Thursday, August 9, 2012

Playing .500 ball


I've been following the Blue Jays season rather closely this year, mostly because I spent a good part of the summer in North America and was able to see more of their games than usual, both live and on TV. One thing that I, along with every other Jays fan, has noticed this season is that they are always very close to .500, rarely more than a game or two away from the break-even mark.

With the season 2/3 over, I decided to check out their day-by-day record and was surprised to see that they had never been more than 5 games above the .500 mark (24-19 most recently) or 4 games below (51-55), a 9-game swing. As well, they spent 17 days at .500 (out of 54 possible days). I wondered if any other team had a similar record, so I downloaded each team's results, again up to game 108. A brief statistical analysis showed that no other club managed a single-digit span around the .500 mark, but the Diamondbacks weren't far off, ranging from 4 games above to 6 below. They also spent 16 days at .500, so they are the NL equivalent of Toronto, at least in this meaningless category.

The Red Sox also enjoyed 16 days at .500, while the Cardinals had a 10-game range, but that was from .500 to 10 games above.

Looking at the stats for each team, there are a few interesting tidbits:

The Dodgers are the only team to have not been at or below .500 all year (0-0 is not .500). They won their first three games on their way to a 9-1 start and have not fallen all the way back despite some recent struggles.

Minnesota, San Diego, and the Cubs have not been at or above .500, losing at least their first two and never crawling back. That's just sad.

Detroit spent 49 days above, 49 days below, and 10 days right on the mark. (Off-days are ignored). To compare, the Jays were above .500 78 days and below just 13. Unfortunately, the seemingly endless spate of injuries has finally caught up to them and most of those sub-.500 days are in the past two weeks. They may not make it back to .500 the rest of the way but it will be good to see their young guys in meaningful games.

Here are the stats for those interested. Max is the maximum number of games above .500, Min is the maximum below .500, Range is Max-Min, while Above, At, and Below are the number of days the team has spent relative to the .500 mark. The list is ordered by Range.


Team   Max     Min    Range   Above   At  Below
TOR      5      -4       9      78    17    13
ARI      4      -6      10      32    16    60
STL     10       0      10     103     5     0
BOS      5      -7      12      37    16    55
TBR     11      -1      12     102     4     2
MIL      2     -11      13       3     5   100
NYM      8      -5      13      91     3    14
BAL     13       0      13     107     1     0
DET      8      -6      14      49    10    49
SFG     13      -3      16      79    11    18
CHW     12      -4      16      78     9    21
CLE      8      -8      16      84     8    16
LAD     17       1      16     108     0     0
PHI      3     -14      17      13    10    85
MIN     -1     -18      17       0     0   108
SEA      2     -16      18       8     8    92
LAA     10      -8      18      56     6    46
MIA      8     -10      18      36     6    66
OAK     10      -9      19      33    14    61
PIT     16      -4      20      58     5    45
KCR      1     -19      20       2     3   103
ATL     16      -4      20      99     2     7
TEX     21       0      21     107     1     0
SDP     -1     -22      21       0     0   108
WSN     22       0      22     107     1     0
CHC     -1     -24      23       0     0   108
NYY     23      -3      26      98     5     5
CIN     25      -4      29      83     9    16
COL      1     -30      31       5     9    94
HOU      2     -37      39       3     3   102


Best,

Sean

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