Beat the Streak Report: Tuesday, May 19

Soriano480BTS.jpg

 

Today’s recommended picks

Alfonso Soriano, OF, Cubs
13-for-32 (.406 AVG) lifetime vs. Cardinals starter Joel Pineiro

Ryan Braun, OF, Brewers
3-for-3 (1.000 AVG) lifetime vs. Astros starter Mike Hampton; .347 AVG in May

Ichiro Suzuki, OF, Mariners
20-for-53 (.377 AVG) during 12-G hit streak

BTS all-time leader: Michael Karatzia, 49
MLB all-time leader: Joe DiMaggio, 56

Yesterday’s results

The reign at the top of the BTS leaderboard was a short one for dustinhahn29, whose selection of Rays speedster Carl Crawford (0-for-3) ended his streak at 29 games. JohnnyV21 also fell from his perch near the front of the pack, getting a 0-for-3 effort from the normally reliable Albert Pujols to snap his run at 28 games.

That leaves jackstraw0018 and redlandsrick as the new BTS co-leaders with their 27-game streaks. Choterita and tjb0424 are tied for third at 26 games, and khaarer rounds out the Top 5 with a 25-gamer.

Yesterday’s Top 5 most selected players

1. Carlos Beltran (NYM): 7.3%, 0-for-4
2. Ryan Zimmerman (WSH): 6.4%, 2-for-5
3. Aaron Hill (TOR): 6.3%, 1-for-3
4. Evan Longoria (TB): 5.4%, 2-for-5
5. Chipper Jones (ATL): 5.2%, 1-for-3

7 Comments

I do not know if this season is just particularly unpredictable, but the high-water marks established as the initial surge has settled, are rather weak, compared to previous years.

For example, the Beat the Streak leader now is only at 30 games and people seem to be faltering consistently in the high 20’s, whereas in the past, the 1st page of the leaderboard is normally filled in the 30’s. The weakest win ever was at 39 games, with normally at least several streaks into the 40’s. With the prize higher than ever this year, one would think that the talent would be even higher, but it seems to be vastly underperforming.

However, the question is: Will this trend continue? I would think not, as the Survivor example last year is a great comparison. All year, the leader was at a paltry 19 games and in August, there was this tremendous, unprecedented surge where the entire leaderboard finished in the 30’s with the leader at 36 games.

The surge only ended when Joe Nathan blew a 1-run lead in the 9th, because of an error, in a game the Twins lost in extra innings.

This surge was amazing, in that the old contest record was only 23 games and that a whole leaderboard crushed that 7-year old mark.

If we were to see a surge of that magnitude in Beat the Streak, I am convinced that someone would eclipse the 56 mark and maybe go into the 60’s!

And with the leader now at only 30 games and the MLB.com Survivor leader at only 17 games, the stage seems to be set for a full-on explosion.

As for the situation right now, Beat the Streak: Home Run Edition is slightly underpeforming, compared to historical standards, as a few years people went out and won (albeit it took less to win then, but you still needed 9-10 back then,) right within the first several weeks of the contest.

However, that might be more of a function of those years occurring when steroids were more prevalent as the league HR rates have begun tanking over the past few years. On top of that, the HR sources have been more unpredictable. How many people have been picking Ian Kinsler or Curtis Granderson in the month of April?

However, if we compare directly to last year, the contest as a whole is performing slightly better. Both years, one person ran up a 7-game HR streak right off the bat, but this year, we have already picked up 3 more 7-game HR streaks, in which it took until late in the summer to get even 1 more 7-game HR streak last year.

Also, the rest of the leaderboard is stronger as well. The 6-game group is slightly stronger and the 5-game group is much stronger, easily spilling into the 2nd page, whereas last year, some 4-gamers were able to sneak onto the bottom of the 1st page, even though they were displaced by the end of the year.

Beat the Streak’s history is much longer and I was not even around for the first year. However, I do not remember a year, in which the upper teens and low 20s got you on the 1st page of the leaderboard in the first week of May.

Now, this year did start late, but by the first week of May, you did have 25-30 games already completed, so you had several waves of people fail to establish a 25-game coalition.

Even now, on May 19, the bottom 4 slots of page # 1 of the active leaderboard have just 19-game hit streaks, a feature unheard of, until you get to late August, when new streaks will not get you to 56 and the activity starts dwindling off.

Even what is on the active board right now is bottom heavy, with just 5 streaks at 25 games or greater. It is harder to discern signs of an explosion soon, based on performances, because there are so many possibilties every day, but in terms of actual data, the streaks seem to fizzle out significantly as you hit the mid 20s and die off completely in the upper 20s.

As for MLB.com Survivor, the contest has been around as long as Beat the Streak, but the leaderboard has been slowly improving since May began. At the beginning of May, the leader was at just 16 games, but people as low as 11 games! were on the 1st pasge of the overall leaderboard.

Now, the top has edged up to 17 games, but the bottom has swollen up to 13 games, which is a bigger accomplishment, since the categories are larger there.

The history of the Survivor contest has to be split into 2 eras though: 2001-2006 and 2007-2009+. Pre-2007, the contest was carved up into individual games every Monday, in which if you lost once, you were out, unless every remaining other person lost, in which case, the contest continued. Then, at the end of the year, the winners all met in a Tournament of Champions.

So, there was no leaderboard to speak of, in those days. The data would come from looking at the results chart to see how long each game lasted, but you could not be sure how many wins each winner actually had, because there could be several loss ties, before the contest ended.

So in this way, the sample sizes are even smaller, as we only have 2 years of past data to go on. In 2007, I remember someone jumped out in front at 21 games early in May, overtaken by someone else at 23 games, in which that person won for the year.

In 2008, someone had 19 games early and was on cruise control until after the All-Star back, in which everyone stormed past and did not stop until the 30s.

There are signs of a breakout coming though in 2009. Despite the leader being at 17 games, there was a massive uniting behind the Braves last night on the active leaderboard. Despite the Braves losing 5-1, the leaderboard reloaded itself with more fresh talent at the 10-game level, which is a strong indicator that the mid levels are swellling in numbers. It is only a matter of time before the mid levels migrate to the upper levels and start seriosuly challenging the front-runners.

I would predict that someone will hit 20 games in MLB.com Survivor by June 15. I hope not, because that makes my job that much harder, but that is the conclusion that the trends are pointing to right now.

I hope you enjoyed my analysis of the big 3 MLB.com contests at this point in time!

Leave me some comments below on this post or subsequent Beat the Streak Report posts!!!

I’d just like to get a streak into the double digits!

My longest this year is 7!

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