# Daily Notes: Ft. A Count of Every Club’s Meaningless Games

A Statistical Update on Players in Deadline Deals
Introduction
With four days remaining in the major-league regular season, only three clubs — Cleveland, Tampa Bay, and Texas — possess some manner of playoff odds that aren’t either 0.0% or 100.0%. Some teams (Kansas City, New York AL) have only just been eliminated from a possible postseason berth; others (Chicago AL, Houston, Miami) have possessed playoff odds of 0% for over a month.

What the author has done, in the table below, is to calculate the number of meaningless games every major-league team will have played by the end of the season — where meaningless indicates games played while the team in question has possessed either a 0% or 100% chance of making the playoffs, per Cool Standings. Note that this is different, probably by a little bit, than what is frequently referred to as “mathematical elimination,” but (a) is another, pretty similar type of mathematical elimination and also (b) was easier to calculate, as the author’s internet browser happened already to be pointed to Cool Standings.

Table: Every Team’s Meaningless Games
Here’s a record of every team’s meaningless games, as calculated using the methodology above. Date represents the date since which the relevant club has possessed playoff odds of either a 0% or 100%. W and L represent that club wins and losses, respectively, on the date in question. MG is the number of meaningless games the club will have played by the end of the season. MG% is the percentage of the relevant club’s 162 regular season games played with either a 0% or 100% chance of making the playoffs.

Club Date W L MG MG%
Astros 14-Jul 33 61 68 42.0%
White Sox 3-Aug 40 68 54 33.3%
Marlins 9-Aug 43 71 48 29.6%
Twins 28-Aug 57 73 32 19.8%
Mariners 28-Aug 59 72 31 19.1%
Cubs 26-Aug 55 76 31 19.1%
Brewers 31-Aug 59 75 28 17.3%
Giants 3-Sep 61 76 25 15.4%
Phillies 4-Sep 63 76 23 14.2%
Padres 5-Sep 62 77 23 14.2%
Mets 7-Sep 63 77 22 13.6%
Rockies 7-Sep 66 76 20 12.3%
Blue Jays 10-Sep 67 76 19 11.7%
Angels 13-Sep 70 76 16 9.9%
Red Sox 14-Sep 91 59 12 7.4%
Dodgers 19-Sep 87 65 10 6.2%
Braves 21-Sep 91 62 9 5.6%
D-backs 21-Sep 77 76 9 5.6%
Athletics 21-Sep 91 63 8 4.9%
Cardinals 22-Sep 91 65 6 3.7%
Orioles 25-Sep 81 76 5 3.1%
Nationals 23-Sep 84 73 5 3.1%
Pirates 23-Sep 90 67 5 3.1%
Reds 23-Sep 90 67 5 3.1%
Yankees 26-Sep 82 76 4 2.5%
Tigers 25-Sep 92 66 4 2.5%
Royals 26-Sep 83 75 4 2.5%
Rays N/A N/A
Indians N/A N/A
Rangers N/A N/A
Average* 8-Sep 71.4 71.1 19.5 12.0%

*Average doesn’t include three active clubs.

Today’s MLB.TV Free Game
TBD at TBD | ??:?? ET
As of press time, the identity of today’s free game had as yet to be revealed.

Today’s Complete Schedule
Here’s the complete schedule for all of today’s games, with our very proprietary watchability (NERD) scores for each one. Pitching probables and game times aggregated from MLB.com and RotoWire.

Note that these NERD scores are calculated using the methodology introduced recently and designed to account for the influence of playoff odds on the watchability of games. ***Unlike in recent iterations of this table, the author has adjusted the day’s NERD Game Scores such that, combined, they average 5.0.*** This allows said table to resemble more closely the Game Scores that have appeared here over the preceding four months.

