03 July 2007

10,000 losses: an update

A week ago, I posted a forecast of the date of the 10,000th Phillies loss. In particular I wondered what the chances were that I'd witness this historic event. I have tickets for July 13.

Since then, the Phillies have won two and lost five (including dropping three out of four to the Mets, which was particularly galling because New York fans have started coming down to Philly in large number for the games). At the time that I wrote that previous post, the Phillies had 9,991 losses; now they have 9,996, so there are four more to go.

Fortunately, the 10,000th loss can't come tomorrow, on July 4; even if they lose tonight's game (which is just getting underway) and tomorrow's, that'll "only" be 9,998. The earliest the 10,000th loss could come is against the Rockies on Saturday.

But here are the probabilities now:

Jul 03 @ Astros0.000000
Jul 04 @ Astros0.000000
Jul 06 @ Rockies0.000000
Jul 07 @ Rockies0.047428
Jul 08 @ Rockies0.110681
Jul 13 v. Cardinals0.117107
Jul 14 v. Cardinals0.121772
Jul 15 v. Cardinals0.115521
Jul 16 @ Dodgers0.152669
Jul 17 @ Dodgers0.118578
Jul 18 @ Dodgers0.083456
Jul 19 @ Padres0.054027
Jul 20 @ Padres0.033566
Jul 21 @ Padres0.019969
Jul 22 @ Padres0.011472
Jul 24 v. Nationals0.003890
Jul 25 v. Nationals0.002815
Jul 26 v. Nationals0.002028
Jul 27 v. Pirates0.001477
Jul 28 v. Pirates0.001050
Jul 29 v. Pirates0.000744
Jul 30 @ Cubs0.000736
Jul 31 @ Cubs0.000431
Aug 01 @ Cubs0.000250
Aug 02 @ Cubs0.000144
Aug 03 @ Brewers0.000099
Aug 04 @ Brewers0.000048
Aug 05 @ Brewers0.000023
Aug 07 v. Marlins0.000007
Aug 08 v. Marlins0.000005
Aug 09 v. Marlins0.000003
Aug 10 v. Braves0.000002
Aug 11 v. Braves0.000001
Aug 12 v. Braves0.000001
Aug 14 @ Nationals0.000000

In particular, the peak now looks like the Cardinals series; there's a 35% chance of it happening in those three days, and nearly a one-in-eight chance I'll witness the historic event in person. My original prediction had a 66.8% chance of it happening on the West Coast swing July 16-22; now it's only 46.3%. The effect is still helped by the fact that the Dodgers and Padres are strong teams; notice that the probability decreases from the 14th to the 15th and then increases from the 15th to the 16th, and that the 10,000th loss is three times as likely to come on the 22nd as on the 24th. And the distribution doesn't stretch nearly as far into the future; the first game which has a chance of less than one in two million to be the 10000th loss (which rounds to zero) is August 14 in the current simulation, versus August 27 when I ran the numbers last week.

In other baseball-milestone news, Clay Davenport of Baseball Prospectus made a prediction in May that Barry Bonds was most likely to hit his 756th home run in mid-June, with a probability of 80% that he'd have done it by now. He's up to 751. This is because he got off to a slow start. If I had to guess, I'd predict as follows: Bonds has hit 17 home runs in his team's first 81 games. (The Giants are currently playing their 81st game, and are in the fourth innings; Bonds hit a home run in the first. I'm assuming he doesn't hit any more tonight.) So it'll take him 81 * 5/17 = 24 more games to reach the record, which projects to July 31 against the Dodgers. This sort of logic is notoriously bad; it's the sort of logic that says that since a player hits 12 home runs in April he'll hit 72 for the season, or that a team that starts its season by winning three out of four will go on to have a 122-40 record, when of course there's really regression to the mean. But it seems at least somewhat sound in this case.

1 comment:

frank said...

Looks like your chances of catching the loss keep improving. I'm waiting until next week to decide which game to attend.

Also, referring to the Bonds prediction date, we have half a season of data now which is much better than a team winning the first 3 out of 4 games of a season. So the expected date is probably fairly accurate, but as with anything in baseball there is way too much variance to allow for good prediction.