Your Current and Final Won Lost Record

May 21, 2017
 2017-26

 

 

Your Current and Final Won-Lost Record

 

              I intended to run this research two or three weeks ago.   The research is most interesting at the start of the season and gets less interesting as the season goes on, so I apologize for the delay; should have done it earlier.   With a little luck (and a few of you reminding me) I’ll run it again next April.

              Let us suppose that your team, which you thought during Spring Training was a very good team, loses on opening day.    Suppose that they start the season 1-3; suppose that they start 2-5, and 3-7, and 4-9.   At some point you know that this is becoming a serious problem, but where exactly is that point?

              The question I am really trying to get to is, obviously 3-1 teams are better than 1-3 teams, but just as obviously, four games doesn’t mean much of anything.   To what extent are 3-1 teams three and one because they have caught a few breaks early, and to what extent is 3 and 1 legitimately encouraging if you are trying to stay out of the basement?

              I took 50-some years worth of major league baseball, and sorted teams by their won-lost record as of the end of that game.   Let’s say 40 games, since that is about where we are in the schedule right now.     In my data I had 101 teams which were 16-24, 111 teams that were 17-23 after 40 games, 124 teams that were 18-22, 156 that were 19-21, 156 that were 20-20, 144 that were 21-19, 137 that were 22-18, and 134 that were 23-17.      Let’s take.. .let’s say a four-game difference, the difference between teams that are 18-22 and those which are 22-18.   To what extent are the 22-18 teams just better than the 18-22 teams?

              To a pretty large extent, actually.    Of the teams which were 22-18 after forty games, 70% finished the season with winning records, whereas of the teams which were 18-22, only 32% finished the season with winning records.   (If a team finished the season exactly .500, I counted that as one-half of a winning record.)     Anyway:

              Only 19% of teams which were 16-24 managed to finish the season with a winning record,

              25% of teams which were 17-23,

              32% of teams which were 18-22,

              42% of teams which were 19-21,

              51% of teams which were 20-20,

              58% of teams which were 21-19,

              70% of teams which were 22-18, and

              79% of teams which were 23-17. 

             

              Each win after the 40-game mark represents about an 8 to 9% gain in the likelihood of finishing the season with a winning record.     But what would this data be if it did not tell us anything about the underlying quality of the team?

              If the actual quality of the team was not a factor in their won-lost record through 40 games—that is, if the 22-18 teams were in reality no better than the 18-22 teams; they were all .500 teams, but some had been a little bit luckier than others—then

              24% of 16-24 teams would go on to finish over .500,

              29% of 17-23 teams,

              36% of 18-22 teams,

              43% of 19-21 teams,

              50% of 20-20 teams,

              57% of 21-19 teams,

              64% of 22-18 teams, and

              71% of 23-17 teams. 

              Hmm.   Well, that data isn’t all that different from the other data.   In other words:

              1)  If your team is 23-17, then you can probably cruise to a winning record by season’s end, not necessarily because you’re good but because even a .500 team isn’t that likely to be 6 games under .500 in 122 games.  

              2)  If your team is 21-19, that indicates almost nothing about the quality of your team.   Your chances of finishing over .500 are 58%--57% because you are two games over .500 so far, and 1% because you are actually good.   

              That’s mathematically miss-stated, but perhaps you will forgive me.   It miss-states the biases in the data.     Let’s go back to the beginning of the season.    In my data there were 1,530 teams, of which 755 started the season 0-1, and 775 started 1-0.  

              There is an imbalance there because the schedule-makers like to juggle the schedule to maximize the number of team which start the season at home.    More teams start the season at home than on the road, so more start the season 1-0 than 0-1.  

              Anyway, or those teams which start the season 0-1, 45% will finish the season with winning records, while of those teams which start 1-0, 57% will finish the season with winning records.   It’s kind of mathematically deceptive.   The one game (80-81 versus 81-80) occupies about 6% of the space on the random-outcomes won-lost distribution, so starting 1-0 vs. 0-1 has a pretty significant impact on the team’s chance of finishing the season over .500.   (There’s another imbalance there, caused by the fact that slightly more teams finish the season with a winning record than a losing record.)

