|Boyd's World-> Breadcrumbs Back to Omaha-> The 2003 Conference Races||About the author, Boyd Nation|
Publication Date: May 6, 2003
This is one of those annual columns that I do, so I'll keep the introduction short. Pennant races are better than playoffs, at any level of baseball. They're more dramatic, they last longer, and they're more fun. See last year's column if you need more verbiage like that. This year, I'm doing things a bit differently, though; I'm going to present the standings with a couple of analysis columns for each conference without commentary. Doing them all is because I've come to realize that they all matter a lot, since that self-contained conference is the measuring stick for all but the very top programs. The lack of commentary is because there's only one of me, and, frankly, I'm not at my best when I'm just reading the numbers to you anyway like my nine-year-old reading the newspaper I just finished to me.
A word about the probability numbers here. I've used a probability table based on ISR gaps before, but I'm trying a new function here; I think it works pretty well based on the larger amounts of game data I've accumulated. Essentially the odds of the home team winning a particular game are
(Home ISR - Visiting ISR) * .02 + .55
as far as I can tell from five year's of data. Obviously, this goes off the rails once you get more than 25 ISR points apart, but those games are rare enough that I can safely ignore them for conference play most of the time. I suspect the function goes non-linear that close to the edge.
The probability numbers here are based on summing the odds of each possible number of wins for the contending teams; they should represent a pretty good guide for how optimistic to be about a particular team's chances. I've tried to catch mutual exclusion cases (both teams can't lose the same game), but I might have missed one or two along the way; those numbers are just there for a general idea anyway. In a few cases, I left off a team that hasn't been mathematically eliminated, so the numbers don't always sum to 100. I'm also not bothering with the possibility of rainouts; at some point, you just have to draw the line. I didn't bother with probabilities for conferences that don't have most of the teams with two three-game series left; I'll put it in a note on those.
W L Remaining Maine 12 4 @Stony Brook, Vermont Vermont 9 3 @Binghamton, @Northeastern, @Maine Stony Brook 10 6 Maine, Hartford Northeastern 8 8 Vermont, Binghamton
The most likely outcome is for Vermont to sweep Binghamton this weekend and put it away; that's around a 70% chance.
W L Remaining Probability Florida State 13 5 @Maryland, @Duke 94 NCSU 14 7 @Georgia Tech 3 Georgia Tech 12 6 @Virginia, NCSU 3
W L Remaining Probability Florida Atlantic 23 7 Stetson 91 Stetson 18 9 UCF, @FAU 9
Atlantic 10 East
W L Remaining Probability Massachusetts 12 6 St. Joseph's 86 Rhode Island 14 7 @Temple 14
Atlantic 10 West
W L Remaining Probability Richmond 17 3 @Duquesne 100
W L Remaining Probability Rutgers 15 4 Notre Dame, @Villanova 43 West Virginia 14 4 Villanova, @BC 46 Notre Dame 14 4 @Rutgers, @Virginia Tech 11
W L Remaining Probability Winthrop 11 3 @High Point, @Radford 76 Coastal Carolina 9 4 Charleston So., UNC-A 24
W L Remaining Minnesota 19 3 @Iowa, Ohio State Ohio State 15 9 Michigan, @Minnesota Northwestern 12 9 @Michigan, @Indiana
Four-game series here, but Minnesota is a prohibitive favorite by now.
W L Remaining Probability Texas 18 6 Texas A&M 67 Nebraska 15 6 Oklahoma State, Baylor 31 Texas A&M 14 7 Kansas, @Texas 2
W L Remaining Probability Long Beach State 12 3 UC Riverside, @CSUF 13 UC Riverside 11 4 @LBSU, UC Irvine 31 CSUF 11 4 UC Irvine, LBSU 56
W L Remaining Probability UNC-Wilmington 13 5 James Madison 97 James Madison 9 5 @UNCW, Old Dominion 3
W L Remaining Probability VCU 17 3 none 100
W L Remaining Probability Southern Miss 18 6 South Florida, @Houston 32 Texas Christian 18 6 @UNC-Charlotte, Louisville 58 Tulane 17 7 @Louisville, East Carolina 8 Houston 16 8 @Memphis, USM 2
W L Remaining Illinois-Chicago 12 4 @Detroit, UW-M Butler 10 6 @Cleveland State, Detroit UW-M 9 7 YSU, @UI-C Youngstown State 11 9 @UW-M
Four-game series here, but this is an interesting race, since Butler has the favorable schedule, but two games is probably too much to make up.
Ivy League Gehrig
W L Remaining Probability Princeton 15 5 none 100
Ivy League Rolfe
W L Remaining Probability Harvard 11 9 none 100
W L Remaining Probability LeMoyne 17 2 Niagara, Siena 99 Marist 16 5 @Siena, @Iona 1
W L Remaining Kent State 13 3 Miami (OH), Buffalo Miami, Ohio 15 5 @Kent State, Akron
Four-game series here, but Kent State is a decided favorite at home (61% for any given game), so their chances are really good at this point.
