Statistical Saturday: Tigers Edition
My apologies for the divergence from Michigan football for a week, but it was a hectic week at work and I didn't have time to do enough research to put together something coherent on college football. I did have a chance to pick up NCAA 2007, and I'm mildly disappointed. Not because the game is bad, but because it doesn't seem to have improved much from a year ago. I've only had a chance to play three games, but I've yet to figure out how to cycle backwards through players and the zoom-in-on-a-big-play special effect is pretty awful. Also, when playing the screen just seems awfully cluttered. After I've played a bit more, I'll be back with something more substantive.
Now for this weeks look at the stats, I'm heading over to Major League Baseball, more specifically the AL Central. At the All-Star Break the Detroit Free Press ran a piece on the likelihood of the Tigers making the playoffs this season, including the following logic:
The key number to remember here is 95 wins. In the 10 full seasons played with the wild card, 23 AL teams have won 95 or more games. All 23 reached the postseason. The Tigers can play under .500 (36-38) and win that many games by season's end.
I've run into this 95 win talk in a number of places, but I find just a single problem with this. At present, the standings atop the American League go something like:
Assuming that all four teams keep or improve on their current winning percentages, at least one of these teams is going to win 95 games and not make the postseason. The hard-charging Twins are on pace to win 94 games this season as well. Given the quality of the AL this year, the Tigers cannot count on the Wild Card and must aim to win the Central for the first time in team history.
Continuing on the Tigers topic, with all the talk of acquiring a left-handed bat, I got a little bit curious about last years second half lefty wonder, Carlos Pena. After being released by the Tigers, Pena signed a minor league contract with the New York Yankees and is currently at AAA Columbus hitting .250/.379/.418 with 11 homers and 47 RBIs in 83 games. Not overwhelming numbers, but Carlos was always one of my favorites and so I wish him well. Given his usual tendency to heat up in the second half, I can't help but wonder if we won't see him in Yankee pinstripes before the season is over.
Finally, speaking of stats today, I've been poking around the College Football Query Tool over at IBFC. If you have an interest in the results of just about every college football game ever played, head over and check it out. I've really been having fun with it, so many thanks to IBFC.