              Teams which started the season 1-0 had an overall winning percentage, for the season, of .509.   Those which started 0-1 had an overall winning percentage of .491.    But taking the first game out of it, the teams which started the season 1-0 had a REST OF SEASON winning percentage of .506, while those which started 0-1 had a rest-of-season winning percentage of .494.  

              That’s pretty meaningless, of course, but bear with me; that category won’t remain meaningless as we get further into the chart.    Let’s put all the data for one game in one chart.

 

Won

Lost

Pct

ROS WPct

Count

W Record

Pct

1

0

.509

.506

775

442.5

57%

0

1

.491

.494

755

336.5

45%

 

              To keep this clear. . . teams which had a 1-0 record in my study had a .506 winning percentage for the rest of the season, giving them a .509 final winning percentage.  442.5 of the 775 teams had winning records for the season, which is 57%.   

              This is the same data after 40 games, for all levels of success that we have covered by at least 50 games:

 

Won

Lost

Pct

ROS WPct

Count

W Record

Pct

26

14

.564

.534

55

48.5

88%

25

15

.564

.543

73

69

95%

24

16

.554

.538

87

74

85%

23

17

.542

.531

134

106

79%

22

18

.525

.516

137

95.5

70%

21

19

.514

.510

144

83.5

58%

20

20

.503

.504

156

79

51%

19

21

.491

.496

156

66

42%

18

22

.476

.485

124

39.5

32%

17

23

.465

.478

111

28

25%

16

24

.449

.465

101

19.5

19%

15

25

.429

.447

68

5

7%

 

              Fifty games is kind of a low standard for inclusion, and you get some unreliable data included when you get under 100 games, under 150 games really.   Anyway, if your team is 25-15, you’ve probably got a 90+% chance of having a winning season—not only because you’ve got a ten-game head start, but also because you probably have a good team.   Teams which were 25-15 had a rest-of-season winning percentage of .543, whereas teams that were 15-25 had a rest-of-season winning percentage of .447.  

              There’s a lot of charts here. . . .I’ll run the charts up to twenty games, and then we’ll take a little break.  

 

