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The Mandatory 5


Eric

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About a dozen years ago or so, PercySquint and I were talking and we noticed a unique phenomenon in the world of Angels baseball.

When the Angels scored 5 runs in any one inning, they seemed to win the game 100% of the time.

We began calling it the "Mando 5".

Stats geeks among you, is this an accurate stat? Have we blinded ourselves to the reality that it occasionally doesn't happen? Granted, if it's not 100% it's gotta be in the high 90's, so close as to almost being 100%.

What say you, stat geeks?

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Yeah, yeah, so I spelled Mandatory wrong.

 

I happened to have imbibed a bit tonight. What of it?

 

That's not the critical question.

 

I've never been a "stats" person, I'm more old-school.  So I ask again, is this something that just seems like it happens all the time or is it statistically provable?

 

Or is it something that there's just not the stats to say one way or another and we are just going to have to take on faith until proven wrong?

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Consider this: When a team scores 5+ runs in a game, they win more often than not. The Angels lead the majors this year with 4.89 runs per game, with the average being 4.08. It fluctuates historically, with high offense eras averaging more like 5ish runs per game (2000 was the highest in recent decades at 5.14), but the historical average is more around 4ish, maybe a bit more.

 

So if most teams score 4 runs per game, when you score 5 runs you win more often than not. Now if you score 5 runs in an inning, chances are you score at least another run or three in the other 8 innings. So I don't think it as much about the 5 in one inning, but the total for the game and how that one inning pads it.

 

I'm guessing that there is an "s-curve" at work, where if 4 runs per game leads to winning 50% of the time, 5 runs per game leads to winning 60% of the time, 6 runs 70%, 7 runs 85%,  8 runs 95%, 9 runs 98%, 10 runs 99%, 11 runs 99.5%, etc. Or something like that - I'm just guessing, although there is probably research out there somewhere.

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