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Frequently Asked Questions - Historical:
1. How many seasons do you simulate for past seasons?
For the current season, we simulate the remainder of the season one million times at the completion of
each game. However, for historical seasons prior to 2005, we have only simulated the remainder of each
season 10,000 times for each day of the regular season. This is to keep our servers from overheating!
The total number of simulations run for the years before the 2005 season add up to about 200 million.
2. How are postponed games handled?
For most seasons, the simulation treats postponed games as if they will be played at the end of the
season if needed due to postseason implications. The exceptions are in 1935 and 1938, when it appears that
postponed games were not made up, as well as for seasons prior to 1909. Also, the 1918 season was shortened
due to World War I, so postponed games were not made up for that season either. For these seasons, the
simulation treats postponed games as if they were not even scheduled.
3. What about strike seasons?
There have been a number of strike-shortened seasons: 1972, 1981, 1994, and 1995.
In 1972, lost games were not made up, and some teams ended up playing more games than others. For example,
even though the Tigers played one more game than the Red Sox and led the Sox by half a game, the extra
game was not made up and the Tigers won the division. For this season, our simulation assumed that
extra games would not be made up, to match reality.
The 1981 strike occurred in the middle of the season, which was then broken up into two halves, with
postseason teams chosen from each half of the season. We didn't even try to model the playoff chances
for this season! We do have the composite season standings available for 1981, but without any of
the playoff probabilities.
In 1994 the season ended early due to a strike, with the World Series eventually being called off.
For this season we've listed playoff chances as if the season was meant to end when it did, so that
fans of the Montreal Expos could see a 100% next to their team. However, we didn't take this season
into account when evaluating our simulation model or when considering the top comebacks or collapses,
since there was no postseason.
The same strike continued into 1995, so that the 1995 season was shortened. However, the shortened schedule was
balanced so that games postponed during the season would have been made up if needed.
4. Where is the Federal League?
Sorry, we didn't consider the Federal League teams from 1915-1916 in our simulations.
5. Why did you only go back to 1903?
We started with 1903 because that was the first season that the World Series was played. And because the Red Sox won the Series.
6. Where did you get all the game scores?
The box scores for all games between 1903 and 2004 were obtained from Retrosheet.org,
which catalogs box scores and lots of other historical baseball data going back to 1871. Special thanks also to Sean Forman,
for early help in our project as well.
We have maintained game scores ourselves since 2005, when we began publishing our playoff projections.
7. How are the top collapses determined?
We sorted all teams that did not make the playoffs by their peak playoff chances (POFF) for that particular season,
considering dates from June 1st through the end of the season. We chose June 1st because it seemed like a reasonable
point to consider a season mature enough to warrant a "collapse".
The top collapses are listed here, using both
the "smart" mode and "dumb" mode models.
8. How are the top comebacks determined?
We sorted all teams that did make the postseason by their minimum playoff chances (POFF) for that particular season,
considering dates from June 1st through the end of the season. Again, we chose June 1st because it seemed like a reasonable
point to consider a season mature enough to warrant a "comeback".
The top comebacks are listed here, using both the
"smart" mode and "dumb" mode models.
9. How do you project playoff chances for expansion teams at the start of the season?
Expansion teams don't typically do very well in their first season. Normally we use the team's performance data from the
previous season at the start of a season, but in the case of expansion teams we have averaged the performance of all
first-year expansion teams over the past century and used the results as a starting point.
10. How do you project playoff chances for teams which have moved at the start of the season?
We use the team's previous year performance from their previous location to kick off the season. For example, for the 1958
Los Angeles Dodgers, we used the stats from the 1957 Brooklyn Dodgers at the start of the 1958 season. Likewise, we used
the 1953 St. Louis Browns data for the 1954 Baltimore Orioles to model the start of the 1954 season.
11. Are game scores available for past seasons?
Yes - you can access the individual game scores through each team page, or also by going to the Scoreboard link for a
12. Can I purchase tickets for past seasons?
Um, no. You can purchase tickets for the current season, though, from any team page!
13. Where can I send feedback?
We would love to hear from you! Please send feedback to email@example.com, or alternatively you can post your thoughts
right here for others to read! Go to coolforums, the coolstandings.com message board.