FanPost

Cards vs. Cubs Strength of Schedule for Remainder of Season

I wanted to look at the strength of schedule of the two teams most likely to win the NL Central this year. BPro has the Cards chances of winning the central at 57% and the Cubs at 37%. My methodology was to look at the opponents' pythag record so far and then weight the remaining games against those opponents according to their pythag record. I attempted to, but ultimately did not, include any difference because of trades, but most of the teams' transactions will only provide a marginal improvement (.5-1 WAR) for the rest of the season. There were just too many variables like injuries and minor league call-ups that would have tainted any sort of improvement from trades. Plus, most teams are thoroughly intact before the trade deadline. Thus, current pythag record does a good job of assessing strength of schedule.

My formula was to take the pythag record of teams, multiply that by 2 to get a pythag coefficient, then use the coefficient to weight the remaining games the teams have. That gave a "weighted games remaining" where games are discounted or favored more strongly based on the strength of their opponents. Example: A .500 pythag team like the White Sox will have a 1:1 game weighting. A good team like the Dodgers will have a game value >1. A team like the Padres will have a game value <1.

Here's the table:

Cards Opponents

Games

Pythag Record Dif. as of 8/1

Pythag %

Weighted Remaining Games

NYM

2

-4

0.48

1.92

PIT

6

-6

0.47

5.64

LAD

3

21

0.6

3.6

SD

7

-26

0.38

5.32

HOU

5

-11

0.45

4.5

WSH

3

-21

0.4

2.4

MIL

6

-3

0.49

5.88

ATL

3

7

0.53

3.18

FLA

3

-3

0.49

2.94

CHC

3

7

0.53

3.18

COL

3

11

0.55

3.3

CIN

6

-12

0.42

5.04

Total

Weighted total

50

46.9

Weighted Total/Actual=.938

Cubs Opponents

FLA

2

-3

0.49

1.96

CIN

6

-12

0.42

5.04

COL

3

11

0.55

3.3

PHI

3

15

0.57

3.42

PIT

9

-6

0.47

8.46

SD

3

-26

0.38

2.28

LAD

4

21

0.6

4.8

WSH

3

-21

0.4

2.4

NYM

6

-4

0.48

5.76

HOU

3

-11

0.45

2.7

CHS

1

0

0.5

1

MIL

7

-3

0.49

6.72

STL

3

6

0.53

3.18

SFG

3

7

0.53

3.18

ARI

3

-7

0.47

2.82

Total

Weighted Total

59

57.02

Weighted Total/Actual=0.966

There is a lot of overlap in the schedules, but the weighted total/actual games are the following: Cubs 0.966; Cards 0.938. This means that according to pythag record of opponents, the Cardinals have an easier schedule from here on out than the Cubs. If one considers that the Cards have significantly fewer games, and can maximize their top 4 starting pitchers and be better rested, the difference might be even greater. Things look good for the Cardinals. I welcome for your feedback/suggestions.