Won

Lost

Pct

ROS WPct

Count

W Record

Pct

1

0

.509

.506

775

442.5

57%

0

1

.491

.494

755

336.5

45%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2

0

.522

.516

394

253

64%

1

1

.499

.499

750

373.5

50%

0

2

.480

.487

392

156

40%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3

0

.534

.525

197

139

71%

2

1

.506

.503

574

311.5

54%

1

2

.490

.493

567

259

46%

0

3

.476

.485

192

69.5

36%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4

0

.545

.533

102

78.5

77%

3

1

.515

.509

385

227.5

59%

2

2

.498

.498

569

289.5

51%

1

3

.487

.493

368

150.5

41%

0

4

.460

.473

109

35.5

33%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5

0

.555

.540

50

41.5

83%

4

1

.526

.517

252

161.5

64%

3

2

.508

.505

455

257

56%

2

3

.491

.494

506

229.5

45%

1

4

.478

.487

206

70.5

34%

0

5

.445

.460

64

21

33%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5

1

.535

.523

161

112

70%

4

2

.518

.512

324

200

62%

3

3

.502

.502

510

266.5

52%

2

4

.479

.485

344

129

38%

1

5

.467

.479

131

40

31%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6

1

.545

.530

104

79.5

76%

5

2

.527

.519

238

157

66%

4

3

.510

.507

395

228.5

58%

3

4

.494

.497

431

200

46%

2

5

.471

.480

245

76.5

31%

1

6

.453

.468

85

22

26%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7

1

.563

.546

64

56

88%

6

2

.531

.519

157

110

70%

5

3

.519

.514

333

207

62%

4

4

.501

.501

402

209.5

52%

3

5

.482

.488

342

130.5

38%

2

6

.465

.477

151

42.5

28%

1

7

.439

.456

60

12

20%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7

2

.544

.530

114

89

78%

6

3

.523

.514

239

154

64%

5

4

.515

.512

370

219.5

59%

4

5

.489

.492

367

161

44%

3

6

.474

.482

248

81

33%

2

7

.457

.471

103

27

26%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8

2

.559

.543

60

51.5

86%

7

3

.535

.524

190

141

74%

6

4

.520

.514

312

190.5

61%

5

5

.502

.502

344

178.5

52%

4

6

.480

.486

332

129

39%

3

7

.460

.471

155

37

24%

2

8

.456

.474

81

22.5

28%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8

3

.552

.540

118

97.5

83%

7

4

.522

.514

257

163.5

64%

6

5

.508

.506

347

195

56%

5

6

.494

.497

332

149.5

45%

4

7

.471

.479

232

81

35%

3

8

.452

.465

111

21.5

19%

2

9

.449

.469

50

14.5

29%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9

3

.559

.544

86

75.5

88%

8

4

.534

.523

185

133.5

72%

7

5

.514

.508

302

173.5

57%

6

6

.505

.506

332

180

54%

5

7

.482

.487

275

111

40%

4

8

.461

.472

171

44

26%

3

9

.450

.467

92

21

23%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10

3

.564

.545

54

48

89%

9

4

.543

.530

130

104.5

80%

8

5

.526

.518

251

159

63%

7

6

.509

.506

323

182.5

57%

6

7

.494

.497

278

130

47%

5

8

.474

.482

239

82

34%

4

9

.452

.465

125

30

24%

3

10

.445

.465

67

13

19%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10

4

.551

.535

99

86.5

87%

9

5

.531

.521

191

122

64%

8

6

.520

.515

292

188

64%

7

7

.503

.503

275

146

53%

6

8

.481

.486

266

99

37%

5

9

.467

.478

181

58

32%

4

10

.449

.465

101

20

20%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11

4

.552

.533

71

60.5

85%

10

5

.548

.535

141

109.5

78%

9

6

.525

.517

255

168.5

66%

8

7

.510

.507

263

148

56%

7

8

.492

.495

270

120

44%

6

9

.479

.487

227

84.5

37%

5

10

.451

.463

145

34.5

24%

4

11

.440

.458

79

11.5

15%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12

4

.552

.530

56

48.5

87%

11

5

.555

.540

119

96

81%

10

6

.534

.523

180

134.5

75%

9

7

.519

.514

261

160

61%

8

8

.500

.500

256

129

50%

7

9

.488

.494

248

102

41%

6

10

.463

.473

195

56

29%

5

11

.443

.458

115

20.5

18%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12

5

.561

.543

98

84

86%

11

6

.542

.529

140

105

75%

10

7

.526

.519

209

148.5

71%

9

8

.512

.510

268

149

56%

8

9

.494

.496

244

113.5

47%

7

10

.476

.484

224

74.5

33%

6

11

.455

.467

157

40

25%

5

12

.432

.449

86

10.5

12%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

13

5

.562

.541

83

71

86%

12

6

.553

.539

108

90.5

84%

11

7

.533

.523

184

139

76%

10

8

.520

.515

233

140.5

60%

9

9

.501

.501

237

115

49%

8

10

.487

.492

251

107

43%

7

11

.473

.484

188

59.5

32%

6

12

.436

.449

119

20.5

17%

5

13

.429

.449

60

6

10%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

14

5

.569

.546

55

51

93%

13

6

.559

.542

89

74.5

84%

12

7

.540

.527

158

123.5

78%

11

8

.526

.519

212

143.5

68%

10

9

.511

.509

224

124.5

56%

9

10

.490

.493

244

105.5

43%

8

11

.486

.495

229

92

40%

7

12

.446

.457

142

30

21%

6

13

.440

.458

88

14

16%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

14

6

.565

.545

74

67

91%

13

7

.550

.535

137

114.5

84%

12

8

.529

.519

154

106.5

69%

11

9

.521

.517

225

141.5

63%

10

10

.502

.503

233

119.5

51%

9

11

.486

.491

232

98

42%

8

12

.471

.482

192

60

31%

7

13

.440

.453

119

19

16%

6

14

.427

.446

64

5

8%

 

              By the 20-game mark, if you are at the margins of the won-lost chart, something significant has happened.   If your team is 14-6 or better, you have a 90% chance of having a winning season.   If you are 6-14 or worse, you’re under 10%.   

