25 matches into the season last year, I
wasted spent some time looking at PTFC’s PPG depending on if each player played or didn’t play (Playing the PPG Game). While I found the numbers to be interesting and had (too much) fun plugging them into the spreadsheet, it didn’t really reveal too much (except that of the 14 matches Ridgewell started PTFC was 1.57 ppg and the 11 he didn’t play they were 0.91 ppg and that when Powell and Valentin started together (7 matches) PTFC’s PPG was shocking 0.57[!]). There were way too many variables (other starters, home matches, whether or not Roscoe was taking pictures or not, and so on) and the sample size wasn’t that big. But…they were/are stats and I enjoy them. So, over the last couple of weeks as I’ve seen people praising Valeri’s play (including me ), I decided to go look at all of his starts during the regular season from 2013-16 and just see how indispensable he is to the club. Since Valeri arrived, PTFC’s overall PPG is 1.49. 53-39-44 (W-L-D)…
Quick, since 2013, what is PTFC’s PPG when Valeri starts?
Now, what is it when Valeri doesn’t start?
If you don’t have it now, just pick a random number.
If you said 1.88 and 1.40, you are correct!
However, if you said it in that order, you were wrong.
In the 110 matches Valeri has started, PTFC’s PPG is 1.40.
- PTFC’s PPG with DV as a starter:
- At home: 1.89
- Away: 0.95
Wait, what? Only 1.40? That’s impossible. And fake! Fake PTFCollective reporting! More than anything, it’s just surprising. This doesn’t take away anything from DV’s greatness and his awesomeness. Or…his Young Pope-ness (told a friend I’d say it). But, it does lead to the obvious questions of…why?
In the 26 matches Valeri hasn’t played or has come on as a sub, PTFC’s PPG is 1.88.
- PTFC’s PPG with DV not-starting:
- At home: 2.15
- Away: 1.62
At first I thought I was going to see a bunch of home matches when he didn’t start, but not an even split. Surprisingly enough, when DV doesn’t start on the road, PTFC’s away PPG almost competes with their PPG when he starts at home(!). (I keep going to bring up all the variables that go into winning and it’s not just one player, blah blah, but in the end, no matter what I say, it doesn’t take away from the fact that the numbers are surprising).
Without doing any other research, you’d be left to wonder, what the hell is going on? I was mainly shocked by the numbers and wanted to share them, so I’m not that interested in going back and looking at PTFC’s starting lineup for every single one of DV’s starts and non-starts and every other possible variable like weather, opponents lineup, the team’s current streak and so on. However, there is one thing I noticed when look at the matches. 14 of the 26 non-starts took place in 2015, when Portland ended the season with a PPG of 1.56 and won the cup and of those 14 Valeri missed, their PPG was 1.79 (…which means that when he did start in 2015 their PPG was…you guessed it, 1.40!).
What does this all mean? Nothing. They’re just interesting numbers that don’t paint an entire picture and are fun to look at. In the end, I, you, and we wouldn’t trade Valeri for anyone and as long as PTFC is winning, making the playoffs, and bringing home hardware, it doesn’t really matter what our PPG is when anyone individual starts.