Tuesday, October 30, 2007

My Very First Normal Distribution

Look, it's a normal distribution curve!!

Sweet. See, here's the distribution of player heights on the Mets 40-man roster (plus 4 guys on the DL). Notice that it's a classic bell curve. This is important because random stuff, like the number of people in the room of various heights, tend to follow the bell curve. Meaning, most people will be clustered around the middle, with few at the extremes.

Non-random stuff, like the distribution of talent in MLB, tends not to.


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

World Series Odds

Here they are, updated:

Wow, it really looked like Boston was cooked there, didn't it? Also, what happened, on a day that nobody played, that caused Boston and Colorado's chances to flip-flop like that? Answer: the Red Sox dropped Wakefield from the postseason roster and replaced him with LHP Jon Lester. Apparently the Rockies are vulnerable vulnerable to lefties.

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Monday, October 15, 2007

Playoff Odds

I've talked before about how fascinated I am by this, but that magnificent bastard Clay Davenport's done it again, this time for the playoffs. Here are Clay's estimated chances for each team to win the World Series.

Wow. God's own Rockies, the current favorite to win the World Series. Who'da thunk it? Of course, these odds don't really mean anything. These playoff odds are all log5's and math and stuff, not baseball. If you don't buy into any of that, these odds may as well be pulled straight out of Davenport's ass -- you may recall a certain NL East leader who had a 99.8% chance of making the playoffs, but somehow managed to blow it.

You can't really tell from this graph, but the combined chances of the two NL teams only add up to 48.9%. The two AL teams combine for 51.1% (they add up to 100% -- I checked!) which means I guess that we think the AL representatives are stronger than the NL reps. Which I guess shouldn't come as a surprise, given what we know about the relative strengths of the leagues.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank both the Rockies and the Phillies. Phillies, your shoddy play in the NLDS helped us all forget about the Mets historical collapse. Thank you. And Rockies, your amazing 20-of-the-last-21 run is doing the same. Good work. Remember, nothing in September ever happened. Shhhh.


Thursday, October 04, 2007

Two More Like That, Please

Yes, Chase. I like your hat very much. See if you can get another just like it today.
One third of the way to closing the door on the NL East. Keep it up, Rockies. Also, my Spanish is terrible.


Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Go Rockies!

While the past three weeks for the Mets were a gag-job of the highest order (well, second highest), we're only going to hear about it for the rest of our god damn lives if the Phillies make some noise in the playoffs. Specifically, I will never hear the end of this if the Phillies end up playing in -- not even necessarily winning, but even just playing in -- the World Series.

If the Phillies get beat by the Rockies, the collapse of the 2007 Mets will be one of those "hey, remember when this happened?" interest stories, but we won't need to hear about it every fucking year. But if the Phillies make it past the Kid Rocks, and win the NLCS to play in the World Series, the Mets won't live it down for 50 years.

See, the most famous collapse of all time culminated in Bobby Thompson's "Shot Hear 'Round the World," when the Giants came back from a 13.5 game defecit to beat the Dodgers for the NL pennant. What most people forget is that the Giants went on to lose the World Series to the Yankees in six games. This was back in the day when there weren't three rounds of playoffs; the team with the best record in each league went straight to the World Series.

What makes it famous, and why people still talk about it 56 years later is that there was a lot on the line -- a trip to the Series. Mathematically a greater collapse (greatest of all time, according to these guys) was the Angels in 1995. But nobody ever talks about it because the two teams to whom the Angels lost a potential playoff spot, the Yanks* and Mariners, ended up losing in the playoffs before they could get to the Series.

So, go Rockies! The sooner the Phillies are out of the playoffs, the sooner we can all start to pretend the last three weeks never happened.**

*1995 Wildcard

**Just like the 2002 AFC Championship Game, which never fucking happened. You get me, chief?

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