Fun With Ridiculously Small Sample Sizes

It was recently posited in the introductions thread that one of the reasons BYB draws a number of analytical minds is its propensity to require strong evidence to support claims. Around here, gut feelings don't trump xFIP projections, and a veteran left handed reliever can't just win the closer job on an MLB team in spite of his atrocious L/R splits. I even suspect that were Cabrera not among the greatest Tigers of our lifetimes, we'd be on the other side of The Trout / Cabrera Debate.

I, on the other hand, run counter to the general trend at times. I'm a Mechanical Engineer, and so I have the utmost respect for math and its ability to predict phenomena; I just prefer good old fashioned gut calls every now and again. Numbers have incredible value when they're used correctly, but can be disastrous when misapplied (ask my project sponsors about a certain tailgate I'm developing what those disasters might be). I happen to like disasters, and since we're so quickly out of spring training, and with one full regular season game under these Tigers belts, I thought it might be fun to go a little crazy with some single point small sample size approximations!

Team Performance

  • The 162-0 record will pretty much cement this team as the greatest to ever play the game.
  • Though some will point to their +162 run differential and 104 expected pythag wins as proof that this was an extremely lucky team, the front office decisions to build a team capable of scraping out small ball wins will be entirely vindicated by the 162 come from behind 1 run victories the Tigers will put up this year.
  • Their 648 Runs scored will be a frankly abysmal total, the worst since 2003 by far. But I suppose for 162-0, it's acceptable.
  • Unfortunately, teams that have gone undefeated in the regular season are exactly 0-0 in the Post Season, but that doesn't mean we can't hopelessly extrapolate from our current data!
  • Arbitrarily, of the last 9 world series champs, 4 have won their opening day game (Boston, San Francisco, St. Louis, Chicago White Sox ); and 5 have lost (San Francisco, St. Louis, New York Yankees, Philladelphia, Boston). Therefore, the Tigers have a 44% chance of winning the world series this year.

The Individual Performers

  • Nick Castellanos is on pace for a 0.500/0.500/0.500 triple slash line. This should carry him to the easiest ROTY award in AL history, and place him solidly in the MVP conversation. His 324 singles would shatter Ichiro Suzuki's mark for most hits in a season (262), but the lack of power displayed would be concerning. His 162 K's would be a glaring issue, compounded by his utter lack of walks. This could be taken as a possible sign of future regression due to abysmal pitch recognition.
  • Victor Martinez will absolutely crush this year, to the tune of 162 home runs. If any performance could push Castellanos out of a well deserved MVP, that would be it. Though the 0.250 batting average would be the lowest mark of his career.
  • Justin Verlander's bounce back 2014 will be a point of contention among many; his 0-0 record will seem oddly depressed given his 3.00 ERA, but his 70K's will be alarmingly decreased from his career norms. and his 2:3 K/BB ratio will point towards future regression. Concerning signs for the holder of the Tiger's #2 lifetime contract.
  • Joe Nathan may never record a save, but his perfect win/loss record and 0.00 ERA without allowing a base runner all season will have Tiger's fans clamouring to sign him to a long term contract, age be damned.
  • Torii Hunter's 32 errors in right combined with his 0.000 average and 32 K's should see him cut from the team by mid-May, but no one dares to mess with the mojo of an undefeated clubhouse, Kinsler and Davis also spared from fanbase evisceration by the team's record.
  • Finally, Alex Gonzales fills in admirably for Iglesias at shortstop, returning to the All Star game on the back of his mammoth 0.500 batting average, and unthinkably large pile of triples.

The Blog

  • SanDiegoMick crushes BYB leaderboard with 22,164 game thread comments, which actually seems mildly likely when you think about it.
  • NCDee and Grant E. tie for total gamethread rec's on the season, both proving that GWilson's inexorable supply of infinitely awesome information does not guarantee a rec war victory.
  • Big Al continues to write the best game recaps on the internet.
  • On the back of the 162-0 season, BYB experiences record lows of DOOOOOOOOOOOOM, and Mlive is forced to shutter its servers by June.

I figure these will do for my Bold Predictions this season.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of the <em>Bless You Boys</em> writing staff.

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