Magic Number Talk

NOTE: This has been edited … the dreaded touch pad got me again. I was trying to use the “what-if” scenario, but that vanished before I hit post. Oops … where’s Herm Edwards when I need him??

by Ben Catley

I guess it’s safe to bring this up now, especially since we’re down to the final eight games of the first half. The Osprey have a magic number of six to clinch the Pioneer League North Division. Coincidentally, the Ogden Raptors also have a magic number of six to clinch the South Division.

Here’s what it looks like:
North Division
Missoula          18-12  —
Billings             15-15   3
Helena              14-16   4
Great Falls      14-16   4

Using the magic number formula – take the number of games played, subtract the difference in the loss column and add 1 – the magic number for the Osprey to clinch would be 6 over Billings, and 5 over both Helena and Great Falls. This would be same as the “elimination number” (MLB Advanced Media, the main keepers of baseball stats these days, introduced that a couple of years back).

In the South:
Ogden              20-10  —-
Orem                17-13     3

With the elimination number, both Idaho Falls and Casper have been eliminated from the first-half title run. 8-3+1= 6.

Oddly enough, there are two ways to figure both items. The simple way I did when I was growing up – taught out by baseball writers – and this way, which takes a master’s degree in statistics to follow, unless you have the patience of Job and can read it thoroughly.

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