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Archive for October 24th, 2012

Go Giants!!!!
We are ORANGE inside…
Comments and observations:  Well, the Giants take game one of the 2012 World Series by a score of 8-3 over Detroit.  Game two is tomorrow, also here in S.F.  The series then shifts to Detroit for the following three games, and wraps up with the last two games (if necessary) back in S.F.  At this point the main thing is to “hold serve” and not lose tomorrow.  That will mean Detroit cannot win the Series at home and even if they are able to sweep the three games there, they’d still have to come back to S.F. to win one of the last two games.
Baseball is a unique/interesting game for me because it is so mathematically predictable (at least during the regular season).  The team with the home field advantage in a series should win because it is more difficult to win on the road than it is at home.  In general, the team with the better season record should win the series, but my cursory review of the last few years (only back to 2006) indicates this isn’t true.  Only four of the last six WS winners had the better regular season record.  In other words, once you’re over .500 for the season, it doesn’t seem to matter much if you’re .599 or 501, as long as you win enough to get into the post-season.  In fact, it seems the most reliable indicator so far (early in a series) is who wins the first game of any given series.  (Hooray for the Giants!!!)  In this case, the odds are about 60%, you’ll go on to win the Series.  Not great odds, and not a tremendous predictor, but it seems to be reliable.
In any case, the Giants now only have to play .500 ball to win the Series (six games left, win three and you win the Series).  Detroit now has to play .666 ball to win the Series (six games left, must win four of next six).  With each game, the odds turn more and more against you…  If the Giants hold serve tomorrow and go 2-0, we will only have to play .400 ball or Detroit will have to play .800 ball to win the Series.  Teams have demonstrated they can do this, but not many.  So the key is now to win tomorrow…
Two other points.  For every baseball fan of any team in a World Series, the first goal is to not get swept – win at least one of the games.  That’s done.  The second point is to not panic. It is very difficult to win a three game (sweep) series in baseball. It is even more difficult for a team to win a four game (sweep) series.  This means that even if Detroit does win tomorrow, it is unlikely they’ll be able to win all three games back home because then they will have beaten us four straight.  That implies we will almost certainly win one of the three games in Detroit even if we lose tomorrow’s game.  This in turn means the Series will have to come back to S.F.  My prediction…  if we win tomorrow, the Series goes to five games and S.F. wins 4-1.  If we lose, the Series goes 4-2 and S.F. still wins.
Go GIANTS!!!
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Death stands above me, whispering low
I know not what into my ear:
Of his strange language all I know
Is, there is not a word of fear.
  —  Walter Savage Landor
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