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Pythagorean Expectation as a Prediction in Baseball

Steven Creech, Weiqi Wang, William Warner, mohsen mohaghegh, Joseph Schulze


The Pythagorean Expectation was a simple formula devised by Bill James to give an expected win percentage for a baseball team in terms of the number of runs scored and runs allowed. It tends to be used in practice in the middle of a season to see if a team is performing above or below expected. However, the goal is to build a predictive model for a given baseball game throughout a season. The idea is to look at the Pythagorean Expectation for both teams before their game as well with other statistics, then the hope is of all "probable games" we would have our model predict the winner of the game from the "probable games" as the game which each of the two teams Pythagorean Expectation would approach their true win percentage after the game.

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