***Now featuring an attempted answer by me***
What would your response be if I told you that in 2009, there was only one team that was more efficient in MLB than the Astros? Since that was rhetorical, I'll answer what I assume: WTF?!
But it's true. Kind of. More like, sort of—actually.
According to the Bill James Handbook—which the kind folks at Acta Sports sent my way—I've had the opportunity to mull over the surplus of entertaining stats, charts, tables, and graphs that pack that pages of the Handbook (they'll likely be the fodder for about three months worth of posting...just warning you). While I've come across a couple of truly interesting things, the team efficiency scores have had me scratching my head for a few days now.
James' Team Efficiency measure is a combination of a couple different scaled scores based on hitting efficiency (basically our RC's created compared to RS), pitching efficiency (basically our PRC compared to RA), and our Pythag-differential. To quote James himself on this measure:
Teams bounce up and down these rankings, and there is a lot of pure luck which is included under the heading "efficiency" (10).
So basically it's this massive aggregator of macro-data that requires sifting through. This works well for us because we're just the people do that for the Astros.
Here's how the separate efficiency scores that comprise team efficiency played out (100 is average):
- Hitting Efficiency: 96
- Pitching Efficiency: 101
- Runs Efficiency: 111
- Overall Efficiency: 106