I've been reading Talking Chop for a while and love all of the comments and whatnot around here. One thing that has made me love this site more than any other blog is that reasoning (typically, there are always exceptions) prevails in almost all situations. It also helps to have a fan's perspective on things, especially very passionate fans. I haven't been a fan of the Braves for too long (my roommate was a big Braves fan, and then I got hooked), but now I love it.
One of the things that I really love is the statistic and math side of things. It makes a web programmer like me go nuts, and makes me wonder what I can do with data, and of course what I can do with it as far as sports are concerned.
Which brings me to the playoff percentages that are provided by Coolstandings.com. How does it work? What makes it tick? I looked at the site and it said that it calculates playoff percentages based off of historical data and the craziness that is the Bill James "Pythagorean Theorem." Of course, that makes cool little percentages, but what if you really want to get down and dirty and see all the possibilities of winning? That's where my head went spinning.
(Sidenote: I know that we basically want to avoid talking about "we need to only do this" or "only do that" because we're all superstitious at this point. I can't help myself, but I figured I could share this info in case anyone wanted it. I don't want it going to waste. Also, there's a really long table ahead.)
The "Wins" columns (1st, 3rd, and 5th) are all about how many wins that team has for that possibility. The "Win Rec" columns (2nd, 4th, and 6th) show the winning record for that many wins. There's no need to have a losing record since they would all be the same. For instance, if we win 2 games, SD wins 3 games, and SF wins 4 games, we're going to be in the wild card.
Blue means that we're in the playoffs. Light green means we'll have to have a playoff for the wild card. Yellow means that SD and SF would playoff for their division and then we'd play the loser for the wild card spot. Red means we're done.
|Atlanta Wins||Atl Win Rec||SD Wins||SD Win Rec||SF Wins||SF Win Rec|
Whew... so after that long bit of information, we see that out of 120 possibilities:
- 91 of them mean we're going to the playoffs, no questions asked,
- 15 of them mean we've got to go to a playoff for the wild card,
- 2 of them mean we've got to go to a playoff after the playoff for the NL West, and
- 12 of them mean we're done.
It's interesting to see that out of 120 possibilities, close to three quarters of them mean we win the wild card outright. But what's even more interesting is that we still have so many chances to go crazy in case we don't win it out right.
This doesn't take into account (as the Coolstandings site does) historical success or failure. This is just all the possibilities that can happen between now and the end.
The biggest thing to take away here is that the magic number to end all numbers is 3. We need to win 3 to guarantee us the wild card. Other than three possibilities, winning two games also puts us there outright, but the other three possibilities guarantee us going to a playoff for the wild card. Anything less than that puts us at the mercy of the Padres and the Giants. Ick.
In other words: Braves, please win the wild card outright so we don't have multiple people having aneurysms.