              At the ten-game mark. . .well, probably nothing too meaningful has happened unless you’re 9-1 or 10-0.     Let’s move ahead now to about the point of the season where we are now. . .let’s say 40 to 60 games in:

 

Won

Lost

Pct

ROS WPct

Count

W Record

Pct

26

14

.564

.534

55

48.5

88%

25

15

.564

.543

73

69

95%

24

16

.554

.538

87

74

85%

23

17

.542

.531

134

106

79%

22

18

.525

.516

137

95.5

70%

21

19

.514

.510

144

83.5

58%

20

20

.503

.504

156

79

51%

19

21

.491

.496

156

66

42%

18

22

.476

.485

124

39.5

32%

17

23

.465

.478

111

28

25%

16

24

.449

.465

101

19.5

19%

15

25

.429

.447

68

5

7%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

26

15

.564

.539

64

57

89%

25

16

.558

.540

73

67

92%

24

17

.548

.535

118

96

81%

23

18

.535

.525

134

103

77%

22

19

.519

.512

132

81

61%

21

20

.506

.504

164

88.5

54%

20

21

.498

.502

154

76.5

50%

19

22

.482

.488

121

39

32%

18

23

.472

.484

128

38.5

30%

17

24

.460

.475

113

25.5

23%

16

25

.436

.452

76

9

12%

15

26

.421

.440

57

3

5%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

27

15

.566

.538

59

53

90%

26

16

.563

.542

62

56.5

91%

25

17

.551

.534

100

86

86%

24

18

.544

.533

127

101

80%

23

19

.525

.517

132

90

68%

22

20

.513

.509

145

86

59%

21

21

.499

.499

150

76

51%

20

22

.494

.500

150

64

43%

19

23

.474

.482

128

37.5

29%

18

24

.466

.479

99

28

28%

17

25

.451

.468

98

16

16%

16

26

.429

.447

67

6

9%

15

27

.414

.434

55

3

5%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

27

16

.565

.541

56

51

91%

26

17

.555

.536

84

71.5

85%

25

18

.545

.532

117

95.5

82%

24

19

.538

.530

123

94

76%

23

20

.517

.511

146

94

64%

22

21

.511

.510

143

80.5

56%

21

22

.491

.493

144

63.5

44%

20

23

.488

.497

148

57

39%

19

24

.468

.477

115

29.5

26%

18

25

.460

.475

93

20.5

22%

17

26

.442

.460

77

12

16%

16

27

.419

.436

66

3

5%

Won

Lost

Pct

ROS WPct

Count

W Record

Pct

27

17

.561

.540

67

59

88%

26

18

.549

.532

104

86

83%

25

19

.545

.536

128

106

83%

24

20

.522

.514

123

83

67%

23

21

.520

.519

152

99

65%

22

22

.492

.489

138

58.5

42%

21

23

.489

.494

145

59.5

41%

20

24

.480

.490

131

46

35%

19

25

.466

.479

99

23

23%

18

26

.456

.474

93

21

23%

17

27

.429

.446

67

4

6%

16

28

.416

.435

59

3

5%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

29

16

.574

.545

52

48

92%

28

17

.559

.534

59

53

90%

27

18

.555

.537

83

73

88%

26

19

.547

.535

112

91.5

82%

25

20

.533

.525

136

105

77%

24

21

.518

.512

127

77

61%

23

22

.512

.512

142

84

59%

22

23

.492

.494

139

61

44%

21

24

.480

.486

144

49.5

34%

20

25

.476

.489

114

34

30%

19

26

.457

.471

86

18.5

22%

18

27

.449

.468

83

13.5

16%

17

28

.423

.441

62

5

8%

16

29

.409

.430

51

2

4%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

29

17

.568

.542

53

49.5

93%

28

18

.560

.540

66

61

92%

27

19

.552

.537

