[Moderated by Matt Jones]
(In case you were wondering I like to Google odd phrases, this was the first result for “perplexed baseball field.” Check Twice-Save A Life, Motorcycles are Everywhere!!! ).
We find ourselves at the mid-way point of the SEC Baseball Tournament with six teams remaining. Today the field will be whittled down to four as LSU takes on Mississippi State and Florida battles South Carolina in a pair of elimination games. The winner of the Florida and South Carolina contest will earn the right to take on the Commodores of Vanderbilt and the victor of LSU and Mississippi State will get to take on our Wildcats in the semi-finals. Over the course of the tournament I have been using Bill James’ Log5 method of prediction to find the win probabilities in a particular match-up. I have been comparing these predictions to the individual seeding of the teams to see which method is more accurate in forecasting wins and so far Log5 leads by one game. This looks to change tomorrow as Log5 and seeding disagree with one another yet again. Below you will find the respective charts for Log5 win probability and seeding predictions.
Tomorrow’s first contest will take place between the Bayou Bengals of LSU and Fightn’ Cowbells of Mississippi State (that “insult” can’t even be called half-assed, according to my math it was 17% assed), with the winner getting the chance to battle Kentucky in the semis. If you remember LSU and Mississippi State have already met in the tournament and the Bulldogs came out victorious by a score of 3-2. LSU fell victim to the second biggest upset of the tournament in the last contest but the statistical gap between the two teams remains large as the Tigers have a 64% chance to win this game. This is the prediction of day four that Log5 and seeding agree upon, both suggest that this is a mismatch in LSU’s favor. Personally, I like LSU to come out victorious, setting up a potential fourth game with Kentucky on the season.
The final game tomorrow will take place between the Florida Gators and South Carolina Gamecocks, in a rematch of last seasons College World Series Championship. South Carolina came out victorious in that series taking their second consecutive CWS Title, but the stakes are slightly lower this time around as the winner only faces Vanderbilt in the Conference Semis. Like last year’s World Series the seeding says that South Carolina should come out victorious, but this is where the seeding method and my method method disagree (Statistical Controversy Alert!!!) as Log5 says that the Gators should be the favorite. At the current juncture Florida is in a near tie with LSU for strongest team in the league according to my ratings, while South Carolina is only the 5th best. Both Log5 and seeding see this as a close game but seeding says the Gamecocks win and math says the the Gators win. Florida is given a 57% chance to take down South Carolina and move on to face Vanderbilt in the Semi-finals.
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