Once you start, it's hard to stop…
Here are the Pythagorean expectations for La Liga. I'm curious to see how it handles the hugely lopsided scoring records of Real Madrid and Barcelona.
|Deportivo La Coruña||38||35||49||47||41||+6|
|Sporting de Gijón||38||36||51||40||41||-1|
Hmmm…at first glance, Real Madrid's predicted point total seems very low. But consider that Barça scored just four goals fewer than Real and had a scoring defense that was twelve goals better. Assuming that there's an equal chance of those twelve goals being conceded over all 38 games, that's a defensive difference of 0.38 goals per game. That should be enough to turn some narrow wins into draws, and perhaps cause a loss or two.
With the exception of Deportivo, Valencia, Espanyol and Málaga, the other clubs played roughly in line with the statistical expectations. Valencia's performance made no difference in their final league standing, but Deportivo and especially Espanyol were able to avoid the relegation scrap with some overachieving performances. Málaga's poor season nearly caused them to get relegated, which in the end they avoided by just a point. Tenerife actually played about a game better than their expectations, but they'll spend the offseason wondering where they could have found the one win that would have kept them up.