Daily Notes: Misusing Projections to Mildly Amusing Ends

Sunday features three games of particular note — each of those games featuring one of the three clubs presently contending for the American League’s two wild-card spots.

An excerpt from our wild-card playoff odds page allows one to examine the present state of affairs.

To wit:

Team W L W% GB EXPW EXPL rosW% DIV WC POFF DOFF ALDS ALCS WS
Indians 91 70 56.5% +1.0 91.6 70.4 57.0% 0.0% 96.0% 96.0% 44.7% 16.9% 6.7% 3.4%
Rangers 90 71 55.9% 0.0 90.5 71.5 51.8% 0.0% 48.0% 48.0% 25.3% 10.7% 4.5% 2.5%
Rays 90 71 55.9% 0.0 90.6 71.4 60.0% 0.0% 56.1% 56.1% 29.9% 14.0% 6.4% 3.5%

A brief inspection of the table here reveals that Sunday is likely to produce something in the way of Drama and/or Intrigue, with some manner of tie for either the wild-card slots about a 50% possibility.

A no less brief, but certainly more whimsical, inspection of the table reveals an even more spectacular development than that, however — namely that, so far as this site’s infallible projections are concerned, Cleveland, Tampa Bay, and Texas are likely to win 0.6, 0.6, and 0.5 games today, respectively, representing the first instance in all of baseball history in which a team (let alone three teams) has been credited with a fraction of a win.

There’s no shortage of other infallible conclusions to which can jump. For example, courtesy the rest-of-season Steamer Projections available on every player page, here are five other certain outcomes from the final day of the regular-regular season:

  • Today’s starter for Tampa Bay, left-hander Matt Moore, will face exactly eight batters over 2.0 innings, recording two strikeouts and a walk while conceding a run.
  • Cleveland shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera will produce only one hit in six plate appearances — but also record both a run scored and RBI while so doing.
  • Despite having started and thrown 4.2 innings yesterday, left-hander Derek Holland will face another 10 batters this afternoon for Texas.
  • National League Cy Young favorite Clayton Kershaw, who made his final start of the season on Friday (box), will strand 74.1% of runners on base.
  • The injured Manny Machado will return and play not one, but two, games today for Baltimore.



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


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