Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Scoreboard Watching: Wild Card Wednesday (Sept 28, 2011)

This graphic seems a lot more complicated than it needs to be.

Back on September 8, I wrote that the MLB playoff races were boring and all but decided. Boy, was I wrong.

With both the NL and AL Wild Card races tied on the final day of play, each of the four teams playing are potentially playing for their lives. Here's the games of note:

AL Wild Card Race

  • BOS Jon Lester (15-9, 3.49) @ BAL Alfredo Simon (4-9, 4.85); first pitch 4p
  • NYY TBD @ TB David Price (12-13, 3.35); first pitch 4p

This matchup is especially intriguing given the Yankees, already in the playoffs, can stick it to their rival by fielding a team of total scrubs and losing the game. As of 10a, the Yankees' starter hadn't even been named. Given the Red Sox was leading the entire AL on September 1 (with a nine-game lead on the Rays), but proceeded to go 7-19 down the stretch, this would be pretty devastating. I expect the Red Sox to pull it out, and Boston fans to lord this over everyone not from their "Nation."

NL Wild Card Race

  • PHI Joe Blanton (1-2, 5.03) @ ATL Tim Hudson (16-10, 3.23), first pitch 4p
  • STL Chris Carpenter (10-9, 3.59) @ HOU Brett Myers (7-13, 4.31); first pitch 5p (and MLB.tv's free game of the day!)

The Cardinals rallied yesterday for a comeback victory over the Astros, the worst team in the major leagues. St. Louis, who was 8.5 games out of the Wild Card on September 1, has the added benefit of starting an hour later than the Braves' game. And the Phillies and Braves are divisional rivals (even though Philly is throwing more of a joker than one of its lauded four aces). I'm expecting the Cardinals to make the playoffs--or spend all winter lamenting that Dodgers ninth-inning victory at Busch that got away (you know, the one that SoSG Alex Cora and I attended!).

graphic from mlb.com

41 comments:

Steve Sax said...

Sax badge update: 385 badges going into play today.

Can I get a couple more people for that 25th case?

Stay tuned.

Josh S. said...

I wonder if there will be postseason badges.

Steve Sax said...

Place your bets on the outcomes today.

Cards win, Braves lose
Rays win, Bo Sox win

Steve Sax said...

sweeeet, picked up a stephen strasburg badge

Mr. Customer said...

Sox - L
Rays - L
Braves - L
Cards - W

Fred's Brim said...

Sox W
Rays W
Braves W
Shards W

Fred's Brim said...

I said this before, but if we had won just 2 more games a month in the months before August, we would have been right in it. Just a couple extra hits with risp, getting that last out that one inning instead of giving up the 2-run single. Of course we would be calling for Hawksworth's head after last night's season-ruining choke, but still

Mr. Customer said...

I've been threatening to try to quantify how many games we'd lost on last minute bullpen meltdowns. I suspect it's more than enough to put us in the WC hunt.

QuadSevens said...

According to that graphic, the Phillies, Brewers, and D-Bags can all have home field advantage. And in the AL, the Jeters, Rangers, and Tigers can all have home field advantage.

I'm willing to bet the designer of this graphic was drunk when it was created.

Steve Sax said...

And, we're underway in Atlanta.

Steve Sax said...

And in Tampa and Baltimore too

Josh S. said...

Braves and Phils knotted at 1 after 1.

Mr. Customer said...

Sox are on the board.

QuadSevens said...

Mr. C - I had some time on my hands at work and put together a list of the loses by our bullpen. 16. All of those games had a reliever enter the game when the score was tied or we had a lead.

Mr. Customer said...

That's not as many as I would have suspected. There are probably a few w/ inherited runners, too.

Mr. Customer said...

Yanquis bring the hammer down on the Rays. 5-0 early.

QuadSevens said...

Correction, 18 losses in relief. And you're probably right about the inherited runners.

Mr. Customer said...

I still loathe the Gameday Commercial Intermission.

Mr. Customer said...

Between that and the oh-so-close 9th inning rallies, I feel like it could have been a very different year.

Mr. Customer said...

...but as a wiser man than I once told me, if "ifs" were fifths, we'd all be drunk.

Steve Sax said...

Boston still up 1-0 (they had a shot for more so Baltimore is lucky)

Yanks lead Rays 5-0. Not good.

Steve Sax said...

Braves up 3-1

Steve Sax said...

Hey, Balitmore takes a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the third

Johnny Blanchard said...

OK, I normally only read posts, but I did something OK that I haven't seen around. Using Bodog.com's odds (I averaged both team's odds to get a consistent number--i.e., Bos-200/Bal+180=Bos-190): Bos-190, Atl-170, TBR-235, STl -190, this makes the following outcomes (before the games started, of course):

2 playoffs: 30.65% of the time
1 playoff: 49.43%
nl playoff only: 23.49%
al playoff only: 25.94%
any playoff: 80.07%
(no playoff: 19.93%)
BOS in (no playoff): 24.17%
TBR in ("): 19.25%
ATL in ("): 24.27%
STL in ("): 21.59%

Sorry for messiness.

Steve Sax said...

2-1 Baltimore through three

Steve Sax said...

@Johnny: That's pretty cool!

Johnny Blanchard said...

Thanks, SS. I know I can count on you guys for a little gamblin' talk.

Josh S. said...

The current scores are not the outcomes I was thinking would happen.

Johnny Blanchard said...

If I may nerdily interject, based on the previous odds I posted, the current winners (BOS-ATL-NYY-STL) were the 5th (of 16) most likely outcome. Tampa Bay was the heaviest favorite, which in retrospect seems a little crazy, facing the Yankees and all.

Steve Sax said...

Yankess rolling over the Rays, 7-0. Boston is up on Baltimore 3-2 and it looks like the Rays' season is over...

Cardinals up 7-0 as well, but the Braves are hanging on with a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the eighth in Atlanta...

Josh S. said...

Rain delay in Baltimore. Oirioles might not get a chance to save the Rays season.

Steve Sax said...

OMG I got an Andruw Jones badge from his HR tonight

(cries)

Johnny Blanchard said...

I think they will be sure to finish the games today.

Steve Sax said...

even worse: I already HAD an Andruw Jones badge

(cries)

Steve Sax said...

holy cow, Philly ties it at 3 in the top of the ninth

Steve Sax said...

not to be all whiny on you guys, but is it raining in Baltimore?

Steve Sax said...

TB scores 6 in the bottom of the eighth.. This is going to kill when they come up short

Steve Sax said...

interestingly, according to Johnny Blanchard's stats:

--no playoff game had the lowest possible odds, yet ended up being the outcome

--TB and STL also had lower odds than each of their opponents, yet both won

Johnny Blanchard said...

So, BAL-PHI-TBR-STL winning came out to a 16-1 shot... which straight odds would've predicted (there being 16 possible outcomes for all the games)!

I wagered (imaginary dollars, uh huh) on the Red Sox, Phillies, Cardinals, and Yankees to reverse jinx all the teams of my choosing, and dang, I should've gotten 'em all. But I still got awesome baseball!

Gambling makes everything better.

Johnny Blanchard said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Johnny Blanchard said...

Addendum: I had the playoff possibilities right, but messed up the following, now corrected:

BOS in (no playoff): 19.63%
TBR in ("): 24.27%
ATL in ("): 21.74%
STL in ("): 24.26%

So... it ended up the most likely teams to get in without play-in baseball got it.

Now I'm done.