High Times Where It’s Legal: Braves 13, Rockies 6

Boynton Beach is Much Lower Than Coors Field, which is High

Streaks –> Warning: there will be math.

So the Braves are now in uncharted territory: 52 games, almost 1/3rd of a season, without a 3 game win streak or losing streak.  They have blown past the 46 game record of the 2015 Seattle Mariners.  Let’s suppose you’re a team that wins half its games.  And let’s suppose that the probability of winning any particular game is 50% no matter what happened in the two games before.  Then it is a fairly simple exercise in Markov Chain stochastics to show that only one team in 42,235 (roughly) will not have a 3-game streak in a particular series of 52 games. 

Now of course every team plays 111 different 52 game streaks in a season.  (The first begins with game 1, the second with game 2, and the 111th runs from game 111-162.)  So that means that in a full season, you ought to see a 52 game in a season once every 380 years or so for any one team.  But there are 30 teams, so you ought to see a team do this every 13 years or so.

And yet we don’t.  Why not?  The simple answer lies in two assumptions we have made to simplify the math.  First, we assume that teams are all 0.500 teams.  They aren’t.  Some are much better than 0.500 teams and some are much worse.  Good teams and bad teams have trouble going a couple of weeks without a streak.  The chance of a 0.600 or a 0.400 team going 52 games without a 3 game streak is 1 in 100,000 – over twice as unlikely.  So that divisor of 30 teams in assumption 1 is too high.  There are no more than about 12 teams in any season with a real chance to muster a 52 game nonstreak.

Second, we assume that a team’s probability of winning is independent of their competition.  In baseball, most of the play is in 3 game series.  If one team is better than the other, sweeps are much more likely.  The probability of a three game streak is 37.5%, but if a 50% team plays a 60% team, the probability of a three game streak is about 38.1%.  The difference is small, but it adds up over a 162 game season. It’s difficult to adjust for these two assumptions, but some preliminary calculations suggest that this is about a once-in-a-century occurrence.  It could finally end tomorrow, but it’s as rare, and about as exciting and disappointing, as the Comet Kohoutek.

Who’s A Mile High?

OK… the math section of the recap is over. We now turn to the game itself. I got a little busy, so we are trying out some new recappers. I would like to introduce you all to an experienced commenter, but first time recapper, despite his journalistic experience:

The Braves went to COarse FieLd to play the Rockies, a Team that the 2018 Braves Could handle easily. It was Lu Gerrig Day. He was the Yankee who Died of Lou Gehrig’s diSease. t’Ravis D’aRnAUD looks like hes gotten his Game together. I hope he hits as many Homers as GHrig, before he got sick. TThe Pitching Coach seams to be asleep . I am praying That The Pitching staff Can have a starting pitcher could Accomplish a Complete game that hasn’t been accomplished in over 20 years. Perhaps by some Miracle that will happen . If The Braves Pitching staff has a Pitcher to pitch a No No . It would literally take a Miracle from GOD for this To happen. . Iam Anderson was given a LOT of RUNS but couldt’n last because he was High. It’s hard to pitch, or recap, when your High. Tthe nxt Pitcher was Cruise. He’s new. AT LEAST to me. OD’Ay was next. He pitches LOW when HIGH. Finally we got Lee Dylan. RemeMber the 1860’s. Dylan wsa always HIGH.

Even though we scored a lot of runs, Corse Field is High. Along with Marcel Ozuna, Ossie Albiies Swanson why is it so important to swing on the First pitch? Who is holding a gun to ther heads? .please pass this observeration to The Batting Coach and Brian Snitiker . You never know it could spell a more Successful out come and Fans along both myself , you and others concerned won’t have To live at the Edge of Our seats .Marcel Ozuna received a 4 year contract a large one if I was the Front Office. I would be kicking myself in the Head. Because Ozuna is Displsying not his potential. That is the Bottom line That brings Fans To the Ball Park would you pay a lot of Money only To see a poor displaying of Offense hitting? Not me And I’m totally convinced you , your family or friends would. Thank you in advance for you reading this Comment Its Simple in any job Put out your Best efforts Or your Boss will say you are Fired. And you can’t play every game in Coarse field. Even the Rockies can’t do That.
Bill Eadwards Sports Editor of The Palm Coast Tribune in Boyton Beach And Lauderdale Lakes Florida. ⛱

Chipwatch

Thanks, Bill. We’ll get back to you. I think some of that material was stuff you’ve said before, but, like Chip, repetition is how you earn the big bucks.

