So I've kept thinking about Sterling and Waldman's inane rants about the Yankees inability to score runners from third with less than two outs, and I think I've figured out a way to measure the percentage of baserunners scored against the anticipated average.
Disclaimer: there are statistics here and some math, but nothing more complicated than algebra. I never took pre-calc or calculus, and I got Cs and Bs (mostly Cs) in high school. In college I took Music Theory instead of a math course. Long story short- if I can do this math, so can you. (I've cross posted this over at Beyond the Box Score to see if I can get any of their brains to double check my work).
Everybody strapped in?
[(OBP+SLG)] * x = anticipated % of baserunners scored
I made the chart in Excel, and I've loaded a screenshot to Photobucket, but there's no way to get it onscreen clearly, so you'll have to go here to see it.
I started off charting % of baserunners scored against team slugging percentage, and I found a nearly direct relationship. This makes perfect sense, right? It takes 3 singles to score a run, 2 doubles, or one homer- so the higher the SLG, the higher the % of runners driven in.
So then the question that matters is: how good is the team at getting on base?
By taking the average of %Scored for the last three seasons I solved for x, which is .503 in this sample.
We'd expect the Yankees to score 36.8% of their baserunners this season, compared to the 36.1% they've actually scored. So I'd say they're performing exactly as we should expect.
Sterling and Waldman are right in comparison to the last couple of season, when the Yanks scored 41% and 42.2%. Offense has been down across the entire league so far this season, and for the Yankees it's been an especially precipitous drop: .463 down to .423 on top of a OBP drop of .366 to .337.
The Yanks shouldn't expect to score much more until they improve their entire offense (duh, right?).