[Moderated by Matt Jones]
(Teams highlighted in blue are still eligible to win the SEC Tournament).
With four days of SEC Tournament Baseball behind us only four teams have been fortunate enough to make it to the Semi-finals. Today Florida will take on Vanderbilt and Kentucky will battle Mississippi State for the right to advance to the SEC Championship Game on Sunday. At the moment Florida is the statistical favorite to win the tournament as they not only have the highest Pythagorean Rating remaining but the highest of all SEC teams. Also, over the course of the tournament I have been predicting outcomes using Bill James’ Log5 win probability method and comparing that to how the seeding predicts outcomes. So far Log5 has out performed the seeding as it has predicted 57% of winners (8-14) while seeding has predicted only 42% of winners (6-14); and I’m proud to say that Log5 has won the competition as seeding and Log5 will predict the same outcomes no matter who advances to the title game (I guess I’m as proud as you can be of a mathematical formula that predicts baseball games, I imagine it’s similar to when a parent has their child accomplish something minimal). Anyway, below you will find the respective charts for Log5 and seeding predictions.
The first game up for examination is the match-up between Kentucky and Mississippi State. The two teams met earlier in the tournament with Kentucky coming out victorious by a score of 5-1. Kentucky looks to be in good shape this time around as Mississippi State is coming off of an extra inning game with LSU while Kentucky has only played two games in four days. Even better news for Kentucky, we will have our ace pitcher, Corey Littrell, operating on full rest. Log5 likes our chances as well, giving Kentucky a 58% chance to come out victorious and advance to the SEC Tournament Finals. While Kentucky is favored it should be very competitive as the two teams are similarly rated, Kentucky with the significant advantage on offense and Mississippi State with the advantage on defense. I think that Kentucky will come out on top and advance to the Tournament Finals as we are the statistical favorite and are more rested than the Bulldogs.
The final game that we’ll examine is the Florida and Vanderbilt rematch. Vanderbilt came out victorious in the first game of the tournament by a score of 2-1, but this loss seems to have awakened the Gators from their offensive slumber. Since this loss Florida erupted in their game against South Carolina, scoring seven runs over the second seeded, and defense minded, South Carolina Gamecocks (Log5 predicted that game over seeding, by the way). Even though Florida came out on the short end against Vanderbilt in the last game, they are still the heavy favorite according to Log5. After their blowout victory over South Carolina they leaped over LSU for the top spot in the ratings and are playing an out manned Commodore team. Log5 says that the Gators have a 68% chance to advance to the finals and I can’t see how they’ll be stopped.
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