Does the White Sox April Performance Change Anything?

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CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - APRIL 26: Tim Anderson #7 of the Chicago White Sox celebrates after hitting a walk-off home run in the 9th inning against the Detroit Tigers at Guaranteed Rate Field on April 26, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. The White Sox defeated the Tigers 12-11. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - APRIL 26: Tim Anderson #7 of the Chicago White Sox celebrates after hitting a walk-off home run in the 9th inning against the Detroit Tigers at Guaranteed Rate Field on April 26, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. The White Sox defeated the Tigers 12-11. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – APRIL 28: Reynaldo Lopez #40 of the Chicago White Sox pitches in the first inning during the game against the Detroit Tigers at Guaranteed Rate Field on April 28, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /

Now that we have the basics established, it’s time for a ton of data. Some of the most interesting correlations include April winning percentage compared with end-of-year winning percentage, which shows a correlation coefficient of .539. Surprisingly, April run differential actually implies a stronger correlation in terms of end-of-season winning percentage. It isn’t a huge difference, but the correlation of .584 is a bit stronger.

Typically run differential at the start of the season can have a small sample size problem. In this instance, however, a small sample size is not an issue because this data includes 570 different Aprils and over 14,000 games. This would imply that outscoring your opponents is a better indicator of end-of-season success than actual wins and losses. A very surprising discovery indeed.

There is a much weaker link when analyzing winning percentage through the end of April to winning percentage after April, coming out to only .376, which shows there is a correlation between April performance and after-April performance, but it is not very strong. This is much weaker than the .432 correlation of April run differential and after April winning percentage. Essentially, end-of-April win percentage means practically nothing for performance after the month of April and run differential in April is a much better indicator of performance after the month of April.

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