2021 Lions Off-season

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briztoon

Wannabe Draft Nuffie
Nov 28, 2015
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so I do not understand AFLW on the same time..
Why not have both streams running?
Not hard to setup an account for a one off.. Our primary school does this even :(
Because the AFLW would lose half their free to air tv audience for the Lions match. Can’t risk those ratings numbers on 7 Mate.
 

Dylan12

Brownlow Medallist
Sep 7, 2007
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Because the AFLW would lose half their free to air tv audience for the Lions match. Can’t risk those ratings numbers on 7 Mate.
Why does the AFLW need protecting?

Surely if it was any good, it wouldn't matter what it was competing against, so the fact anyone would make such a comment speaks volumes.
 

Dylan12

Brownlow Medallist
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Moneyball theory reveals which AFL teams will rise and fall in 2021, using Pythagorean wins
For a fifth consecutive year, it’s time to look back in order to look forward. This is our annual Pythagorean wins prediction piece, which examines the teams who over- and underperformed in the previous season to predict who’ll bounce back or fall flat in the coming year.

It’s a stat with a strong track record - it tipped Brisbane and Geelong’s rises in 2019 and Hawthorn’s fall after 2016, among others - but just like the world, COVID has complicated matters.

HOW IT WORKS

Pythagorean expectation is a formula developed by baseball stats guru Bill James. It estimates how many games a team ‘should have’ won based on its scoring. In baseball, this means runs scored and allowed. This works analytically because looking at a team’s attacking and defensive performances overall, rather than purely whether they won or lost matches, gives us a larger sample size and more information.

Imagine two AFL clubs that each played four games against average opposition. The first team won three games by a point and lost the fourth by 100 points; the second game lost two games by a point and won the other two by 100 points. Which team is better? The first team won one extra game but its percentage, and arguably its performance, is and was worse than the second team. We’d argue the second team was more impressive; Pythagorean expectation uses the same principle.

Using research by footy statistician Tony Corke, we can adapt the formula used to analyse baseball teams to study the AFL. To put it simply, we’re looking at which teams over and underperformed in the win/loss column based on their season-long performance.

HOW WELL IT WORKS

Year after year, Pythagorean expectation continues to predict risers and fallers successfully; in particular at the extremes. Since 2010, there have been 17 teams that won or lost 2.5 more games than they ‘should have’. In the next season, 14 of those teams either rose or fell as correctly predicted by the stat. We saw exactly what can happen in 2019 when Brisbane and Geelong both made leaps up the ladder, as successfully predicted by Pythagorean wins.

In 2018, the Lions won five games but had the percentage of an 8.5-win team; the Cats won 13 games but had the percentage of a 16.3 win team. Both teams underperformed. Geelong ended up actually winning 16 games in 2019, while Brisbane joined them at that mark. The pair finished first and second, and while neither team made the Grand Final, they inarguably had successful seasons.

In terms of predicting collapses, the best recent example also comes from Geelong. In 2013, the Cats won 17 games despite a percentage worthy of 13.7 wins. In short, they over-performed. The next season, Chris Scott’s side won just 11 games (with a draw) and missed the finals.

A SHORT REVIEW OF LAST YEAR

Like the rest of us, Pythagoras didn’t have a great 2020. The stat’s strongest tip last year was for Sydney to rise. They didn’t, going from eight wins in 2019 down to five wins in 2020 (which is roughly like winning 6.5 games in a full-length season). We’d put a caveat on this saying the Swans were incredibly unlucky with injuries, being down to just three healthy talls on their entire list at one stage.

The stat also predicted Richmond to fall after winning 16 games in 2019 off a percentage of a 13.6-win team. They won 12.5 games, which is roughly like winning 16 games in a full season. So no decline there, though we’d point out the Tigers certainly weren’t as dominant in the home and away season as most expected.

SO WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN IN 2021?

For the stat to be truly be predictive, a team needs to have under or over-performed by a certain amount. In a normal year we use 1.5 games as the marker. To analyse 2020, we’re going to use 1.1 games, because that cuts out roughly the proportion of the season that we lost.

TEAMS THAT OVERPERFORMED IN 2020 (Should fall in 2021)

Brisbane Lions

Points for/against in 2020: 1184/948 (percentage of 124.9)

Actual wins: 14

Pythagorean wins: 11.9


Our strongest prediction for 2021, using Pythagoras, is that Brisbane will decline.

That makes sense even before you look at the underlying stats. The Lions were fortunate to have the league migrate to their home state, handing them nine games at the Gabba and another four down the road at Metricon Stadium. They played just three games outside of Queensland, going 1-2.

Then you need to look at close games. Everyone knows one bad bounce can cost a team a game - or even a premiership - and so any game decided by a kick had some luck involved.

Brisbane was the only team to go unbeaten in games decided by a goal or less, with a one-point win over North Melbourne, a two-point win over St Kilda and a four-point win over Melbourne. In fact they went unbeaten in all games decided by two goals or less, also beating Collingwood by eight points and Fremantle by 12.

Throw in the fact Brisbane has been one of the AFL’s luckiest teams with injuries for two consecutive seasons, and all signs are pointing to a slide. They’re still a very strong team, and adding Joe Daniher could be a gamechanger, but history suggests some things won’t go their way in 2021 - and that could be the difference between another top-two finish and being stuck in an elimination final.
Make of that what you will.
 

