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Articles Tagged Playoff Probability 

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Once upon a time, the Marlins were big sellers, not big buyers. Their reputation took years to recover from their last big sell-off, but are firesales sometimes justified?

While looking toward the future with our comprehensive slate of current content, we'd also like to recognize our rich past by drawing upon our extensive (and mostly free) online archive of work dating back to 1997. In an effort to highlight the best of what's gone before, we'll be bringing you a weekly blast from BP's past, introducing or re-introducing you to some of the most informative and entertaining authors who have passed through our virtual halls. If you have fond recollections of a BP piece that you'd like to nominate for re-exposure to a wider audiencesend us your suggestion.

Nate tackled the question of when it makes sense to be a seller in the article reproduced below, which originally ran as a "Lies, Damned Lies" column on November 22, 2005.

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As we head for the season's home stretch, Nate reminds us that even comfortable leads late in the season aren't sure things.

While looking toward the future with our comprehensive slate of current content, we'd also like to recognize our rich past by drawing upon our extensive (and mostly free) online archive of work dating back to 1997. In an effort to highlight the best of what's gone before, we'll be bringing you a weekly blast from BP's past, introducing or re-introducing you to some of the most informative and entertaining authors who have passed through our virtual halls. If you have fond recollections of a BP piece that you'd like to nominate for re-exposure to a wider audiencesend us your suggestion.

There's no such thing as a lock, as Nate discovered in his research on late-season collapses, which originally ran as a "Lies, Damned Lies" column on September 27, 2007.


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September 27, 2007 12:00 am

Lies, Damned Lies: Blowing It

1

Nate Silver

Which teams blew the best possible shots at making the postseason, and where do the ill-fated teams on this year's NL slate stand to land?

Today's article represents an update of Clay Davenport's piece from two years ago that described the biggest collapses in playoff chase history (spoiler alert!), as defined by the teams that had the highest percentage chance to reach the playoffs at some point during the regular season who then failed to do so. I have a comprehensive set of playoff odds reports that Clay prepared for us in connection with It Ain't Over, and was therefore able to identify a couple of races that Clay had missed during his spot-checking. In addition, I will be looking all the way back to the start of the season, rather than limiting things to August 1st as Clay did; it's surprisingly easy for teams to establish a stranglehold on a playoff spot relatively early in the season in the Wild Card era, and if they're a bit less dramatic as narratives go, those collapses still deserve discussion. In addition, Clay has made some improvements to his methodology since the time his article was originally published, so all of that goodness is incorporated herein.

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We're deep into the stretch drive, with some races still being run, and some seemingly done. How do we model our in-season prediction of how things will wind up?

September is the month where the great pennant races happen. In the current three divisions plus a Wild Card set-up, baseball's focus gets placed on the playoff games in October, but it's easy to forget that once upon a time, and for a very long time, the year-long drama of the regular season was often more compelling than what happened during a week or two of World Series action.

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Jim digs back and looks at the best starting efforts by the Mets and Cardinals in the era of divisional play.

\nMathematically, leverage is based on the win expectancy work done by Keith Woolner in BP 2005, and is defined as the change in the probability of winning the game from scoring (or allowing) one additional run in the current game situation divided by the change in probability from scoring\n(or allowing) one run at the start of the game.'; xxxpxxxxx1160845280_18 = 'Adjusted Pitcher Wins. Thorn and Palmers method for calculating a starters value in wins. Included for comparison with SNVA. APW values here calculated using runs instead of earned runs.'; xxxpxxxxx1160845280_19 = 'Support Neutral Lineup-adjusted Value Added (SNVA adjusted for the MLVr of batters faced) per game pitched.'; xxxpxxxxx1160845280_20 = 'The number of double play opportunities (defined as less than two outs with runner(s) on first, first and second, or first second and third).'; xxxpxxxxx1160845280_21 = 'The percentage of double play opportunities turned into actual double plays by a pitcher or hitter.'; xxxpxxxxx1160845280_22 = 'Winning percentage. For teams, Win% is determined by dividing wins by games played. For pitchers, Win% is determined by dividing wins by total decisions. '; xxxpxxxxx1160845280_23 = 'Expected winning percentage for the pitcher, based on how often\na pitcher with the same innings pitched and runs allowed in each individual\ngame earned a win or loss historically in the modern era (1972-present).'; xxxpxxxxx1160845280_24 = 'Attrition Rate is the percent chance that a hitters plate appearances or a pitchers opposing batters faced will decrease by at least 50% relative to his Baseline playing time forecast. Although it is generally a good indicator of the risk of injury, Attrition Rate will also capture seasons in which his playing time decreases due to poor performance or managerial decisions. '; xxxpxxxxx1160845280_25 = 'Batting average (hitters) or batting average allowed (pitchers).'; xxxpxxxxx1160845280_26 = 'Average number of pitches per start.'; xxxpxxxxx1160845280_27 = 'Average Pitcher Abuse Points per game started.'; xxxpxxxxx1160845280_28 = 'Singles or singles allowed.'; xxxpxxxxx1160845280_29 = 'Batting average; hits divided by at-bats.'; xxxpxxxxx1160845280_30 = 'Percentage of pitches thrown for balls.'; xxxpxxxxx1160845280_31 = 'The Baseline forecast, although it does not appear here, is a crucial intermediate step in creating a players forecast. The Baseline developed based on the players previous three seasons of performance. Both major league and (translated) minor league performances are considered.

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July 27, 2006 12:00 am

Lies, Damned Lies: Playing Matchmaker

0

Nate Silver

Three big bats, seven true contenders...Nate sorts out who'd be best served by making a big deal this weekend.

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November 22, 2005 12:00 am

Lies, Damned Lies: Defending Jeffrey

0

Nate Silver

The Marlins are undertaking another fire sale, but as Nate argues, this one can be justified by the numbers.

In the face of all that, I'm here to make the case for the Great Florida Fire Sale.

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