Tuesday, August 08, 2006

If it's August, it must be the Oakland A's getting hot again. As of this writing (mid-day Tuesday), the Athletics are 5-1 for August, plus they were also 5-1 in their last six games of July, for a 10-2 stretch overall (game-by-game log for second half of this season).

Looking at the records for previous A's seasons in Baseball Reference, here's how they've done each year of this decade in August:

2000 -- 11-16 (but 21-7 in September)

2001 -- 22-7 (along with 19-8 in July, 17-4 in September, and 6-0 in October)

2002 -- 24-4 (their 20-game win streak was mostly in August, but carried over into September, for which they were 18-8)

2003 -- 20-9

2004 -- 20-8

2005 -- 17-11 (although not as strong as June's 19-8 and July's 20-6)

Excluding 2000, Oakland is 108-40 (.730) in August since 2001.

I haven't decided yet what statistical analyses I might do of this trend. I, like many other people, did analyses to estimate the probability of the A's 2002 winning streak.

I'm pleased to note that in the July 2006 issue of Computers and Operations Research, Donald Martin has just published an article entitled "Hot-hand effects in sports and a recursive method of computing probabilities for streaks,"in which he cites and extends my analysis of the 2002 A's.

1 comment:

Michael said...

Very interesting.

I've been turning over and over in my head Beane's famous comment that "this $%^# doesn't work in the playoffs". It strikes me that this shouldn't really be-if it works, it works.

But, of course, in a short playoff series, luck plays a much larger role-so OBP-related offensive strategies, which must, mathematically, I think, work in the long run, don't have "time" to work in the short series. I wonder if A's success has something to do with the "weight" of all their runners on base starting to shine through. The success, what I'm trying to say, is the result of inevitability. How to investigate this, I don't know.