MVP Baseball 2004 FAQ/Guide

System: PS2/XBOX/GC/CPU
Author: Sean Stephans, (USERID: KansasStateGrad)
Copyright 2004 Stephans Please do not duplicate or post without permission.

Version: 1.00

Title: A Concise Gudie to Using Historical Data to Adjusting Sliders
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Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Homerun Data/Analysis
3. Runs Scored Data/Analysis
4. Batting Average Data/Analysis
5. Using Trend Data to Adjust Sliders
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1. Introduction

     When looking at the sliders that have been prepared by gamefaqs users like 
Pared or Cowboy, I came to the realization that we need to be analyzing slider
construction and development based on historical data.  To that end, I have
created this guide.  The most common questions are 1) how may homeruns are 
appropriate for a team/game and for the season, 2) how many runs scored are
appropriate, and 3) how high should the batting average be for the team?  I
will answer those questions here so that when you create sliders and use 
sliders created by others, you will have a baseline on how to interpret that
information.  I use data from the years 1998-2003 for this analysis.  The 
reason I use only these years is that 1998 marked 2 significant changes in the
modern era of baseball: 1) it was the latest period of expansion with 1 team
joining each major league and 2) it was considered the beginning of the current
offensive explosion that always follows any expansion.  According to previous
trends and previous expansions, the offensive explosion tails off usually 
within a decade as talent levels even out.
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2. Homerun Data/Analysis

     The average homerun total per team per year for the National League from
1998-2003 is 173 homeruns/team.  By year, the breakdown is as follows:

1998: 160 homeruns/team
1999: 180 homeruns/team (+20)
2000: 187 homeruns/team (+7)
2001: 184 homeruns/team (-3)
2002: 162 homeruns/team (-18)
2003: 169 homeruns/team (+7)

The +/- number in parentheses represents the change from the previous year.  
If this data is plotted, it will peak in 2000, with a noticeable decline until
2002.  If the average of 173 homeruns/team is averaged out over the 13 position
players that most NL teams carry, the number of HR's/player on average was
13.3.  This is important to note because not every player will hit 13 HR's.  In
fact, several will not hit 10, thereby allowing the team to have 1 or 2 players
who hit a majority of the HR's.  Another trend of note is that each team 
averages just over 1 HR/game, according to the 6-year average.  So when 
interpreting sliders, keep in mind that you should average just over 1 HR per
game as an NL team.

     The average homerun total per team per year for the American League from
1998-2003 is 181 homeruns/team.  By year, the breakdown is as follows:

1998: 178 homeruns/team
1999: 188 homeruns/team (+10)
2000: 192 homeruns/team (+4)
2001: 179 homeruns/team (-13)
2002: 176 homeruns/team (-3)
2003: 178 homeruns/team (+2)

The +/- number in parentheses represents the change from the previous year.  
If this data is plotted, it will peak in 2000, with a noticeable decline until
2002.  If the average of 181 homeruns/team is averaged out over the 14 position
players that most AL teams carry, the number of HR's/player on average was
12.9.  This is important to note because not every player will hit 12 HR's.  In
fact, several will not hit 10, thereby allowing the team to have 1 or 2 players
who hit a majority of the HR's.  Another trend of note is that each team 
averages just over 1 HR/game, according to the 6-year average.  So when 
interpreting sliders, keep in mind that you should average just over 1 HR per
game as an AL team.

     Another caveat to consider is that during this 6-year period, the team
that hit the fewest HR's in their respective major league for that season came
in last in their division.  So it would seem that while HR's don't guarantee
success, a lack of HR's will guarantee failure.  Also, it would seem that the
Designated Hitter in the AL accounts for 8 HR's/year.
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3. Runs Scored Data/Analysis

     The average runs scored total per team per year for the National League 
from 1998-2003 is 765 runs scored/team.  By year, the breakdown is as follows:

1998: 745 runs/team
1999: 810 runs/team (+65)
2000: 811 runs/team (+1)
2001: 761 runs/team (-50)
2002: 719 runs/team (-42)
2003: 746 runs/team (+27)

The +/- number in parentheses represents the change from the previous year.  
If this data is plotted, it will peak in 2000, with a noticeable decline until
2002.  If the average of 765 runs/team is averaged out over the 13 position
players that most NL teams carry, the number of runs/player on average was
58.8.  This is important to note because not every player will score 58 runs.  
In fact, several will not score 40, thereby allowing the team to have 1 or 2 
players who score a majority of the runs.  Another trend of note is that each 
team averages just over 4.7 runs/game, according to the 6-year average.  So 
when interpreting sliders, keep in mind that you should average just over 4.7 
runs per game as an NL team.

