Silly Math

Though we’re number crunchers on occasion here at YFSF, we thought that it might be easier to articulate some maybes, what-ifs, and could-bes through the wonder of simplistic statistical analysis.  To wit:

  • The Red Sox are 23-10, the Yankees are 16-17.  If the Red Sox play their final 129 games at 65-64 (.500 wp, basically), the Yankees will have to go 72-57 to catch them. 
  • If the Red Sox play their final 129 games at a .550 winning percentage, they will finish 94-68. The Yankees will have to go 78-51 to catch them.
  • If the Red Sox play their final 129 games at a .600 winning percentage, they will finish 100-62, and the Yankees will have to go 84-45 to catch them.
  • If the Red Sox play their final 129 games at a .000 winning percentage, they will go 0-129 and finish the season at 23-139, therefore they will neither win the division nor make the playoffs.
  • Alex Rodriguez is on a pace to hit  75 homers.
  • Coco Crisp is on a pace to hit zero homers.
  • Roger Clemens is on a pace to win zero games, Alex Cora is on a pace to hit .415, and Josh Beckett is on a pace to go 34-0.  (These statements ought to illustrate how silly the "on a pace to" claim is)
  • If the Yankees add $18M in payroll every 33 games, like they have so far this year, their season-ending payroll will be approximately $285M.

33 comments… add one

  • 78-51 is do-able, at least in the very optimistic, if everything falls right, and if we get lucky sense.
    ARod’s got to step it up a bit. He’s carried us this far, but we’ll need him again!

    Lar May 11, 2007, 1:19 pm
  • Yeah, about as do-able as getting a date with a senior cheerleader when you are a ninth-grade chess club captain.

    attackgerbil May 11, 2007, 1:31 pm
  • Really SF, you’re trying to make a 7 game spread on 5-11 sound a lot more formidable than it is. I seem to remember a 10 1/2 game Yankee lead in late July – early August 2004 (was in Cape May for 2 wks then – the days run together on vacation). The sox got as close as 1 1/2 games down the stretch…
    gerb – it’s May, you may not get a date with that hottie, but…

    Andrews May 11, 2007, 1:39 pm
  • OK, right, you’re not trying to say anything of the sort…

    Andrews May 11, 2007, 1:41 pm
  • AG: nothin’ a little chloroform and a brick to the head wouldn’t fix!

    yankeemonkey May 11, 2007, 1:45 pm
  • I’m not trying to make anything sound more formidable than anything is, Andrews. This is MATH! I have already said elsewhere that I have great trepidation counting any team out in May, no matter the lead. A seven game lead isn’t outrageously huge. If the Sox go up by 10 or 12 in mid-to-late June, then we can chat again.

    SF May 11, 2007, 1:45 pm
  • “If the Sox go up by 10 or 12 in mid-to-late June, then we can chat again.”
    OK. I have to warn you though – I felt pretty frickin’ confident with a 10 1/2 game lead in August ’04, only to suffer through a real nail biter of a stretch run.

    Andrews May 11, 2007, 1:53 pm
  • Yes, but they still won, right? ;-)
    Just saying that it would have been a nearly historic accomplishment for the Sox to have come back from that deficit; it just doesn’t happen very often. In that case, “close” wasn’t good enough, or at all historic.
    No matter, seven games is nice, but right now just nice, nothing else. I would be more comfy if it were 20.

    SF May 11, 2007, 1:57 pm
  • > a little chloroform and a brick to the head
    YM: Now that’s what we called “courtin’” wheres I growed up.
    Of course I’m just kidding. I never grew up. attackgerbil does not condone violence of any kind. Unless they’re really asking for it. Or unless it’s a youtube of somebody he doesn’t know falling down/off of something, doing something stupid like setting themselves on fire, passing out drunk and getting pranked by their friends, those are funny.

    attackgerbil May 11, 2007, 2:00 pm
  • “nearly historic accomplishment for the Sox”
    That’s a bit of an overstatement.
    Yes, the yanks still won; I’m just saying it would be wise to resist the urge to be smug even if you have that large of a lead in mid to late june-this is baseball, and she is one fickle, merciless bitch.

    Andrews May 11, 2007, 2:08 pm
  • So we now have two threads and one actual post all saying…
    “Anything can happen.”

    LocklandSF May 11, 2007, 2:09 pm
  • Those numbers always make me nervous because I emember in 2005, people were saying “If the Sox play .500 baseball, the Yankees would need to have a (insert ridiculusly good record) to take over first.” Well, the Sox played ABOVE .500 baseball, and the Yankees had a beyond-that ridiculous-record to take over first. Still, I’ll always take being in first by seven games.

    Paul SF May 11, 2007, 2:10 pm
  • “nearly historic accomplishment for the Sox”
    That’s a bit of an overstatement

    Wanna bet? How many teams have come back from 10.5 down with 50 to play to win their division? I bet the number can be counted on fewer than several digits. That, to me, would qualify as an historic accomplishment. As it was, it didn’t happen, hence the “nearly” qualifier.
    Sounds to me like you’re disagreeing just to disagree. I don’t think I was making a controversial statement.

