Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Baseball playoff predictions

I don't have time to do a good pre-post-season play post, but there are a couple things that I want to get out.

  • There are a couple of pretty silly pieces of commentary on the SI.com website.

    John Donovan: "If Daisuke Matsuzaka pitches the way he's supposed to pitch -- the way he's paid to pitch -- then the Sox win this series handily. But I'm not convinced that his last outing trumps his previous 10 starts (6.10 ERA). "

    Well, that's not really silly. But 10 starts is a pretty poor sample for what he's doing. The first five games in that 10 game stretch saw him average over 6 innings per start with an ERA of 3.62. The next five is where it got ugly, with a 9.11 ERA.


    Jacob Luft: "Angels over Red Sox in four: Dice-K and Okajima carried the Red Sox for much of the year, but they look gassed right now. I don't understand why they went with Dice-K over Schilling in Game 2 and potentially Game 5. That will be their undoing. "

    I don't know how to break this to Jacob, but if the series really does end in four, Matsuzaka starting game two won't have been their undoing. In a four game series, Matsuzaka will start once and Schilling will start once, no matter which of them pitches game two.


  • In one of his abstracts, Bill James produced a play-off predictor system, based on the playoff that had occurred up to that point. Some of it makes sense, some doesn't, and I'm sure that it's less relevant than it was. But it is kind of a fun toy, so here it is, Red Sox vs. Angels:

    1. 1 pt to the lead team for each half-game in the standings (BOS - 4)
    2. 3 pts to the team that scored more runs (BOS - 3)
    3. 14 pts to the team with fewer doubles (LAA - 14)
    4. 12 pts to the team with more triples (BOS - 12)
    5. 10 pts to the team with more home runs (BOS - 10)
    6. 8 pts to the team with the lower team batting average (BOS - 8)
    7. 8 pts to the team that committed fewer errors (BOS - 8)
    8. 7 pts to the team that turned more double plays (LAA - 7)
    9. 7 pts to the team that walked more batters (BOS - 7)
    10. 19 pts to the team that had more shutouts (LAA - 0)
    11. 15 pts to the team whose ERA was lower (BOS - 15)
    12. 12 pts to the team that has been in postseason most recently or (LAA - 12)
        went further (LAA - 0)
    13. 12 pts to the team that won season series (BOS - 12)

    Totals - Boston - 79, LAA - 33

    The Bill James Playoff predictor likes the Red Sox in this series.


  • So do I.


  • That said, I want to reiterate my fundamental position that a 5-7 game series tells you nothing about the relative virtues of the competing teams. I'd expect the significantly better team to win 3 of 5 significantly less than 100% of the time. Either team could win this series. Either team could lose this series. Either team could sweep this series. That goes for all the rest of them, too.


  • My baseball pundit contract requires, though, that I make predictions. This enables me to gloat about things I get right. Anything I get wrong, well, there are sure to be mitigating circumstances that we'll enable me to claim victory on them, too. ;-)

    So here they are - the Lyford predictions for the ALDS and NLDS Series:

    Boston over Anaheim
    New York over Cleveland
    Philadelphia over Colorado
    Chicago over Arizona



Update:

What the heck - here are the Play-off predictors for the other three series...

Yankees-Indians:
1. 1 pt to the lead team for each half-game in the standings (CLE - 4)
2. 3 pts to the team that scored more runs (NYY - 3)
3. 14 pts to the team with fewer doubles (CLE - 14)
4. 12 pts to the team with more triples (NYY - 12)
5. 10 pts to the team with more home runs (NYY - 10)
6. 8 pts to the team with the lower team batting average (CLE - 8)
7. 8 pts to the team that committed fewer errors (NYY - 8)
8. 7 pts to the team that turned more double plays (NYY - 7)
9. 7 pts to the team that walked more batters (NYY - 7)
10. 19 pts to the team that had more shutouts (CLE - 19)
11. 15 pts to the team whose ERA was lower (CLE - 15)
12. 12 pts to the team that has been in postseason most recently or
    went further (NYY - 12)
13. 12 pts to the team that won season series (NYY - 12)

NYY - 83, CLE - 60



Cubs-Diamondbacks:
1. 1 pt to the lead team for each half-game in the standings (ARI - 10)
2. 3 pts to the team that scored more runs (CHC - 3)
3. 14 pts to the team with fewer doubles (ARI - 14)
4. 12 pts to the team with more triples (ARI - 12)
5. 10 pts to the team with more home runs (ARI - 10)
6. 8 pts to the team with the lower team batting average (ARI - 8)
7. 8 pts to the team that committed fewer errors (CHC - 8)
8. 7 pts to the team that turned more double plays (ARI - 7)
9. 7 pts to the team that walked more batters (CHC - 7)
10. 19 pts to the team that had more shutouts (ARI - 19)
11. 15 pts to the team whose ERA was lower (CHC - 15)
12. 12 pts to the team that has been in postseason most recently or
    went further (ARI - 0)
13. 12 pts to the team that won season series (ARI - 12)

CHC - 33, ARI - 92


Phillies-Rockies
1. 1 pt to the lead team for each half-game in the standings (COL - 2)
2. 3 pts to the team that scored more runs (PHI - 3)
3. 14 pts to the team with fewer doubles (COL - 14)
4. 12 pts to the team with more triples (PHI - 12)
5. 10 pts to the team with more home runs (PHI - 10)
6. 8 pts to the team with the lower team batting average (PHI - 8)
7. 8 pts to the team that committed fewer errors (COL - 8)
8. 7 pts to the team that turned more double plays (COL - 7)
9. 7 pts to the team that walked more batters (PHI - 7)
10. 19 pts to the team that had more shutouts (PHI - 19)
11. 15 pts to the team whose ERA was lower (COL - 15)
12. 12 pts to the team that has been in postseason most recently or
    went further (COL - 0)
13. 12 pts to the team that won season series (COL - 12)

PHI - 59, COL - 58

  • Biggest advantage goes to a team I'm picking to lose.

  • I've run this several times over the years, and never seen a result as close as Rockies-Phillies.

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