MLB


ESPN Passport: The Games I Have Attended 2

Anyone who knows me knows that I love stats. One of the more underrated sports related stats website has to be ESPN Passport. It is an awesome service provided by ESPN that allows you to archive all the sports events you have been to (and even watched from home) and spews out stats about how the teams have done in those games. They show a win-loss record, active winning or losing streak and how the teams have done at home and on the road in the games you saw them play. Over time, they have added medals which you can earn if you attend events and the team goes on a winning or even a losing streak.

Full link to all the stats available here on Google Drive.

Here’s a look at some of the stats for my events: (Note: I only log the games that I have attended in person)

I am certain that I missed a couple of games that I attended in person but of the 38 games I have logged in so far, there are 10 teams that I have never seen lose (3 of them I have seen on more than one occasion):

New York Mets: 3-0, 2 games at Citi Field (vs. Yankees and Chicago White Sox) and one at Rogers Center
Seattle Mariners: 2-0 (both in the same stadium but once when it was SkyDome and one as Rogers Center)
West Virginia Mountaineers (CFB): 2-0 (both at High Point Solutions Stadium)

The following teams are 1-0: Houston Astros, Cincinnati Bearcats (CFB), Fresno State Bulldogs (CFB), Buffalo Sabers, San José Sharks, Miami Heat and Syracuse Orangeman (CBB).

The most frequent teams that I have seen are by far the Toronto Blue Jays and New York Yankees:

Toronto Blue Jays: 6-9 record, 5-7 at home and 1-2 on the road (all road games at Yankee Stadium)
New York Yankees: 8-5 record, 5-3 at home and 3-2 on the road (all road games at Rogers Center)

List of Arenas with record of home team in brackets:
SkyDome/Rogers Center (5-7)
Old/New Yankee Stadium (5-3)
High Point Solutions Stadium (3-4)
Citi Field (2-0)
Izod Center (2-1)
Madison Square Garden (1-1)
Air Canada Center (0-1)
Rutgers Athletic Center (0-1)
TD Garden (0-1)
Citizens Bank Ballpark (0-1)

Stats by Sport:
Major League Baseball: 23 games
NCAA DI Football: 7 games
National Hockey League: 4 games
National Basketball Association: 3 games
NCAA DI Basketball: 1 game

Finishing off with the medals page, I have six in total which include easy ones like checking into your first event, posting comments and attending a game on a holiday. However two cool ones that I have is “Zero Hero” which is attending a game with a shutout (I just got at the Mets/White Sox game) and “Doubleheader” which is attending two games in one day. I got that one on October 27, 2007 by watching a college football game between Rutgers Scarlet Knights and West Virginia playing a game at noon and then heading over to Madison Square Garden to see the Toronto Maple Leafs and the New York Rangers play at 7pm.

 


MLB League Division Series Predictions

MLB playoffs are a pretty good reason to make some time and finally write something on here again. Let me know your predictions in the comments and I’ll keep a running tally throughout the playoffs.

New York Yankees (95-67) vs. Baltimore Orioles (93-69)

This Baltimore Orioles just don’t quit. I was upset back in April when the Jays lost 5 out of 6 to this team thinking how can they lose to a basement dweller but boy was I wrong.

The Orioles lost the first four games against the Yankees this season (all in April) including two games in extra innings… after those two losses, Orioles did not lose an extra inning game THE ENTIRE SEASON. Yankees CC Sabathia went 0-2, 6.38 ERA and .312 avg against in 3 starts vs. Orioles this year.

I will take those two stats compounded with the first two games being in Baltimore helping knock out any nerves they may have and go with Orioles in 4.

 

Oakland Athletics (94-68) vs. Detroit Tigers (88-74)

The Athletics overcame a five game deficit with nine days to go and overtaking the Rangers on the last game of the season. Any team riding a hot streak like that can easily run the table in a short series but when you are going up against Verlander and Fister, you can find yourself one game away from elimination before you even know it. Also, Athletics will probably save themselves a lot of trouble by not pitching to the Triple Crown winner, Miguel Cabrera.

Being a big fan of Moneyball, nothing would make me happier than the Athletics finally getting around to winning the World Series but I just don’t see that happening here. Tigers in 5.

 

Cincinnati Reds (97-65) vs. San Francisco Giants (94-68)

I am still not sure how Cincinnati won 97 games this year but behind Johnny Cueto (19-9, 2.78 ERA, 170 strikeouts), they have a very good chance of beating Matt Cain and the Giants on the road. Joey Votto and Jay Bruce lead a pretty decent offense that could give the Giants some trouble.

The Giants’ will need all the help they can get from their rotation after Cain especially Lincecum who finished the season with only 10 wins and a 5+ ERA but I don’t know if Buster Posey and company can do enough to move on. Reds in 4.

 

Washington Nationals (98-64) vs. St. Louis Cardinals (88-74)

Anything short of a World Series win by this Nationals squad which feed fuel to the fire to the decision of shutting down Stephen Strasburg (15-6, 3.16) for the season. That said, the team went 13-11 after shutting him down and still won the division rather comfortably.

The Cardinals, who every one though would struggle to make the post-season after losing Pujols, beat the Braves in controversial fashion but I think that is as far as they will go as the Nationals are still too strong for St. Louis even without a starting pitcher. Nationals in 4.

 

 


MLB Playoff Predictions 1

After a crazy finish to the regular season, I’m not sure I want to do this but I will. If you want to submit your Playoffs predictions, feel free. Keep in mind that I wrote this before either game started and I did not change it after the Yankee rain postponement tonight.

