Going, Going . . . 1

September 28, 2017

(This article was first published on R – MAD-Stat, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

Two posts today with similar themes. Time is running out.  First, time is running out for Giancarlo Stanton. His bat has been very silent this week so far. The Marlins have 7 more games and he still needs 4 dingers to reach Roger Maris’ old home run record.  I have updated the Albert and Carpenter models. Stanton’s probability of tying the record has fallen in three days from around 20% to 3% according to Jim Albert’s model. Strangely, the Carpenter model continues to predict a 50% probability of tying or breaking the record.

Looking at Carpenter’s model in greater detail, the poisson estimation of the number of remaining at bats seems optimistic and appears to be driving the estimation higher because it gives Stanton more chances to hit home runs. A rule of thumb in baseball is that a batter will get around 4 at bats per game. With 7 games remaining, that would be 28 at bats. Carpenter’s model gives him more.

rpois(1e5, 10 * ab / games)

There would have to be an abnormal number of very high scoring games to reach that level. His R statement (above) when today’s numbers are applied to it suggests 37 at bats.

ab <- 579
games <- 155
new_abs <- rpois(1e5, 10 * ab / games)
print(paste("Estimated number of remaining at bats:",
 round(mean(new_abs), 2)))

[1] "Estimated number of remaining at bats: 37.35"

While hope is the last thing to die, I’m beginning to despair that Stanton will be the one. As we say when we see a home run leaving the park, Stanton’s opportunity is “going, going, …” but will it be gone.

More on Sunday, when the season comes to a close.


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