W L Remaining Western Michigan 15 9 Ball State Eastern Michigan 12 8 Northern Illinois, @Ohio Northern Illinois 9 7 @EMU, CMU
There are no heavy favorites among the remaining series, which makes it most likely that Western Michigan's lead will hold up.
W L Remaining Oral Roberts 11 1 @Oakland, Western Illinois Oakland 7 5 ORU, @Southern Utah Western Illinois 7 5 Chicage State, @ORU
It's a nice, orderly progression here, as Oral Roberts is at least an 85% favorite in any conference game this year. Kind of take the suspense out of things. Nice scheduling, though.
W L Remaining Probability Delaware State 9 0 none 100
W L Remaining Probability Bethune-Cookman 11 5 none 100
W L Remaining Probability SW Missouri State 17 9 @Illinois State Southern Illinois 16 10 Wichita State Wichita State 13 11 @SIU, Evansville
This is more interesting than it looks at first glance, since Wichita State is a prohibitive favorite against Evansville. SMS's two rainouts against Bradley could be significant, as they can still win with one less victory than WSU, but the odds were in their favor in those games anyway. I've only run it partway by hand, but call it 65% for SMS, 30% for WSU, and some potential crumbs for SIU if everything falls right.
W L Remaining Probability Nevada-Las Vegas 20 4 @New Mexico, Utah 98 New Mexico 16 8 UNLV, @San Diego State 2
W L Remaining Probability CCSU 17 6 @Wagner 99 St. Francis 15 8 Monmouth 1
W L Remaining Probability Tennessee Tech 10 4 @Eastern Illinois, APSU 31 Austin Peay 9 4 @Eastern Ky, @Tenn Tech 5 SEMO 9 5 Morehead State, @Murray State 63 Murray State 8 6 UT-Martin, SEMO 1
W L Remaining Stanford 13 5 @California, UCLA Arizona State 10 5 @Oregon State, @Washington, Arizona Arizona 11 7 Oregon State, @Arizona State
It's too early to call this one, but Stanford's remaining schedule makes it pretty close to a foregone conclusion; there's some chance that Cal bothers them, but not much chance of the sweep it would take to make it interesting.
W L Remaining Probability Bucknell 15 5 none 100
W L Remaining Probability South Carolina 13 11 @Alabama, Georgia 64 Florida 11 12 @Mississippi, Kentucky 34 Tennessee 10 14 Arkansas, @Vanderbilt 1 Vanderbilt 10 14 @Kentucky, Tennessee 1
W L Remaining Probability Louisiana State 16 7 Auburn, @Arkansas 55 Auburn 15 9 @LSU, Mississippi 30 Mississippi State 14 9 @Georgia, Alabama 15
W L Remaining Probability Western Carolina 19 5 Appalachian State, @CofC 96 UNC-Greensboro 15 9 Citadel, @Davidson 2 The Citadel 15 9 @UNC-G, VMI 2
W L Remaining Probability Miss. Valley State 22 6 none 100
W L Remaining Probability Southern 31 1 none 100
W L Remaining Probability New Mexico State 15 6 @USA 55 South Alabama 12 6 NMSU, @UL-L 40 Louisiana-Lafayette 11 7 @Arkansas State, USA 5
West Coast Coast
W L Remaining Probability
West Coast Coast
W L Remaining Probability Pepperdine 19 5 @St. Mary's, @Gonzaga 95 Santa Clara 17 7 Gonzaga, St. Mary's 5
West Coast West
W L Remaining Probability San Diego 15 12 @Portland 97 San Francisco 15 12 @Loyola Marymount 3
W L Remaining Rice 19 2 @Nevada, @San Jose State, Fresno State Nevada 15 5 Rice, Fresno State, @Louisiana Tech
Call it 80% Rice, but that's actually more interesting than anyone expected it to be at this point.
Pitch Count Watch
Rather than keep returning to the subject of pitch counts and pitcher usage in general too often for my main theme, I'm just going to run a standard feature down here where I point out potential problems; feel free to stop reading above this if the subject doesn't interest you. This will just be a quick listing of questionable starts that have caught my eye -- the general threshold for listing is 120 actual pitches or 130 estimated, although short rest will also get a pitcher listed if I catch it. Don't blame me; I'm just the messenger.
