It looks like I may have a partner on this site soon, which means there will be a lot more updates. I’m sorry that I’ve been gone for a month-and-a-half. Unfortunately, I’ve been very busy lately. I’ll try to get back to posting more often.
Anyways, the White Sox won the World Series yesterday, which came as a shock to me personally. I thought Houston would beat them, and I certainly didn’t expect the Astros to get swept. But what’s more shocking is that the Sox even got to the Series. 56 of 58 predictions in the Diamond Mind 2005 Prediction Contest did not have the White Sox finishing first. 3.45% thought they would win it. Basically, the White Sox’s emergence came out of nowhere.
Diamond Mind had the Sox finishing 79-83, and making the playoffs 10.8% of the time. Let’s assume that every team has an equal shot of winning the World Series. In that case, the Sox had a 1.35% chance of winning it all to the start off the year (.108*.125 = .0135). 1.35. That’s it.
Clearly something went right. To be exact, it was the pitching. Diamond Mind projections had the White Sox allowing 841 runs on the season. They actually allowed 645. What are the chances of that happening? Small. The mean error for Diamond Mind’s RA predictions was 80.37, with a standard deviation of 58.4. The White Sox’s error was 3.356 standard deviations away from the mean error. There is a .04% chance of that happening. In other words, a team overperforms its expected runs allowed as much as the White Sox did once in every 2,500 team-seasons, which is equal to once every 83 years. And that’s assuming 30 teams in a league, which hasn’t been the case for most of baseball history. In other words, if Diamond Mind were to go back and predict every season in major league history, there’s a good chance the only time a team would ever be this far away from its runs allowed prediction would the 2005 White Sox.
This was a truly historical event, no question.