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October 06, 2008   |   By: Dayne Myers   |   Posted in: CEO Posts, Company News, Diamond Mind, Industry News, MLB Playoffs, SIM Analysis, SIM Stats, Tips

Mr. Sim Calls Virtual Coin Toss for BOS-LAA Game 4 as Injured Players Could Spell The Difference

RED SOX vs. ANGELS, game 4:

The Angels survived last night (or this morning, depending your time zone!) - but just barely.  Can they do it again?  The Sim sees Boston as having the edge, but not by much.  The Red Sox project as having a 53.6% chance of winning game 4.  But the average scores indicate it might even be closer - in our 2,000 simulated games, Boston averaged 4.6 runs while L.A. averaged 4.5.

And although the Angels are the ones facing elimination, the Red Sox should feel some heat as well.  While The Sim still shows the Red Sox with a 75% chance of advancing, the advantage shifts to the Angels if they win game 4 tonight.  In fact, when we ran the rest of this series 2000 times, the Angels have a 53.6% chance of winning the series if they win tonight.  So, tonight looms large. 

Keys to the Game:  The starters of game one, Jon Lester and John Lackey, have a rematch tonight.  Given that The Sim sees a high-scoring affair, a strong performance by one of the starting pitchers could make a big difference and projects a much higher chance of victory for the team that gets it.  However, with The Sim showing Lackey and Lester giving roughly equal performances, it looks like the bullpens will decide it.  And after a long night for both pens, there is high risk for both teams here.  The Sim projects the Boston bullpen likely to give up more hits while the Angel pen gives more walks.  The one that improves upon those numbers is likely to win a close game.

As for likely hitting stars, The Sim shows that the long ball is not likely to be a big factor like it was last night.  J.D. Drew projects to continue to be red-hot for the Bosox, projecting the best OPS of either team (.833), while Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis project as most likely to have a multi-hit night.  For the Angels, nobody projects as having as good of odds for a big night as Drew, Pedroia, and Youkilis, though L.A. projects as having more players with a 15% or better probability of a big night - Teixeira, Figgins, Kendrick, Guerrero, and Hunter all show as having a decent chance of coming through.  Interestingly, that may mean that Boston would benefit more if an unlikely star steps up, but it's also more dependent on those three to win.

Intangibles:  HOLD ON!  There is an injury issue.  J.D. Drew (back) and Mike Lowell (hip) are day-to-day.  Drew did not start last night (which impacted our projections), and Lowell did not look good after diving for some groundballs.  If they can't play, the odds likely swing to the Angels.  So, we ran the simulation with the following variables:

Drew plays, but Lowell is out:  The Angels become the favorites.  With Lowell at 3b, the Red Sox won 53.6% of the simulations.  With Youkilis at 3b and Kotsay at 1b, the Red Sox win only 48.9%.

Drew is out, but Lowell plays:  Believe it or not, The Sim shows the Red Sox actually slightly improving their chances of winning, increasing its odds from 53.6% to 54.5%, and the reason appears to be improved defense.  The Red Sox average scoring about the same number of runs, but the Angels score .3 runs less.  We were surprised by this outcome, so we ran another 2,000 games to be sure... and the results were pretty much the same.  Coco Crisp in CF and Ellsbury in RF are better than Ellsbury and Drew, and it appears to make more of a difference than the decreased run production projections of having Crisp in the line-up instead of Drew... though part of that is that Drew had a number of key contributions as a pinch-hitter in the sim runs.

Both Drew and Lowell are out:  This also favors the Angels, but it's practically a toss-up, as the Angels win 51.5% of the sim runs.

UPDATE:  We have heard the Mike Lowell will not start tonight but J.D. Drew will (Source: AP).  Therefore, The Sim likes the Angels to win, but it's only a very slight edge.  

Still not sure about The Sim?  See how we’ve predicted games on Tuesday and Wednesday and over the weekend (Saturday, Sunday).

Want to know more?  Check out our LDS predictions on ESPN (ALDS, NLDS), or here:

NLDS

Phillies-Brewers NLDS

Phillies-Brewers Game 1

Phillies-Brewers Game 2

Phillies-Brewers Game 3

Phillies-Brewers Game 4

Phillies Win Series 3-1 

 

Dodgers-Cubs NLDS

Dodgers-Cubs Game 1

Dodgers-Cubs Game 2

Dodgers-Cubs Game 3

Dodgers Win Series 3-0

ALDS

Angels-Red Sox ALDS

Angels-Red Sox Game 1

Angels-Red Sox Game 2

Angels-Red Sox Game 3

 

Rays-White Sox ALDS

Rays-White Sox Game 1

Rays-White Sox Game 2

Rays-White Sox Game 3

Rays-White Sox Game 4


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Great aritelc, thank you again for writing.

Posted by on 10/11 at 07:21 PM