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Posted By Dr. Stan, the Stats Man

This is the first blog of a three blog series. This blog will give the reasons I use for making my MLB predictions for a new year. The second and third blogs will give my actual predictions for the three division winners and two wild card teams in each league for the 2017 season.

To recap the 2016 season these were the final standings.

2016 Results

The three division winners in the AL were BOS, CLE, and TEX. The two wild card winners were TOR and BAL. The three division winners in the NL were WSN, CHC, and LAD. The two wild cards were NYM and SFG.

My Linear Formula for the 2016 season was W% = .000579*(Runs Scored – Runs Allowed) + .50 where W% was a team’s expected winning percentage based on their (runs scored – runs allowed). Using the expected winning percentage from my formula the following would have been the final standings for 2016.

2016 Linear Formula Results

From my formula the three division winners in the AL would have been BOS, CLE, and SEA. The two wild card winners would have been TOR and BAL. The three division winners for the NL would have been WSN, CHC, and LAD. The two NL wild card winners would have been SFG and STL.

The only difference in the five playoff teams, comparing the actual playoff teams to my expected playoff teams from my formula, was for the AL TEX made it and SEA did not and for the NL the NYM were in and STL was out.

The reason for giving the above data is to justify why I use my formula to help me make my predictions for next year’s playoff teams based on how the runs scored and runs allowed for each team will change from the previous year. These changes in runs scored and runs allowed are estimated by looking at the new players added and the old players deleted from each team. From the addition and subtraction of players for each team I estimate a new runs scored and runs allowed for each team. Then using my Linear Formula, I arrive at a team’s estimated winning percentage for the new season.

My next two blogs will give my predictions for the two leagues for the 2017 season.

By the way using my method last year I predicted the CHC would defeat TOR in the World Series. Of course, even though TOR made the playoffs it was CLE that represented the AL in the World Series. 

Posted By Dr. Stan, the Stats Man

A student in my Baseball and Statistics Course is also the student manager of Quinnipiac's  Division One Men's Basketball Team.

Everyone who watches a Division One basketball game understands what the coach does, what the players do, and what the trainers do. Did you every wonder what a student manager of the team does? I know I never understood the role of a student manager.

Being a manager for the men’s basketball team is a very rewarding job, but also one that requires an extreme time commitment. For starters, there are 30 regular season games spanning from November through the beginning of March. There’s also about 80 practices a season. We’re also typically asked to come in during their preseason workouts. For example, this year I started my job the second week of school. As the head manager, I’m expected to be at all events. It’s my responsibility to schedule my classes around being at practice for about 3 hours a day, as well as being available for games at night and traveling. A lot of this job is specific to what the coaches want, so a lot of specific tasks might be different at other schools, but a majority I would think are standard.

On practice days, I arrive at the gym an hour early. The first thing I’ll do is set up the court and bring out the equipment that we’ll need which includes the basketballs, the clock, practice jerseys, boards, etc. and fill up a jug of water as well as everyone’s individual bottles. If it’s the day before a game, I will also go around to all the players, coaches, trainers, and the other managers to fill out our food order, which gets delivered to us after games. During practice, I will either be running the clock and keeping score for drills, or I will be up giving the guys their waters and wiping the floor to clean up when people fall.

On game days, our days start with shoot around. This will typically be about 6 hours before game time. I’ll show up an hour early and set up the clock and bring out the basketballs and practice jerseys. During the actual shoot around, the clock runs down from 60 minutes so we typically just watch as the coaches walk the team through plays and personnel. For home games, I’ll come back to the arena an hour and a half early to bring our equipment bags out behind our bench and be there for if the players need anything. During the actual game, I’ll sit behind the bench and take notes on play calls. Our biggest job during the games is bringing out the chairs and water bottles during timeouts. We normally will have 2-3 people behind the bench and someone else is set up filming the game. Once the game is over, I quickly clean up and put away our equipment bags and check to make sure our food got delivered. After that is organized, we’re normally free to go.

For road games, we leave the night before and stay in a hotel. I put everything we need on the bus including those games bags and film equipment. If we’re eating on the bus, I’ll also put everyone’s food on their seat before they get on. Before we leave, I go in to the locker room and check with the players to make sure they have everything they need in their bags. In the morning, breakfast is normally at 10 AM and we’ll go right to shoot around after that. We’ll come back to the hotel and have our pre-game meal around 3 PM and leave for the game so we get to the gym about 2 hours before game time. The rest of my job at that point is the same as home games.

All in all, this is about a 5-month job where you work pretty much every day, Thanksgiving and winter breaks included. This group becomes your family, and even through the ups and down, I would definitely say it’s a special experience.
Eric Santos, March 24, 2017

Posted By Dr. Stan, the Stats Man

This year the Joint Math Convention was in Atlanta, GA.  As luck would have it, Turner Field was closed and SunTrust Park was not yet opened to the public.  Would this be my first math convention without any baseball?  Not only that, the city virtually shut down due to an ice storm.  On Saturday afternoon, once the weather cleared up a bit, my wife and I took a walk to the CNN building.  We had a wonderful tour guide named Corey James.  After the tour, we asked him a few questions about CNN and then we somehow got on the topic of baseball including how much it meant to us. After I said that I wrote a baseball blog, Corey was interested in submitting an entry.  Below he describes what baseball means to him.

My parents first signed me up for T-ball in the spring of 1995, as I look back in retrospect that time frame changed my life. As I grew up playing baseball I learned to love and have compassion for the game, from building relationships with teammates, colleagues, and coaches that I still keep in touch with till this day.

Some may look at baseball and think about some of the negatives such as steroid and supplement abuse. But baseball is way more than that, it’s a sport that can bring a whole family together and can be passed on throughout generations. My grandfather played and loved the game of baseball, and passed the love on to my mother who played softball, and passed that love of the game on to my siblings, and my parents and sibling included passed the love on to me.

I enjoy every minute of the game. The adrenalin rush of being on deck, the pulsating heart thumping feeling of stepping into the batters box, the excitement I receive from watching a home run, witnessing a stolen base, or even a bases loaded full count situation. All facets of the game are exciting. I plan to take my love for the game, and continue the tradition that my grandfather started and pass the love of the game along to my children, and my eventual grand children.

Baseball is more then a bat and ball. It’s a world where you can bring diverse populations together for good ole competitive fun, and excitement.
- Corey James, 03.08.2017




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