Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Cubs at .500

The Cub Reporter used much of the off-season to describe the Cubs' off-season plan as "Project .500". The Cubs have decided to take that to extremes. After each of their ten even-numbered games they have had an even record. This is their sequence of games so far this season:


This looks like the type of sequence someone would make up trying to make the sequence look random.

I noticed this pattern when the Cubs were 7-7, but I wasn't sure if it was that unusual. The fact that they are the first team to go 1-1, 2-2 on up to 10-10, makes this a little more interesting.

Actually maybe we should not view it as that surprising. Assuming that each game has a 50% chance of the Cubs winning and each game is independent, the likelihood of them doing this is 1 in 1024. There have been somewhere over 2300 individual-team baseball seasons, so we might have expected someone to do this. Of course most teams in history had either a greater than or less than 50% probability of winning each game, so that probably explains it.

1 comment:

  1. Well the streak is finally broken as they dipped down below .500 with a couple more losses and wins as they hit the 30 game mark.

    That said, they look to be a team that will float around that 0.500 to 0.425 mark this season.

    All of that said, when I looked at the last 10 game record on ESPN, I noticed it was 5-5.

    Maybe the Cubs front office paid attention to the uncertainty of outcome hypothesis, and are hoping that sticking around .500 will keep people guessing about outcomes, and thus interested in games.

    In reality, and as a Cubs fans, I doubt they are smart enough to do that though. :-P