Rays over Rangers in 4
Tigers over Yankees in 5

I think Rays ride their hot streak to easily take care of the Rangers in 4. The other series should be a lot more interesting.

The Yanks definitely have the better ERA but the Tigers’ staff was better in terms of quality starts – that can certainly go a long way in the playoffs. I give Verlander the edge over CC and if the Yankees bullpen has a hiccup or two, they will be one and done.

Phillies over Cardinals in 4
Diamondbacks over Brewers in 5

At the beginning of the season, I thought 97.5 was a high O/U number forPhiladelphiaand they surpassed it. Although it kills me to root for the Phillies, I can’t go against Roy Halladay and they should have no problem surpassing the Cards who should not have even made the playoffs if it wasn’t for the massive Atlanta collapse.

On paper, the Brewers are a better team than the Diamondbacks by a mile but that is why you play the game. Personally I have an interest in seeingArizonado well with the Jays trading Aaron Hill and Johnny Mac to them this season.

Tigers over Rays in 6
Diamondbacks over Phillies in 7

Tigers over D-backs in 6

But I will revise the later rounds as we move along. What are your picks?


Baseball’s Unlikely Regular Season Finish

A great piece by Nate Silver over at FiveThirtyEight on how unlikely the events of the last day of the Major League Baseball season actually were. Below is just a sample:

The following is not mathematically rigorous, since the events of yesterday evening were contingent upon one another in various ways. But just for fun, let’s put all of them together in sequence:

  • The Red Sox had just a 0.3 percent chance of failing to make the playoffs on Sept. 3.
  • The Rays had just a 0.3 percent chance of coming back after trailing 7-0 with two innings to play.
  • The Red Sox had only about a 2 percent chance of losing their game against Baltimore, when the Orioles were down to their last strike.
  • The Rays had about a 2 percent chance of winning in the bottom of the 9th, with Johnson also down to his last strike.

Multiply those four probabilities together, and you get a combined probability of about one chance in 278 million of all these events coming together in quite this way.


Bucket List: Visiting All Sporting Venues

I was putting together a bucket list earlier which I will post once it is fully developed later on this summer and someone mentioned to me that going to all the sports arenas and stadiums should be one of the items on that list. That got me into thinking exactly how many of those places I have seen myself.

The list is a little bit longer than I would have originally thought it to be although it includes not only the places I have actually seen a game (indicated in bold) but also the stadiums/arenas that I have seen in person but didn’t necessarily watch a game there. The current list stands at 39 sporting venues, which includes repeats such as Air Canada Centre and Madison Square Garden as they play host to multiple professional teams, or 32 unique ones. Those venues span over 9 states, 1 province and two different countries.

A few rules to counting the sporting venues:

  1. It counts as long as you physically saw it in person whether for a few seconds or were actually inside the stadium.
  2. Repeats count but just have a separate unique list
  3. Old Stadiums still count as long as they were playing host to the professional team at the time of your visit.
  4. Venues of professional teams only, College and Minor League stadiums/arenas do NOT count.
  5. Venues must be located in North America.

I have attended events in 12 of those venues which comprise of 5 baseball stadiums, 3 hockey arenas, 2 basketball stadiums, 1 soccer field and boxing match.

I’m hoping to add a couple when I am in Dallas this summer with the Mavericks, Rangers, Cowboys and Stars but I’m not sure how much time I will actually have but that is definitely on the to-do list.

I’m sure there are plenty of you out there with a longer list than me, let me see them or if you have done more in a single sport, let me know!

Sport (Physically Seen – Attended Game)

Major League Baseball (13 – 5):

–         Rogers Centre (Blue Jays)
–         Yankee Stadium (Yankees)
–         New Yankee Stadium (Yankees)
–         Fenway Park (Red Sox)
–         Camden Yards (Orioles)
–         Wrigley Field (Cubs)
–         Comiskey Park (White Sox)
–         Citizens Bank Ballpark (Phillies)
–         Nationals Park (Nationals)
–         Citi Field (Mets)
–         Shea Stadium (Mets)
–         Three Rivers Stadium (Pirates)
–         Jacobs Field (Indians)

National Hockey League (9 – 3):

–         Air Canada Centre (Leafs)
–         Maple Leafs Garden (Leafs)
–         Madison Square Garden (Rangers)
–         Prudential Center (Devils)
–         Wells Fargo Center (Flyers)
–         TD Garden (Bruins)
–         Verizon Center (Capitals)
–         United Center (Blackhawks)
–         HSBC Arena (Sabers)

National Football League (7 – 0):

–         Giants Stadium (Jets / Giants)
–         Soldiers Field (Bears)
–         Lincoln Financial Field (Eagles)
–         M&T Bank Stadium (Ravens)
–         EverBank Field (Jaguars)
–         Ralph Wilson Stadium (Bills)
–         Three Rivers Stadium (Steelers)

National Basketball Association (6 – 2):

–         Air Canada Centre (Raptors)
–         Madison Square Garden (Knicks)
–         IZOD Center (Nets)
–         Wells Fargo Center (76ers)
–         TD Garden (Celtics)
–         United Center (Bulls)

Major League Soccer (2 – 1):

–         BMO Field (Toronto FC)
–         Red Bull Arena (Red Bull)

Boxing (1 – 1):

–         Prudential Center (Welterweight)

Horse Racing (1 – 0):

–         Belmont Park (Triple Crown, 3rd Leg)