    SF May 11, 2007, 2:12 pm
  • You know.. as an engineer, I lvoe math. Love it. I have dreams about it. It’s liek a good friend and a warm worn blanket all wrapped up into one.
    But in baseball? Math means nothing. Thi sis of course, what SF and everyone has beeen saying, but I’m saying it again. I will exhale if and when the Yankees are eliminated from contention. When that E3 on mlb.com’s standings runs out. Not before.

    Anonymous May 11, 2007, 2:20 pm
  • On Aug, 2005 the sox trailed by 10.5 with 51 left to play.
    2006 twins trailed by 10.5 with 51 left and won the divison;
    1942 Cards trailed by 10 w/ 51 left and won the pennant
    1951 Giants trailed by 13.5 w/49 left, and won
    1969 Mets trailed by 9.5 w/46 left and won
    1993 Braves trailed by 10 w/65 left and won the division
    There’s five without much of a search. I bet you would find enough “almosts” to prove even to you that: “”nearly historic accomplishment for the Sox” is just what I said, a bit of an overstatement.

    Andrews May 11, 2007, 3:04 pm
  • Should read ” On Aug 9, 2004″ not 2005.

    Andrews May 11, 2007, 3:05 pm
  • In 2005 and 2006, Shaughnessy declared the Red Sox the AL East Champs WAY too early. Late May or June.
    Today, Cafardo almost did the same in the Globe.
    And WEEI hosts are talking about how difficult it will be for the Yankees to overtake the Red Sox.
    JESUS! Do they never learn?
    1978, people. 1978.
    SHUT UP! Just quit talking about it.

    I'm Bill McNeal May 11, 2007, 3:15 pm
  • I feel the same way Bill. Its like they all want to Jinx us.

    Dionysus May 11, 2007, 3:54 pm
  • This is kind of a silly argument, and I don’t know how much searching you did, Andrews, but based on your list, the 1942 Cards and 1993 Braves wouldn’t qualify (fewer games back and/or more games to play). So the Sox would have been the first team since 1969 — definitely a historic feat.
    Again, not sure how much you looked (I figure 1978 has to be on there, and maybe 1949), but I too fail to see how SF was overstating the point that if the Sox had come back, it would have been of historic significance. Not as historic as the ’04 ALCS or the second half of ’78, granted, but historic nonetheless.

    Paul SF May 11, 2007, 4:09 pm
  • SF, sorry. My bad mood today has made me disagreeable.
    Paul – not that much searching -just a quick once over. If I had more time, I would try to find out how many times teams have come close to erasing large deficits.
    In ’78, the yanks trailed by 14 with 72 to play…

    Andrews May 11, 2007, 4:30 pm
  • “So the Sox would have been the first team since 1969 — definitely a historic feat.”
    No. Twins ’06.

    Andrews May 11, 2007, 4:31 pm
  • Yeah, but the Sox were ’04.

    Paul SF May 11, 2007, 4:47 pm
  • God, I’m glad baseball doesn’t suddenly just have 5-day breaks in the middle of the season. If this is what happens when the Yankee game starts 3 hours later, imagine what it would be like if they, and everyone else, started 5 days later, with some silly exhibition game no one really cares about with dream teams from either division right in the middle. Maddening!

    Andrew May 11, 2007, 4:47 pm
  • Andrews – can you post the records before and after, just to give an idea of what kind of pace (or hot streak) was needed? Thanks! =)

    Lar May 11, 2007, 5:03 pm
  • “Yeah, but the Sox were ’04.”
    Sorry, yeesh…

    Andrews May 11, 2007, 5:06 pm
  • ’06 twins – 65-46 before, 31-20 after
    ’42 cards- 62-39; 44-9
    ’51 Giants 59-51; 31-7
    ’69 Mets 62-51; 38-11
    ’93 Braves 55-42; 49-16
    ’04 Red Sox 60-50; 38-14
    http://www.baseball-reference.com/games/standings.cgi?year=2004&month=10&day=9&submit=Submit+Date

    Anonymous May 11, 2007, 5:35 pm
  • me.

    Andrews May 11, 2007, 5:38 pm
  • Whoa. The ’42 Cards through ’93 Braves on that list all have ridiculous 75%+ records over the period in question. It’s incredible to have a run like that over that many games. That’s an awesome list to see, Andrews. Thanks.

    Devine May 11, 2007, 5:48 pm
  • If you count the 3 game playoff bet NYG & BKLN the giants went 33-8

    Andrews May 11, 2007, 6:05 pm
  • “1978, people. 1978.
    SHUT UP! Just quit talking about it.”
    Thanks, Bill. Exactly what I always think with these discussions. 14 game lead in July gone in about 5 or 6 weeks.

    Tom sf May 11, 2007, 11:17 pm
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