Here’s the great thing about Coors Field: Chip goes a whole game without mentioning the bunt once. Other than that, though, the uniqueness of Coors Field and the issues of playing there occupy about 30 percent of the broadcast. That’s actually not horrible, because Chip has absolutely nothing new to say that he hasn’t said about this dozens of times before, so you can just sort of stop paying attention, which always makes his broadcasts better.

“Austin Riley has only played 5 games in Coors Field. Do you know how many hits he has here?… [long pause] 8! That’s incredible!” No, Chip, it really isn’t.

A side note: while everyone notes the altitude effects of the Mile High City, and while we just left the second-best htting park at the second highest altitude (Chase Field, 1082 feet) very few people note the effect of altitude in the other park over 1000 feet: Truist Park at 1,050 feet. Only the much higher humidity in Atlanta keeps balls in the park…. unless Hancock is ptching.

Author: JonathanF

Alive since 1956. Braves fan since 1966. The first ten years were pretty much wasted. Exiled to Yankees/Mets territory in 1974 --- bearable only with TBS followed by MLB.TV.

16 thoughts on “High Times Where It’s Legal: Braves 13, Rockies 6”

  1. Love the math as always JonathanF. I’m hoping after we eventually break this streak we repeat last years winning ways after finally ending the never above .500 / below 5 games under .500. (Btw, is there a short-hand way to describe that streak)? We’ll need to though, I can’t see the Mets collapsing like last year. Weirdly we started that year with consecutive 4-game streaks (lose – win – lose), I believe.

    We’ve had some statistically fluky runs these past few years.

  2. I am available as a recapper as needed — but generally need a day’s notice that I need to write something.

  3. Awesome, JonathanF and Bill. Very funny. That Bill knows his business.
    Time to break the streak and streak tonight.

    And please, Snit, DH Ozuna. Contreras can’t be worse in LF, can he?

  4. Greetings from Anaheim, Calif…

    Lovin’ the Bill Eadwards “Up in Smoke” recap.

    And here’s to another 13 spot to help vanquish this weird streak.

  5. I just worked up the numbers to show that more than 100 players had more than 8 hits in their first 5 games in Colorado. The leaders, with 13, are Kenny Lofton, Mark Grudzielanek, Matt Kata, Ruben Tejada, Oscar Robles, Starling Marte, and Chris Stynes. What is it that makes Chip have to bring out superlatives for Riley that, talented though he is, he hasn’t earned?

  6. Talking about Chip… Granted, I have watched limited action but to me he is in mid-season form with “Let’s see…”… Seems to me, he has increased his use of “Let’s see” but not necessarily followed by “if”… often, I hear a “how” nowadays. He’s mixing it up.

  7. On the math, one thing that makes short streaks somewhat less likely is that starting pitchers change from day to day, so teams’ true talent levels and probabilities of winning their next game vary from one day to the next more than they would if each team just had one starter (e.g., if they only played once a week like in the NFL). It seems like most teams have true talent levels below .500 when their fifth starter is pitching and true talent levels above .500 when their #1 is starting, so they would be less likely to win or lose two in a row than if their level was .500 for both games. I expect this effect would’ve been more important when starters pitched more innings.

  8. “A fairly simple exercise in Markov Chain stochastics” reminds me of my favorite Simpsons joke:

    Yahoo Serious festival

  9. All of a sudden Olsen is the best first baseman since Mr. Gehrig. The numbers don’t lie they say. True but they also don’t tell the whole story. Watch him play and one wishes Freddie was still here.
    Let your eyes and baseball knowledge (?) guide you to an accurate conclusion.
    B maybe more like B- For you former parochial school students 82.

  10. I know everyone can see it on the Twitter feeds, but for those who might not have checked yet: the Phillies fired Joe Girardi.

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