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Dlions

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Aug 12, 2016
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Why does the AFLW need protecting?

Surely if it was any good, it wouldn't matter what it was competing against, so the fact anyone would make such a comment speaks volumes.
I think that briztoon is spot on.
And the reason why the AFLW is being played at this time of the year is so it can be run as a stand alone competition.
Completely understand the AFL’s position on this one.
It would be different if it was an actual pre-season game but this weekends game has been organised between 2 clubs to get some extra match practise in, it’s not an AFL organised event.
If the AFL don’t want it streamed it means that Gc can’t stream it either.
 

pulpdriver

Brownlow Medallist
Aug 17, 2009
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pulpdriver

Brownlow Medallist
Aug 17, 2009
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By expected score we would have won the same number of games, but our percentage would have been 5-7 points better.
Yeah, but I'm more curious about the formula. When I see based on team scoring I'm assuming it's only looking at overall final score for matches. There's no breakdown so who knows?

We finished second on the ladder in the H&A for the second year in a row with a very young team and based on this formula we're expected to drop this year. Might happen but I'm just curious about the full formula and how it's calculated.
 

X AE A12

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Jun 13, 2020
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Last edited:

martinson

Premiership Player
Apr 4, 2015
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Well I checked and last year they predicted Richmond would fall and us as well, but look how that turned out.

I was telling everyone we were going to do better in 2019 and there's no bloody statue of me on the moon ;)
One thing where I think Pythagorus has got it completely wrong is in saying you were lucky if you win a lot of close games.

Anyone who's watched footy for as long as I have , or any sport at all really , knows that good teams win close games consistently. Because when the pressure's on and everyone's flat out the cream generally rises to the top.

Just like a top class racehorse gets its head out in the last few strides , or Federer and Djokovich win critical points , good footy teams show discipline and class under pressure.
 

Dlions

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Aug 12, 2016
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One thing where I think Pythagorus has got it completely wrong is in saying you were lucky if you win a lot of close games.

Anyone who's watched footy for as long as I have , or any sport at all really , knows that good teams win close games consistently. Because when the pressure's on and everyone's flat out the cream generally rises to the top.

Just like a top class racehorse gets its head out in the last few strides , or Federer and Djokovich win critical points , good footy teams show discipline and class under pressure.
Also we were in front in all of those games, we weren’t coming from behind to snatch victory, which could be considered lucky.
We were just winding down the clock.
 

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X AE A12

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Jun 13, 2020
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One thing where I think Pythagorus has got it completely wrong is in saying you were lucky if you win a lot of close games.

Anyone who's watched footy for as long as I have , or any sport at all really , knows that good teams win close games consistently. Because when the pressure's on and everyone's flat out the cream generally rises to the top.

Just like a top class racehorse gets its head out in the last few strides , or Federer and Djokovich win critical points , good footy teams show discipline and class under pressure.
100%, if we lose 1 of those games by a close margin we go to 13/11.9 which is bang on where they say the predictor becomes ineffective using their modified 1.1. Just 1 close result. Hardly grounds for the inferences they make
 

BangyBangy

BangyBangyMightyLoins
Oct 16, 2013
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I hear a lot of talk about how many home games we had last year & the games that we played at Metricon were home games too because it's just down the road.

Don't hear much about the other side, how when every other team plays at the Gabba weekly or bi-weekly how it becomes more familiar & less of an away ground for them.
 

T Rick

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Sep 20, 2007
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Now that Clugga has re-signed and Fages is locked away for another couple of years as well - who is the next most important Lion to have a contract extension? Rich, Linc, Zorks, JLyons, Fullarton, Bailey, Starcevich?
 

Clarkythelion

Club Legend
May 20, 2015
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Yeah, but I'm more curious about the formula. When I see based on team scoring I'm assuming it's only looking at overall final score for matches. There's no breakdown so who knows?

We finished second on the ladder in the H&A for the second year in a row with a very young team and based on this formula we're expected to drop this year. Might happen but I'm just curious about the full formula and how it's calculated.
Agree, what is a little suspicious is the way they describe us as having "luck" which means more to me that this is just someone's opinion. They say we had 'luck' with no injuries which means our medical team and warmer climate have no effect. I think they do. The say we had luck with 9 home games at the Gabba, I'm pretty sure in a full season my season ticket has 11 home games. Yes we didn't play away as much as in normal season but that assumes all the other teams in the HUBs were not advantaged by lack of distraction, more time with players to treat injuries, ability to rest more and even train more.

If it was as they say, just a mathematical formula then the concept of us having luck, a young team improving, the ability to improve accuracy and off season recruiting should be mentioned. Then they do have to give hope to some other teams that is what Jurno's do this time of year.
 

X AE A12

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Now that Clugga has re-signed and Fages is locked away for another couple of years as well - who is the next most important Lion to have a contract extension? Rich, Linc, Zorks, JLyons, Fullarton, Bailey, Starcevich?
Bailey to me would have the most interest from other teams that we would want to lock away. Quite a few important names to extend on the 2021 list though
 

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