Although a longtime lurker, this is my first post on TGP. Hopefully you guys could help clarify this point about WAR for me.
So according to Baseball-Reference the definition of WAR is as follows:
WARP, intuitively, attempts to express the total number of wins that a given player adds to his team over the course of a season by comparing the player's performance with that of a fictitious "replacement player". A "replacement player" is assumed to be an averageTriple-A callup who might appear in the majors only as replacement for an injured player, and whose hitting, fielding, and (if applicable) pitching skills are far below league average. According to Baseball Prospectus, a team consisting entirely of replacement-level players would likely be historically bad, winning only 20-25 games over a full 162-game season.
To compute WARP, Baseball Prospectus uses three other proprietary statistics: Batting Runs Above Replacement (BRAR), Fielding Runs Above Replacement (FRAR), and Pitching Runs Above Replacement (PRAR). The three numbers are added and divided by the number of runs per win that season (another proprietary number. In recent years, this number is around 10).
Most regular position players will accumulat
e 3-5 WARP over a season. A legitimate All-Star-caliber player may have over 7 WARP. Over 10 WARP is a strong MVP candidate, while over 15 WARP is a "one-for-the-ages" season. On the flip side, a player with -1 WARP or less is probably in danger of disappearing from baseball.
Teams can also be ranked by their cumulative WARP. A team with a total of 30 WARP or less among all players would be a disastrous, certain last-place finisher. 50-60 WARP can be expected from a .500 team. 65-70 WARP is a playoff-caliber team, while much more than that would be a strong World Series candidate.
Looking at this definition, I see 2 key points, a team with all replacement players would win 20-25 games, and a playoff caliber team gets about 65-70 WAR from all its players. This makes sense since it takes about 85-95 games to get into the playoffs and since even a replacement team has 20-25 WAR gaining 65-70 would put you in the playoffs.
Now here is where I have some confusion:
Through 137 Games played, the phillies have accumulated the following WAR:
If you extrapolate this out to 162 games you get a WAR of 53.6
Even if you look at the best case scenario in the BA definition, 25 wins from replacement players & 53.6 from the actual players, you get a team with 78.6 wins. Also by their own definition a playoff contender is expected to have between 65-70 WAR.
So my question is, where is all the Phil's WAR. It seems like the Phillies do something extremely well that WAR doesn't capture. Is this stat really the best way to evaluate performance since it is off by approximately 20-25 wins for the Phillies?
Most likely I'm not interpreting or calculating WAR properly but would love it if someone with more insight could clarify.