BTB takes a look. Crist St. John:
Legendary Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully likes to repeat a quote from a well-known former Major League manager, “Give me 50 games and I’ll know what kind of team I have.” I don’t remember who said it, or what the exact quote is, but that’s the gist of it. Just for reference, 50 games into the MLB season usually lands around the end of May. … I wanted to test this out and see how quickly we know how good a team actually is, so I did what any regular baseball fan would do: I went to coolstandings.com and grabbed the record at the end of each month for every team since 1998, when the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and Arizona Diamondbacks were added to the major leagues. Then, I looked at the end of month winning percentage and compared it to the end of season win total, using a linear regression. I also split each month up into bins of team winning percentage, where each bin contains about 65 teams.
and a followup. Crist St. John:
Last week, I looked at when we can tell whether or not a team is actually good or bad. I’d like to take that one step further by asking the question: “how far back can a team be and still have a shot at winning their division?” Again, all data were collected from coolstandings.com. … I looked at how many games ahead of the division a team was at the end of each month and plotted that versus end of season team wins. A negative games ahead number is equal to how many games behind the division leader the team is. For instance, the top two teams in a division are 20-10 and 19-11, respectively. The 20-10 team will be one game ahead and the 19-11 team will be negative one game ahead. I won’t be focusing on the wild card teams here, since the amount of games back they are is more closely related to how good the first place team is.
Other White Sox links: FutureSox looks at the Sox relieving pitching prospects that could help the big club, Mike says Brent Morel is the wrong fall guy, James wants more Morel, and J.J. doesn’t like what he saw from Juan Pierre yesterday.