Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Giants in the Playoffs?

For weeks now I've been waiting for the Giants to overtake the fluke Padres and to give me a chance to watch the MLB Playoffs in person. But as the season goes on, it's still not happening. Why? Turns out they've actually been a little unlucky, their run differential indicates they should have 76 not 75 wins. What are the chances that the Giants can overtake them?
Assuming pythagorean winning percentages (RS^2/(RA^2+RS^2) estimates winning percentage well, and predicts future success) play out for the rest of the season, it turns out that the Padres will probably win 7 games more than the Giants, and the Giants only have a 3.8% chance of winning the NL West.
Can I take Solace in the Wild Card? The Giants are tied for first place there, but the Cardinals who are a couple games back have been very unlucky this year. Doing a three team simulation between the Cardinals, Giants and Phillies the following Wild Card odds appear:
SFG: .337
PHI: .323
STL: .341
Turns out first place is only a slight advantage, it's actually a tight three way race. Which unfortunately means that I have at best a 37% chance of watching the Giants in the playoffs. At least it's better than the Cubs.
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