Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Miracle Watch 2009

You may have noticed the new graphic I have added that shows the Cubs' likelihood of making the postseason. After the latest victory over the Milwaukee Brewers, coupled with the losses by St. Louis and Colorado, the calculates that the Cubs currently have a 2.54% chance of making the postseason.

Since September 13th, when the Cubs chances stood at a season-low .6% chance, they have more than quadrupled their chances. WOOOOOOO!!!! Go Cubs!

I got into a brief conversation last night with @AngryHack and @TheBlogfines that started with @AngryHack stating: "Hey #cubs fans, crazier things have happened. It's just that usually they happen against us."

My response was that I could not think of a crazier thing. There have been unbelievable comebacks and crushing collapses, but I had to figure that the Cubs making the postseason would be the craziest finish ever.

Meanwhile, my two Twitter friends referenced the 1969 Cubs collapse, the 2007 Rockies comeback, and the 2007 Mets collapse as more miraculous than what the Cubs face this season. I argued that the Cubs being behind 4 different teams in the Wild Card and being down by over 10 games in the division would make the best comeback ever. My beliefs were not fact based, so I decided to see if my feelings actually were accurate.

So, I looked some things up and found a very interesting site called They measure playoff odds of each team, track the trend over the season, and have an area ranking the greatest comebacks and worst collapses in playoff history.

The site is worth clicking around, but here are some points of interest:
  • If the Cubs make it to the playoffs, they will tie with the 2004 Houston Astros for 6th in beating the lowest playoff odds at any point in a season. (.6%) The teams that beat longer odds were the 1951 New York Giants (.3%), 1964 St. Louis Cardinals, 1973 New York Mets, 2005 Houston Astros (.2%), and the 1914 Boston Braves (less than .1%).
  • The 2007 Rockies rank #17 on the list at 1%
  • The 1969 Mets rank #18 at 1.4%
  • The 2007 Phillies (team that ran down the Mets) rank #85 at 8.9%
  • If the Cubs make it, they would own the greatest September comeback in the history of baseball. They were are at .6% on September 13. The lastest comeback for any of the teams ahead of them was the 2005 Astros that were .6% on August 26.
  • The greatest September comeback of all-time at the moment is the 1934 St. Louis Cardinals who stood at .7% on September 6.
  • The greatest September comeback that started at a later lowpoint than today's date of September 16 is the 1962 San Francisco Giants, who were at 1.9% on September 22.
  • If the Cardinals collapse, it will be the biggest collapse in the history of baseball. Not only was their playoff odds at greater than 99.9%, they reached that point on September 9. No team has ever blown a lead greater than 99.9% and no team has ever blown a lead greater than 99.5% in September.
  • The biggest collapse currently belongs to the 1995 California Angels at 99.9%.
  • The biggest September collapse belongs to the 2007 Mets who stood at 99.5% on September 13.
  • The 2007 Padres blowing their lead to the Rockies is #17 all-time at 92.8%
  • The 1969 Cubs are #9 all-time at 95.8%

So, it turns out that there have been statistically crazier things, but no September comeback has ever been as miraculous as the Cubs coming back from their lowpoint of just three days ago.


Sarah Sue Gaiser said...

So you're saying there's a chance!

Duey23 said...

As a Market Researcher whose job it is to play with numbers all day, this is great info.

As a Cub fan which I've been my whole life, I'm telling you to step away from the oxycontin ;-p

Nothing would make me happier than a historic Cardinal collapse which allows the Cubs to get in, but I don't know if I can take a three-peat of our playoff performances.

Aisle 424 said...

I'm not saying that it will happen, that I believe it will happen, or even that I believe in my heart of hearts that it COULD happen. I'm just comparing the Cubs situation in a statistical historical context.

So, technically, there is a chance and however long there is a mathematical chance, the Aisle 424 Miracle Watch will remain.

The reality is that it is Bears season, hence the change to the Header background.

Duey23 said...

I know, I did put a winky smiley w/a tongue thing in there.

Did you hear that they had to replace all the sod at Soldier Field due to the U2 staging/stuff? Nothing like increasing the chances for more players to get hurt as the sod slips around under their footing.

Gotta love the Chicago Park District and their timing!

Aisle 424 said...

The Bears never should have left Wrigley.

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