8
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
PostSeason (career)
42
2.74.10.402 -0.63.03.70.455 -0.2
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
COMBINED
1,916
222.8162.90.581
36.2
220.4159.30.583 36.6


In my introductory article to this series, I argued that I thought it was very important to be sure to adjust raw statistics for the context in which they were generated. In fact, I specifically used the example of Mark McGwire's 583 career home runs.

So, what is the value of Mark McGwire's 583 career home runs and how does that value compare to home run totals by players who played in environments that were less conducive to hitting home runs?

To answer this, I decided to calculate the net win value of Mark McGwire's home runs and then estimate how many home runs would have produced a similar total win value if Mark McGwire's career had taken place exactly twenty years earlier (i.e., from 1966 - 1981).

For example, in 1987, I estimate the net win value of a home run in the American League to have been 0.1333 wins. In addition to a league-wide net win level, I also calculate ballpark and team-specific home run factors. The Team Home Run Factor for the 1987 Oakland A's was 95.8.

The net win value of a home run for the 1987 A's is then equal to the net win value for the league as a whole, 0.1333, divided by the Oakland team home run factor (divided by 100), 0.958, or 0.1392. Mark McGwire hit 49 home runs in 1987, for a total (context-neutral) net win value of approximately 6.8212 net wins.

The net win value for a home run in the 1967 AL (i.e., 20 years earlier) was 0.1646 wins (assuming neutral ballparks). McGwire's 6.8212 1987 net home run win value is therefore equivalent to 41 home runs in the 1967 AL. The table below presents results of doing calculations of this kind for Mark McGwire's entire career.



Net Win Value of Mark McGwire's Home Runs
Translated into a Context of Twenty Years Earlier
Season Team Home Runs Net Wins
(per HR)
Season Net Wins
(per HR)
Equivalent
Home Runs
1986OAK30.145819660.16013
1987OAK490.139219670.164641
1988OAK320.150219680.171028
1989OAK330.143819690.155131
1990OAK390.147319700.153437
1991OAK220.144819710.157020
1992OAK420.137419720.171134
1993OAK90.133619730.14718
1994OAK90.130619740.15208
1995OAK390.128119750.148434
1996OAK520.127119760.156342
1997OAK340.127619770.145630
1997SLN240.141719770.146523
1998SLN700.133019780.154260
1999SLN650.129919790.151056
2000SLN320.128419800.159726
2001SLN290.137119810.159925
--------------
Career Totals583506


Just to be clear: I'm not saying that Mark McGwire would have hit 506 home runs had he played twenty years earlier. I'm simply saying that Mark McGwire's 583 career home runs were worth (approximately) the same number of wins as 506 home runs would have been worth twenty years earlier.

2013 Hall of Fame Ballot Series


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