It Ain’t Over Til It’s Over, But …

“Hey, Astro fans! Sometimes the easiest way to get the name of the best team in baseball is to go to the sports pages and check out the standings and read the name of the team that’s on top.”
~Ghost of Yogi Berra

 

It Ain’t Over Til It’s Over, But … as a probability, first place in the AL West is pretty much decided now, as of all the games completed through Sunday, July 16, 2017.

The Houston Astros, at 32 games above .500 ball are, in fact, the only team playing on the sunny side of .500 going into the games of Monday, July 17th.

The following standings reflect all games completed through Sunday, along with the column tabs on how many game already have been played (GP) and how many games remain for play on each club’s schedule for 2017 (GR):

AL WEST W L PCT GB GP GR
ASTROS 62 30 .674 92 70
MARINERS 46 47 .495 16.5 93 69
RANGERS 45 46 .495 16.5 91 71
ANGELS 46 49 .484 17.5 92 70
ATHLETICS 42 50 .457 20.0 92 70

To better present the picture in easy-to-see math, let’s assume that the Astros only play .500 ball over the course of their remaining 70 games (GR). As improbable as that slight accomplishment is, .500 ball the rest of the way still would allow the Astros to add 35 games to each of their current win and loss columns of 62 and 30, providing the post-season Astros with a complete regular season record of 97 wins, 65 losses, and a winning percentage of .599.

So, if the Astros finish at 97-75, one or more of the other four ALW clubs would then have to win enough games from their variable remaining games to reach a final total of 98 wins, and in so doing, beat the Astros for first place by one game, with a record of 98-74.

Our second table reflects how unlikely that shall be, based upon what they’ve all shown us so far. We’re talking leaps and bounds above .500 ball by the same four teams that have shown significant trouble even reaching up to the bar of .500 ball mediocrity.

If the Astros go .500 from here, what the others would need to overtake them:

ASTROS@97 NOW GR TO BE 1ST
MARINERS 46-47 69 Go 52-17
RANGERS 45-46 71 Go 53-18
ANGELS 46-49 67 Go 52-15
ATHLETICS 42-50 70 Go 56-14

Using our first team for greater clarity on the chart, this table carries forth the hypothetical idea that, if the Astros only play .500 ball the rest of the way, they will finish with 97 wins, making 98 the number that each of the other clubs would need to beat them out of 1st place by one win, assuming, also, that all teams play out their full 162 game schedules.

Example: That means the 46-47 Mariners would have to go 52-17 in their final 69 remaining games to beat out the Astros for 1st place in the AL West.

Ad nauseum, variably, with the other three divisional clubs.

It ain’t over ’til it’s over, but, the Astros finishing first in the AL West is looking more and more like the closest thing to a sure thing by the day. Not so sure is – all that other stuff that happens in baseball, like the impact of old and new injuries, losing a short series to dead arms, tired bats, weird slumps among the hitting stars, or crazy bounces – like that grounder that Tony Sipp accidentally slapped into right field for a Minnesota two-spot scoring play in Saturday’s game. Had Sipp not deflected it, Altuve probably could have stopped one of those runs from scoring.

Hang on to your caps, Astros fans. Enjoy, but remember. Until that third out cat is finally in the bag of the last championship trail game, that there are always still some big thorns hiding in the shade of those rapidly sprouting rose bushes that we are all now beginning to sense and scent in so many long and overdue jubilant ways.

********************

Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle

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One Response to “It Ain’t Over Til It’s Over, But …”

  1. Cliff Blau Says:

    In 1914, the Braves were in last place after games of July 16, but were only 11.5 games out of first. Interestingly, although they were playing a 154 game schedule, they still had 78 games to play, more than the Astros’ rivals do. So, barring a bigger miracle than the Braves performed, the Astros’ lead looks safe.

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