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Twins Losing Streak

Relax.  In a probabilistic sense streaks like this are meaningless. Here’s an experiment: Write down what you think a fair coin toss looks like. “Throw” 162 mental coins and write down H for Heads and T for tails. Then either toss a coin yourself or go online and find a coin flip simulator and do the same 162 tosses.

Now compare your idea of a series of fair coin tosses compared to the reality. Look particularly at the streaks.

I did just this experiment and here are the results: (This time, heads were Wins or “W” and tails were Losses (L)

LLLLLWLWLLWLLLLWLWWLWWWWWW
LLWLLLWWWLWLLWLLLWLWLLLWLWLL
LLWLLLWLLWLWLWWLLLLWWLLLLLWW
WLWLWLWLLLLWLLLWWLWLLWWWLLL
WLLWLWLLLLLLWWWWWLLWLLLLLLLL
WWLWLLWWWWLWWWWWLLLLWWWL

As can be plainly seen, a fair coin toss (basically, a .500 ballclub) should expect to see streaks of wins and losses. Sure, baseball is more complex since not all pitchers are .500 pitchers but this is mitigated by the way pitching rotations are set up; good pitchers generally pitch against other good pitchers and vice versa.

So the Twins losing a bunch of games in a row? Meaningless.

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3 Responses

  1. It’s not about the streak. It’s about the fact that the pinpoint reason for this streak is a horribly talent-bare bullpen. The Twins lost games during this streak they wouldn’t have lost were it not for one of the worst bullpens it’s had in 10 years. I blame Billy Smith and no one else.

  2. Joe Nathan lost one of those games

  3. yes, but couldnt it be said the crappy performance of the middle relievers could have somewhat of an effect on Joe Nathan over time? And by the way, Joe Nathan doesn’t pitch in enough save situations against good teams, so of course he’s going to get burned by the Yankees from time to time. He’s a very good closer, but not the best in the league.

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