Away   SP Tm. Gm. Tm. SP   Home Time
Trevor Cahill AZ 4 0 4 0 5 SD Robbie Erlin 18:40
Alex Cobb TB 8 1 7 0 6 NYA Ivan Nova 19:05
Mark Buehrle TOR 4 0 3 0 3 WAS M. Gonzalez 19:05
John Hellweg MIL 0 0 2 0 5 NYN Dillon Gee 19:10
Tyler Cloyd PHI 2 0 5 0 10 ATL David Hale* 19:10
Jerome Williams LAA 4 0 10 5 6 TEX Matt Garza 20:05
Zach McAllister CLE 3 4 7 0 3 MIN Andrew Albers 20:10
Jeremy Guthrie KC 2 0 1 0 1 CHA Andre Rienzo 20:10
Edinson Volquez LAN 4 0 5 0 7 SF Tim Lincecum 22:15

To learn how Pitcher and Team NERD Scores are calculated, click here.
* = Fewer than 20 IP, NERD at discretion of very handsome author.

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Carson Cistulli has just published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.

Guest
Hurtlockertwo
2 years 10 months ago

Meaningless for the team in relation to the playoffs, not meaningless for players trying to keep their jobs. I suspect that this last start for Lincecum will be very, very important to him and his free agency.

Guest
RPMcSweeney
2 years 10 months ago

What about games featuring teams with 100% playoff odds but that affect home-field advantage? WHAT ABOUT THEM?!

Guest
TKDC
2 years 10 months ago

I think those are really still meaningless (I think you might be joking), but what isn’t meaningless is winning the division v. making the playoffs. That should definitely be fixed.

Guest
RPMcSweeney
2 years 10 months ago

I’m mostly kinda joking. I have a hard time telling myself.

Guest
Iron
2 years 10 months ago

Even if you ignore Jeff Sullivan’s article in which home-field advantage being worth trading Jay Bruce for Mike Trout or Pedro Alverez for Miguel Cabrera for a game, could you tell a Reds or Pirates season ticket holder this weekend’s series doesn’t matter. For a fan that wants to be there for the game, home-field means everything.

Guest
Stuck in a slump
2 years 10 months ago

The Nats dont play today, theO’s play the Jays

Guest
Hilly Bamilton
2 years 10 months ago

Looks like the free game of the day is going to be LAA at TEX.

Guest
MikeS
2 years 10 months ago

After the White Sox blew a six run lead in the ninth for the first time in their history and Jason Giambi yet again hit a walk off homer I was asked if that one really hurt.
Not really. See above.

Member
2 years 10 months ago

I wholeheartedly disagree with your definition of meaningless games. I contend that a game is only meaningless if *both* teams have playoff odds of 0% or 100%.

Guest
X
2 years 10 months ago

Yeah, seriously. Ask any O’s fan if 2011 Sep 28’s game was meaningless to them.

Guest
2 years 10 months ago

He wrote, “every team’s meaningless games”. Thus today’s LAA/Tex game is meaningless to LAA and meaningful to Texas. Perhaps I understand that distinction quickly because I am married and have many meaningless/meaningful “talks”.

Guest
Iron
2 years 10 months ago

From Jeff Sullivan:

“If you figure the Reds and Pirates are even, home-field advantage gives one a winning-percentage edge of about four percentage points. A way more fun way to imagine this is that home field would allow the Reds to exchange Jay Bruce for Mike Trout. It would allow the Pirates to exchange Pedro Alvarez for, say, healthy Miguel Cabrera. What’s at stake this weekend is home field in one game, and that’s the equivalent of one team being able to add a superstar before playing at a neutral site. So home-field advantage = added superstar + neither team at home.”

The Reds vs. Pirates series this weekend isn’t meaningless. It’s not as meaningful as if they were vying for the division title, or if only one of them could get that 2nd wild-card, but still will be good, meaningful games.

Guest
Mr Punch
2 years 10 months ago

For the Red Sox, it surely makes a difference whether they face the wild card or Detroit, and beyond that who has home-field advantage if they play the A’s.

Guest
Sid Bream
2 years 10 months ago

Some of the Braves announcers, and also Freddie Freeman, are disappointing me this evening with their comments on some of the statistics used here at FG.

They aren’t meant to replace what the eyes see, as you’ve all quite vocally made clear. They’re simply meant to complement.

Freeman doesn’t believe in such statistics. Sigh.