Numbers, more numbers as baseball winds down

Sep 26, 2017 By Craig Blumenshine, Staff Writer

Here comes the Judge, Aaron Judge, the Yankees rookie who smacked home run number 50 last night. With Judge are all the statistics that will flow into this season's Major League Baseball playoffs that begin one week from today.

For you Rockies fans, and because of the regional nature of MLB there are plenty of you, FiveThirtyEight predicts today that Colorado has a 70 percent chance of making it into this postseason.

FiveThirtyEight, the website which gained fame by making political predictions and takes its name from the number of electors in the United States electoral college, is now owned by ESPN.

Here are some more numbers. Last year's World Series champs, the lovable (not by this Cardinals fan) Chicago Cubs have just a nine-percent shot of winning the World Series. The favorites to win the Fall Classic, in order: Cleveland (29 percent), Los Angeles Dodgers (15), Washington (13), Houston (12) and Boston (10).

You Rockies holdouts still with me? FiveThirtyEight says your team has no chance of winning MLB's World Series. Actually, that is not true. Both the Rockies and my Cardinals, the site says, have a less than a one-percent chance to win. Not good odds for sure.

What does FiveThirtyEight say about Aaron Judge? Only that he has had the fifth best rookie season since 1901, according to wins above replacement, the stat that measures how much better the team is with him in the lineup.

As always, the site says, "Mike Trout is No. 1, because of course he is (and his WAR stat agrees)."

The site also offers an insightful lens on how history may view the recent NFL protests.

"But many Americans held mixed-to-negative views of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. In a 1966 Gallup survey, 63 percent of Americans gave King a negative score on a scale from -5 to +5. Now, the civil rights marches are viewed as major successes, and just 4 percent of Americans rated King negatively on that same scale in a 2011 Gallup poll," Harry Enton wrote on FiveThirtyEight.

It's reasonable to contemplate the long-term impact of what we all watched unfold this weekend in the NFL and FiveThirtyEight implies that history may offer insight.

Time will tell.

Back to baseball and tonight.

Do my Cardinals have a chance to beat rival Chicago? Plug in the numbers, and adjust for team rating, pitcher quality, home field, travel and rest. The answer? Maybe. A 49-percent chance is a stat I'll take.

I'm still looking for the site's Lander vs. Riverton football numbers, but I'll give up. It will be a lot more fun to just watch the game at Wolverine Field this Friday fall night.

Have a great sports week. Go Big Red!

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