Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Seattle Mariners have ended their losing streak at 17 games, with a 9-2 win today over the New York Yankees.

Frank Vaccaro, one of the streak experts in the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR), recently informed members what the longest baseball losing streaks of all time are. Restricting the list to 1900 and beyond, the longest losing streak was 23 by the Philadelphia Phillies in 1961. The 1988 Baltimore Orioles lost 21 straight, with the added twist that the losses were to start off the season (i.e., the O's had an 0-21 record at one point).

With their skid now concluded at 17 games, the 2011 Mariners officially have ended up tied for 23rd place in the all-time rankings for longest major-league baseball losing streaks (tied for 14th if one excludes teams from before 1900).

UPDATE: Jesse Wolfersberger at Fan Graphs estimates the probability of the Mariners' 17-game losing streak, using betting odds to derive the game-specific win probabilities. After the game-specific projections are converted to loss probabilities (1 - Win Prob), they are then multiplied together. A lot of commenters chime in on Wolfersberger's analysis, too.

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