109

91

83%

26

20

.539

.528

126

100

79%

25

21

.527

.520

132

92

70%

24

22

.516

.514

126

79.5

63%

23

23

.500

.500

131

64

49%

22

24

.486

.489

153

60

39%

21

25

.480

.490

129

41.5

32%

20

26

.464

.475

93

18

19%

19

27

.458

.476

88

20

23%

18

28

.438

.457

70

8

11%

17

29

.415

.433

62

4

6%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

29

18

.573

.554

58

55

95%

28

19

.554

.536

85

75.5

89%

27

20

.547

.536

122

102.5

84%

26

21

.534

.526

133

97.5

73%

25

22

.516

.510

114

76

67%

24

23

.509

.509

143

75.5

53%

23

24

.492

.493

136

63

46%

22

25

.483

.490

128

43.5

34%

21

26

.475

.487

122

34.5

28%

20

27

.463

.479

87

18.5

21%

19

28

.446

.463

79

13.5

17%

18

29

.422

.439

66

4

6%

17

30

.413

.435

51

3

6%

Won

Lost

Pct

ROS WPct

Count

W Record

Pct

30

18

.568

.542

52

47

90%

29

19

.563

.545

77

71

92%

28

20

.553

.539

103

88

85%

27

21

.535

.522

133

104.5

79%

26

22

.537

.535

112

89.5

80%

25

23

.509

.504

129

70

54%

24

24

.499

.499

151

74

49%

23

25

.488

.492

125

45

36%

22

26

.479

.488

127

44

35%

21

27

.466

.478

98

21.5

22%

20

28

.454

.471

95

18

19%

19

29

.435

.452

67

8

12%

18

30

.420

.439

63

3

5%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

30

19

.573

.555

74

70

95%

29

20

.555

.538

90

76.5

85%

28

21

.547

.536

104

88

85%

27

22

.531

.521

130

101.5

78%

26

23

.526

.523

117

77

66%

25

24

.505

.503

153

83

54%

24

25

.498

.501

128

56

44%

23

26

.478

.482

123

38.5

31%

22

27

.470

.480

117

34

29%

21

28

.462

.477

93

20

22%

20

29

.445

.461

76

11.5

15%

19

30

.431

.451

59

6

10%

18

31

.417

.439

57

2

4%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

31

19

.575

.554

64

59

92%

30

20

.560

.541

85

78

92%

29

21

.552

.538

97

79.5

82%

28

22

.540

.530

115

100.5

87%

27

23

.528

.523

133

91.5

69%

26

24

.514

.511

127

77

61%

25

25

.503

.505

139

68

49%

24

26

.487

.490

113

41.5

37%

23

27

.475

.482

134

43

32%

22

28

.463

.474

97

22.5

23%

21

29

.457

.474

89

15

17%

20

30

.433

.448

67

9.5

14%

19

31

.424

.445

53

2

4%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

31

20

.566

.546

80

74

93%

30

21

.552

.535

90

76

84%

29

22

.549

.539

108

96

89%

28

23

.534

.527

113

87.5

77%

27

24

.519

.514

131

81

62%

26

25

.510

.510

135

78

58%

25

26

.494

.496

121

46.5

38%

24

27

.483

.489

130

52

40%

23

28

.461

.466

109

21.5

20%

22

29

.467

.484

99

27

27%

21

30

.445

.461

71

8.5

12%

20

31

.426

.443

64

5

8%

Won

Lost

Pct

ROS WPct

Count

W Record

Pct

32

20

.572

.551

52

48

92%

31

21

.559

.540

80

72

90%

30

22

.550

.536

115

100.5

87%

29

23

.545

.539

104

88

85%

28

24

.524

.517

126

86

68%

27

25

.514

.512

132

82

62%

26

26

.501

.502

128

58.5

46%

25

27

.486

.489

125

46.5

37%

24

28

.469

.472

115

32

28%

23

29

.471

.485

84

23

27%

22

30

.454

.470

101

20

20%

21