|Apr 27||Virginia Military||Phil Hendrix||Wofford||7.0||6||0||0||5||11||28||33||123|
|May 2||Oklahoma State||Scott Baker||Missouri||9.0||8||4||1||0||7||31||32||143|
|May 2||Houston||Brad Sullivan||Louisville||8.0||9||3||2||4||12||31||35||125|
|May 2||South Florida||Jon Uhl||Texas Christian||8.2||6||0||0||0||9||33||33||129|
|May 2||Texas Christian||Clayton Jerome||South Florida||9.0||7||3||3||2||12||33||36||127|
|May 2||Akron||Frank Mendoza||Kent State||8.0||7||2||2||1||7||29||30||121|
|May 2||Marshall||Grant Harper||Miami, Ohio||9.0||10||4||3||2||6||36||41||131|
|May 2||Western Michigan||Brad Mumma||Bowling Green State||8.1||8||1||1||3||12||35||38||162 (*)|
|May 2||Bowling Green State||Kyle Knoblauch||Western Michigan||9.1||8||1||1||1||11||35||38||149 (*)|
|May 2||Bradley||Collin Walker||Northern Iowa||9.0||7||1||1||1||10||32||34||132|
|May 2||Southern Illinois||Jake Alley||Creighton||7.2||8||1||1||5||6||30||38||137|
|May 2||Creighton||Tom Oldham||Southern Illinois||9.0||11||3||3||0||6||33||37||121|
|May 2||Wichita State||Mike Pelfrey||Southwest Missouri State||8.1||8||4||4||1||10||32||35||125|
|May 2||Southwest Missouri State||Chad Mulholland||Wichita State||7.1||10||4||4||1||7||29||33||121|
|May 2||Mississippi State||Paul Maholm||Louisiana State||7.2||9||2||1||5||10||29||34||129|
|May 2||Alabama||Brent Carter||Tennessee||8.0||7||2||2||3||11||32||35||151 (*)|
|May 2||College of Charleston||Matt Soale||North Carolina-Greensboro||8.0||5||2||1||3||7||28||34||132|
|May 3||Baylor||Sean Walker||Kansas State||8.0||5||1||1||3||7||29||32||126|
|May 3||Old Dominion||Justin Verlander||William and Mary||9.0||5||2||2||4||11||31||35||140|
|May 3||Hofstra||D. Huth||Delaware||9.0||11||3||3||3||2||38||41||151 (*)|
|May 3||North Carolina-Charlotte||Justin Brown||Alabama-Birmingham||9.0||6||1||0||4||2||32||37||130 (*)|
|May 3||Alabama-Birmingham||Jon Burgett||North Carolina-Charlotte||7.2||12||8||8||3||7||32||37||130 (*)|
|May 3||Rider||James Hoey||Fairfield||9.0||4||2||2||6||9||30||37||146 (*)|
|May 3||Iona||Marty Hand||St. Peter's||9.0||4||1||1||2||8||33||36||130 (*)|
|May 3||Arizona||Sean Rierson||California||9.0||6||4||3||2||6||33||36||133|
|May 3||Mississippi State||Alan Johnson||Louisiana State||9.0||4||0||0||0||6||30||30||128|
|May 3||Georgia Southern||Dennis Dove||The Citadel||7.0||6||2||2||6||8||28||35||125|
|May 3||College of Charleston||Reid Price||North Carolina-Greensboro||9.0||5||1||1||0||7||31||34||136|
|May 4||Temple||Mike Caron||Fordham||9.0||6||1||1||3||4||32||38||130 (*)|
|May 4||Siena||Jeremy Cabot||Canisius||9.0||6||1||1||3||7||32||35||122|
|May 4||Western Michigan||Keith Perez||Bowling Green State||8.1||6||2||2||4||8||31||35||145 (*)|
|May 4||Tennessee Tech||Dusty Eubanks||Eastern Kentucky||9.0||11||4||3||0||11||37||37||144 (*)|
|May 4||Washington State||Aaron MacKenzie||Washington||9.0||6||2||1||2||9||34||36||146 (*)|
|May 4||Louisiana State||Nate Bumstead||Mississippi State||8.2||7||1||1||1||6||33||36||136|
|May 6||Massachusetts||Mike Crane||Siena||10.0||5||2||1||4||10||35||45||149|
|May 6||Delaware||Ryan Dulaney||Maryland-Baltimore County||9.0||7||3||3||4||6||31||36||135 (*)|
|May 7||Dayton||Dylan Hickey||Ball State||9.0||8||6||6||3||5||34||39||145|
|May 7||Kansas||Pat Holmes||Wichita State||9.0||7||3||3||3||7||34||38||157|
|May 7||Portland||Josh Roberts||Washington||7.2||7||5||5||7||4||27||37||139 (*)|
|May 8||North Carolina A&T||C. Summers||Coppin State||9.0||14||7||7||1||6||39||40||144 (*)|
|May 8||Coppin State||Miranda||North Carolina A&T||8.0||17||12||9||3||4||40||45||152 (*)|
(*) Pitch count is estimated.
The Hendrix correction is based on an actual pitch count and shows a really interesting start.
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|Boyd's World-> Breadcrumbs Back to Omaha-> The 2003 Conference Races||About the author, Boyd Nation|