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.

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