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Beside The Points For Monday, Dec. 11, 2017

Things That Caught My Eye

Giancarlo Stanton to the Bronx

The Miami Marlins traded Giancarlo Stanton to the New York Yankees. Next year the only two hitters with more than 50 homers last season will be playing for the same ball club, with both Aaron Judge and Stanton in the Bronx. Here’s the bigger scoop: Marlins Park blows for batters, and adjusting for the move we’d anticipate his 59 home runs would have been about 66 home runs if he played half his games in a normal park. [FiveThirtyEight]

Wildcats favored to win each remaining game

With a decisive 88-72 win over the Gonzaga Bulldogs last week, Villanova is now rated the best team in men’s college hoops per Basketball Power Index. They have a higher than 50 percent chance of winning each of their remaining games. Their overall chance of going undefeated in the regular season is 0.9 percent though. [ESPN, ESPN]

Nine out of 10 times one of these teams wins the title

The Warriors, Rockets, Celtics, Raptors and Cavaliers are all locks for the playoffs, with our CARM-Elo projections giving them all a greater than 99 percent chance of making the postseason. More to the point, there’s an 89 percent chance that one of those five teams wins the NBA title this year, with the Spurs, Thunder and Timberwolves accounting for most of the other 11 percent of universes. [FiveThirtyEight]

Short passes are a prelude to punts

When a quarterback threw pass past the sticks on 3rd-and-10 or longer in the first 13 weeks of the season, 42.6 percent of the time it converted and became a perfectly good first down. When a quarterback threw a short pass in the same scenario, a decision made over twice as often, they converted 12.5 percent of the time. Stop doing that guys. [FiveThirtyEight]

Try out our fun new interactive, Which World Cup Team Should You Root For?

Chaos in the South

The AFC West has mostly sorted out its ridiculous three-way competition for their division championship with a Kansas City win over Oakland pushing them to a 71 percent chance of taking the division. It’s the NFC South that is truly anyone’s ball game, except naturally the Tampa Bay Bucs who can be found in their safe space of #4 in the division. New Orleans has a 59 percent chance of winning the division, Atlanta a 22 percent chance and Carolina a 19 percent. Each of those three teams has a 66 percent chance or higher of making the playoffs. [FiveThirtyEight]

Toronto, the sports capital of North America

Just weeks after their amazing win in the Grey Cup, Toronto now has won their second league championship since American Thanksgiving. Toronto FC beat the Seattle Sounders in the MLS Cup 2-0 on a winning goal from Jozy Altidore. [SB Nation]

Make sure to try your hand at our fun NFL can you beat the FiveThirtyEight predictions? game!

Big Number

96 percent

With 2 minutes and 39 seconds left in the fourth quarter, Cleveland up a touchdown over Green Bay with the ball at their own 37 yard line and four yards to convert, the Cleveland Browns had a 96 percent chance of victory and snapping their thus-far totally defeated season. That is not how it went down. Green Bay got that touchdown and pushed the game into overtime, when Davante Adams scored the winning touchdown to continue the Cleveland losing streak. The Browns have three more games. [ESPN]

Leaks from Slack: Yo Did Giancarlo Stanton Just Get Traded edition



This isn’t final yet right?


MLBTR says they’re still waiting for him to approve


This is insane.

[trade confirmed]


Whew. Thank god

(I don’t enjoy the Yankees getting great players, but I enjoy writing stories that can’t pub even less)


Oh, and don’t forget
Scott Hanson breaks his streak

Walt Hickey is FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.