Who to root for in the Nationals’ presidents race? Fangraphs breaks it down

For everybody who ever claimed “the Nationals always lose when Teddy wins,” the baseball stat geeks over at FanGraphs have attempted to create the definitive analysis of who to root for in the Nats’ presidents race.

Nationals Racing President George Washington

If you’re Bryce Harper or Jordan Zimmerman, you should root for George Washington, according to FanGraphs

Using data compiled here at the Let Teddy Win blog, sports reporter Zachary Abate has analyzed our data beginning in 2013 — the first year after the Nats allowed Teddy Roosevelt to win, as well as the first year president William Howard Taft joined the mix.

During that time, Abraham Lincoln has won the most races, and the Nationals have won 61% of home games. After FanGraphs added run differential and player stats to the mix, Abate concludes that George Washington is the president to root for.

His reasons: The Nats win the most games and have the biggest run differential when George wins. Even more impressive: Bryce Harper also has the highest batting average and Jordan Zimmermann has the lowest ERA when George wins.

Which president is the worst for Harper? “Honest Abe” himself, Abraham Lincoln.

Bryce Harper Presidents Race stats
As for cause and effect, it’s not quite as clear. Perhaps George is more inspired by what’s happening on the field? To know for sure, FanGraphs would have to break down production before and after the 4th inning race.

But that’s the beauty of baseball. Advance presidents race stats are apparently just in their infancy.

And Teddy? Yes, it’s true. The Nats’ winning percentage is lowest when the Rough Rider wins the race, despite a positive run differential per game that’s second only to George. In other words, it seems Teddy has the worst luck.

Read the full analysis here.

From around the web: Jeers, tributes, proposals for Teddy

Racing president Teddy Roosevelt’s Memorial Day red herring apparently generated enough interest to inspire even more national outrage over Wednesday’s disqualification.

Nationals racing president Teddy Roosevelt is disqualified by mascot Screech for riding a SegwayFollowing reports from prominent sites including Sports Illustrated, Yahoo! Sports, CBS Sports, and NBC Washington, a number of prominent and not-so-prominent bloggers weighed in Thursday with jeers, tributes, and at least one proposal for Teddy Roosevelt.

Dayn Perry of FanGraphs.com offered a warning
to Nationals mascot Screech
, reminding the presidents race judge what the great Teddy Roosevelt does to “lower-evolved varmints who
get between him and what’s his.”

DC public relations and marketing professional Mike Holden yesterday offered a novel proposal
for the Nationals, suggesting in his blog that the team hold out a Teddy victory in exchange for season ticket sales. Of all the theories and suggestions I’ve heard for letting Teddy win, this one may be both the most creative and most lucrative for promoting the team.

Poet and Nationals fan Dan Creeden of Scaggsville, Maryland was inspired this week to publish a poem and a song about Teddy’s quest. Creeden blames Abe Lincoln for the bias against Teddy, citing jealousy (“Teddy has a cute bear named after him and Lincoln only has Logs.”). He followed a riff on the classic “Casey at the Bat” with a rewrite of Elton John’s “Benny and the Jets” called T-T-Teddy and the Nats.

Anthony Schneck of Sportsology offered his own spin on Teddy’s disqualification, noting that “contestants may not use Segways during the race because Segways are the universal symbol for douchebaggery.”

Brandon Stroud of the With Leather Blog asks “Why would they do this to a GEICO President? Is it because he was in the Progressive party?”

Finally, David Brown of Big League Stew points out what we failed to note here Wednesday — that Teddy has tried cheating with a Segway before, but failed to come in first.

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