Quantifying the Swallows’ Slim Playoff Chances

Prior to the start of today’s game, the Swallows had a 64-63-4 record with 13 games to go. The third place Giants had a 72-60-1 record with 11 games to play, and the second place Tigers had a 71-57-3 record with 13 games left to go. Since NPB allows ties, the standing are calculated by winning percentage with ties simply not counted. In other words, assuming the Swallows don’t tie anymore games, the Swallows winning percentage will be calculated based on 140 games (144 games minus the 4 ties). This can lead to situations where a team ends up being ranked above another team with a greater number of wins.

Below is a table that shows what each team’s winning percentage would be depending on how many of their remaining games they win, assuming there are no more ties.

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Swallows Giants Tigers

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13 0.550 11 0.580 13 0.596

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12 0.543 10 0.573 12 0.589

.

11 0.536 9 0.566 11 0.582

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10 0.529 8 0.559 10 0.574

.

9 0.521 7 0.552 9 0.567

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8 0.514 6 0.545 8 0.560

.

7 0.507 5 0.538 7 0.553

.

6 0.500 4 0.531 6 0.546

.

5 0.493 3 0.524 5 0.539

.

4 0.486 2 0.517 4 0.532

.

3 0.479 1 0.510 3 0.525

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2 0.471 0 0.503 2 0.518

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1 0.464 1 0.511

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0 0.457 0 0.504

As you can see, we probably need to win the rest of our games just to have a half decent shot at overtaking the Giants for third place. Even if we win every game the rest of the way, if the Giants get 7 wins they’d definitely finish above us. This means the Giants have a magic number of 7, to guarantee at least a third place finish. The same holds true for the Tigers. So we have elimination numbers of 7 against both teams, the moment both numbers go down to 0 we’ll be eliminated from Climax series contention. Given that the Giants and the Tigers face each other 2 more times, our elimination number is guaranteed to go down for at least one of the teams. This also makes the 3 remaining games against the Giants and the Tigers (2 vs. Yomiuri & 1 vs. Hanshin) must win games.

So with the deck stacked against us, can the Swallows make MiruMiru and GO CLIMAX? (More importantly, can the Giants and/or the Tigers implode spectacularly?)

About Kozo Ota

Kozo Ota is a third-generation Swallows fan that grew up on Montreal Expos baseball. (You can read more about that here.) When he's not at Jingu, he works as a freelance translator/interpreter to make enough money to go to Jingu. You can find random posts by Kozo on Google+ and Twitter.

  • Kozo

    With our loss, the Giants win, and the Tigers loss, our elimination number against the Giants has fallen to 5. Our elimination number against the Tigers holds at 7.

  • Anonymous

    Great little article this. Thanks.