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Getting in on the Act
by Derek Smart
There's a rash of postseason predicting spreading around the internet, and as can be seen if one looks around the Toaster, that rash has spread here. Sure, your doctor might tell you to leave it alone or it won't get any better, but I say if you've got an itch, scratch it!
Of course, my problem in this whole shebang is that I'm desperately, appallingly, spectacularly bad at predicting things (although it appears I'm middle of the pack among my cohorts), so rather than try to come to some logical conclusion regarding the postseason's outcome, I'll take a page from Ken's book and use some random statistics to decide things for me.
Ken used a system involving errors, so I'll pick something out of the statistical hat for the first round. Let's say net strikeouts (pitcher's strikeouts - hitter's strikeouts = net strikeouts; positive numbers good, negative numbers bad) because...well...because for the moment it's better than thinking. Here's the outcome:
LA Angels (268 Net Ks) over New York Yankees (-5 Net Ks) in 4
Chicago White Sox (37 Net Ks) over Boston Red Sox (-84 Net Ks) in 5
San Diego Padres (147 Net Ks) over St. Louis Cardinals (24 Net Ks) in 5
Houston Astros (122 Net Ks) over Atlanta Braves (-147 Net Ks) in 4
If it looks like there's a system in predicting the number of games for each series, you're right. It went something like this: "Oooo! That looks like a four game gap to me. And that looks like a five game gap! Yipee! More coffee please!"
So in the ALCS I have the White Sox versus the Angels, and the NLCS pits the Padres against the Astros. Let's mix things up a bit and go to a different stat for this round. We'll go with net walks (hitter's walks - pitcher's walks = net walks; same idea with positive versus negative numbers). Here are those results:
LA Angels (-2 Net BBs) over Chicago White Sox (-22 Net BBs) in 7
San Diego Padres (96 Net BBs) over Houston Astros (39 Net BBs) in 6
Look at that! It's an all SoCal World Series, and in the interest of being nearly completely random, I'll go with net batters to decide the eventual champion (total plate appearances - total batters faced = net batters). Here's what happened:
LA Angels (92 Net Batters) over San Diego Padres (-393 Net Batters) in 5
So that's it, then. Your World Series Champions will be the Los Angeles Angels. Congratulations to the eventual champions, and condolences to the other teams and their fans. Unfortunately, there's nothing you can do when faced with the overwhelming power of science.
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There's an end-of-season Cub blogosphere roundtable post-mortem on the 2005 season in which I was a participant over at the Cub Reporter. Swing on over and check it out.