Goatriders of the Apocalypse

Numbers are fun...when used for speculation

Obviously I'm not a genius with numbers like some of the other Goatriders, but I do like using them to predict the future and make outrageous claims. It's good fun for all.

So before I take off for a wedding this weekend, I just wanted to mention two quick things using the power of numbers and other stuff that hurts my head...

Thing #1

I'm not sure if Colin has ever mentioned this specific website before (he usually has a fleet of links in his posts, so by now I generally accept anything he writes as pure knowledge and fact), but I found this interesting place called coolstandings.com.

At this site, they use current statistics, career numbers/trends and transactions to constantly predict how a team will finish the season. On a daily basis, the expected records of every team in MLB changes as do the chances of each team making the playoffs.

Right now, of all the teams in Major League Baseball, the Cubs have an 83.9% chance of making it to the postseason (best in the league). Coolstandings calculates the Cubs have a 64.2% chance of winning the NL Central and a 19.6% chance of taking the wildcard. Not bad.

And while the Cubs have the best chance of making it to the playoffs based on these numbers, can you guess which team has the best overall chance of winning their division? You guessed it, the White Sox. According to this site, they have a 72.9% chance of winning the AL Central.

Interesting stuff.

Thing #2

I have yet to weigh in on Rich Harden despite the explosion of content in the universe about the recent trade.

So now you're going to sit down and listen to everything I have to say about it! Yeah, that's right. And you're going to like it...Wait! Don't leave. Don't close your browser. I was just kidding. You can read it if you want. I'd like if you did sir.

Anyway, there has been a lot of talk about the "I" word and Harden's dipping velocity, but I want to talk about his line this weekend against San Francisco.

In his first start with the Cubs, Rich has the advantage of facing a team he has already dominated this year in the Giants. Back on June 14 at San Francisco, Harden threw 6 innings of solid baseball in which he gave up 0 runs on 1 hit with 9 strikeouts.

While the expectations from the fans will be high and the scrutiny from the media will be harsh, I expect Rich to have similar numbers against the Giants on Saturday. Here is my predicted line...

5 IP, 1 ER, 3H, 6 K/1 BB...0 "I" words

I really can not see Lou letting Rich go more than 5 innings (expect to see some bullpen action the second Harden goes over 80 pitches and he gets into any kind of trouble), but he should be able to dominate in those five innings.

Realistically, if he allows 3 or less runs in about 5 innings then I think the Cubs have a solid chance of winning the game...and that is always the most important thing. 

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