     The average runs scored total per team per year for the American League 
from 1998-2003 is 809 runs scored/team.  By year, the breakdown is as follows:

1998: 811 runs/team
1999: 837 runs/team (+26)
2000: 856 runs/team (+19)
2001: 786 runs/team (-70)
2002: 778 runs/team (-8)
2003: 788 runs/team (+10)

The +/- number in parentheses represents the change from the previous year.  
If this data is plotted, it will peak in 2000, with a noticeable decline until
2002.  If the average of 809 runs/team is averaged out over the 14 position
players that most AL teams carry, the number of runs/player on average was
57.7.  This is important to note because not every player will score 57 runs.  
In fact, several will not score 40, thereby allowing the team to have 1 or 2 
players who score a majority of the runs.  Another trend of note is that each 
team averages just over 4.99 runs/game, according to the 6-year average.  So 
when interpreting sliders, keep in mind that you should average just over 4.99 
runs per game as an AL team.

     Another caveat to consider is that it would seem that the Designated 
Hitter in the AL accounts for 44 runs/year.
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4. Batting Average Data/Analysis

     The batting average total per team per year for the National League from 
1998-2003 is a .263.  By year, the breakdown is as follows:

1998: .262/team
1999: .268/team (+6)
2000: .266/team (-2)
2001: .261/team (-5)
2002: .259/team (-2)
2003: .262/team (+3)

The +/- number in parentheses represents the change from the previous year.  
If this data is plotted, it will peak in 1999, with a noticeable decline until
2002.  The batting average of .263/team is important to note because not every 
player will bat .263.  In fact, several will not bat .240, thereby allowing the
team to have 1 or 2 players who bat for a high average.  So when interpreting 
sliders, keep in mind that you should average around .263 over the course of a 
season as an NL team.

     The batting average total per team per year for the American League from 
1998-2003 is a .270.  By year, the breakdown is as follows:

1998: .271/team
1999: .275/team (+4)
2000: .276/team (+1)
2001: .267/team (-9)
2002: .264/team (-3)
2003: .267/team (+3)

The +/- number in parentheses represents the change from the previous year.  
If this data is plotted, it will peak in 2000, with a noticeable decline until
2002.  The batting average of .271/team is important to note because not every 
player will bat .271.  In fact, several will not bat .240, thereby allowing the
team to have 1 or 2 players who bat for a high average.  So when interpreting 
sliders, keep in mind that you should average around .271 over the course of a 
season as an AL team.

     Another caveat to consider is that during this 6-year period, only four
times did a team lead either major league in batting average and win their
division.  So it would seem that a high team batting average doesn't guarantee
success.  Also, it would seem that the Designated Hitter in the AL accounts for
7 points in a team's batting average/year.
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5. Using Trend Data to Adjust Sliders

     It is important to understand that trend data is just that--it analyzes
trends and WILL NOT prove true in every circumstance.  When adjusting sliders,
these three areas of trend data seemed most important in all the conversations
I observed.  That being the case, they seem to be the general indicators of how
accurate your sliders might be.  If you are not able to simulate what you think
is a good feel for the game AND you are playing on the appropriate difficulty
level, you should look at how your season compares to these trends.  Also, the
use of a DH in the AL will skew the numbers slightly higher for AL teams, as
illustrated here.  The reason that stolen base data was not used in this 
analysis is that SB's are a preference statistic.  That means it is based on 
the preference of the team, the player and the manager.  In this game, you
should certainly try to make it as challenging as possible while still 
maintaining realism.  This is also the reason that strikeouts were not 
analyzed.  Keep in mind that in this game, K's are the result of your patience.
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Copyright 2004 Sean Stephans

Special Thanks to Pared and Cowboy for creating the sliders that gave us all a
baseline.  Also, this would not have been possible without the 2004 Baseball
Encyclopedia.