31

.437

.453

62

5.5

9%

20

32

.429

.450

60

6

10%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

32

21

.562

.541

58

53

91%

31

22

.561

.548

103

93

90%

30

23

.543

.531

121

104

86%

29

24

.536

.531

102

81.5

80%

28

25

.521

.517

130

83

64%

27

26

.506

.504

124

64

52%

26

27

.493

.495

136

58.5

43%

25

28

.477

.479

114

35.5

31%

24

29

.471

.480

108

31

29%

23

30

.463

.477

85

20.5

24%

22

31

.442

.456

85

9

11%

21

32

.438

.459

53

5

9%

20

33

.420

.441

61

5

8%

Won

Lost

Pct

ROS WPct

Count

W Record

Pct

33

21

.563

.537

58

53

91%

32

22

.564

.550

81

74

91%

31

23

.546

.532

107

91.5

86%

30

24

.543

.536

116

101

87%

29

25

.528

.523

108

76.5

71%

28

26

.512

.508

133

77.5

58%

27

27

.498

.497

125

54

43%

26

28

.484

.485

121

46

38%

25

29

.483

.493

116

41.5

36%

24

30

.460

.469

98

20.5

21%

23

31

.449

.462

77

11.5

15%

22

32

.441

.459

72

9

13%

21

33

.433

.456

61

4

7%

20

34

.414

.436

50

2

4%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

33

22

.566

.547

71

63

89%

32

23

.554

.539

103

91.5

89%

31

24

.543

.532

112

98

88%

30

25

.538

.534

110

89

81%

29

26

.518

.512

106

68.5

65%

28

27

.502

.498

134

60.5

45%

27

28

.496

.499

125

57

46%

26

29

.479

.482

114

40.5

36%

25

30

.472

.481

113

31.5

28%

24

31

.459

.471

81

15.5

19%

23

32

.442

.455

81

10

12%

22

33

.441

.463

51

7

14%

21

34

.424

.447

63

2

3%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

34

22

.573

.554

64

59

92%

33

23

.559

.543

77

70.5

92%

32

24

.549

.537

109

95.5

88%

31

25

.539

.531

119

102

86%

30

26

.527

.523

104

75

72%

29

27

.507

.502

118

63

53%

28

28

.502

.504

131

58.5

45%

27

29

.489

.493

117

51

44%

26

30

.474

.480

117

36

31%

25

31

.473

.488

88

22

25%

24

32

.446

.456

82

11.5

14%

23

33

.440

.456

69

8

12%

22

34

.431

.452

57

4

7%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

35

22

.572

.547

53

51

96%

34

23

.572

.557

63

57.5

91%

33

24

.551

.535

99

86

87%

32

25

.545

.536

111

101.5

91%

31

26

.532

.526

121

93

77%

30

27

.514

.508

109

64.5

59%

29

28

.505

.503

112

54.5

49%

28

29

.499

.504

136

65

48%

27

30

.478

.480

107

37

35%

26

31

.476

.488

97

31

32%

25

32

.462

.475

93

17

18%

24

33

.439

.449

73

9

12%

23

34

.433

.451

72

5

7%

Won

Lost

Pct

ROS WPct

Count

W Record

Pct

35

23

.572

.553

63

60

95%

34

24

.559

.543

84

72.5

86%

33

25

.548

.536

100

92.5

93%

32

26

.537

.529

125

104.5

84%

31

27

.524

.518

107

72

67%

30

28

.510

.506

114

61.5

54%

29

29

.498

.497

113

51.5

46%

28

30

.492

.498

121

52.5

43%

27

31

.478

.485

101

34.5

34%

26

32

.467

.478

95

21.5

23%

25

33

.457

.472

84

15.5

18%

24

34

.441

.457

69

6.5

9%

23

35

.421

.435

74

3

4%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

36

23

.575

.554

51

49

96%

35

24

.565

.548

73

66

90%

34

25

.553

.540

96

87.5

91%

33