MLS: Starting Lineup Stability (2003, 2004)
I'm trying to figure out whether or not the number of returning starters from the previous game has an impact on the team's preformance. Previously, the 2005 data made me believe that there was a bit of a pattern. Now having completed the 2003 and 2004 seasons, unfortunately that doesn't appear to be the case. Seven more years to go.
Here are three seasons worth of MLS data:
It appears that there is an affect if you return only 7 starters or less. But other than that there's not much of a pattern. The average PPG over these three years is 1.37, which matches perfectly with the data for 9 returning starters (RS), the league's average per game.
This is the data for home/away games. Teams seem to make slightly more changes away from home, but not in 2004 for some reason.
This table is the difference between what we expect the PPG to be based on the number of home/away games and what it actually was. In this case, the "Total" is the three yearly figures added up and divided by three, rather than a true total using all the games. That's because I used different home field advantage values for each year. 9-11 are preforming basically as expected. 2004 was a big year for 8 returning starters, but I doubt it actually means anything. However, 4-7 RS has underpreformed what was expected every year, so that shows that it probably is the RS affecting it.