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Quick Hits: Mets Team WPA

The Mets' problems hitting with runners in scoring position this season have been well-documented. If you've been reading this site for a while then you're probably familiar with WPA, or Win Probability Added (aka Win Expectancy). I try to post WPA graphs of each Mets game, at least as often as I can. I think they provide a terrific visual representation of the game, and you really get a sense for what the most critical plays were in the course of a game. Sometimes those plays may not seem so important when you're watching the game, but a lot of it is fairly intuitive.

Thanks to, we have readily available WPA graphs for every game, as well as cumulative WPA totals for every player on every team. Many people will argue that clutch hitters, in general, are a myth, but it is inarguable that clutch hitting exists; that is, hitting during situations deemed to be "clutch".

There is some debate over what qualifies as a "clutch" situation. Most agree that the game should be close; say, within two runs. In some variants, the situation must fall late in a game, and in most instances there should be runners on base, or in scoring position.

One of the strengths of WPA is that it really takes a lot of the debate out of the definition of "clutch". WPA tells us, based on significant historical data, which moments of a ballgame are the most critical; i.e., the highest leverage situations. Thanks to Fangraphs, we can clearly see who is excelling in these situations, as well as who is coming up short.

Offensively, here are the Mets' top and bottom three:


PLAYER       2006 WPA
Delgado       195.4%
Lo Duca        64.1%
Beltran        50.6%


PLAYER       2006 WPA
Reyes         -84.5%
Matsui        -77.8%
Floyd         -62.2%
Again, a lot of this is intuitive, which is great, because it reaffirms a lot of the things we have seen so far. It feels like Reyes and Matsui choke whenever they come up with ducks on the pond, and the data supports that.

I may consider adding a sidebar box for this if anyone is interested.

Also, I have a new article at MetsGeek about the team's struggles since their sizzling start at the beginning of April. I recommend reading everything over at MetsGeek, but for those of you who are just interested in my articles, I write almost exclusively on Mondays, so look for new stuff from me at the beginning of every week.