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Beside The Points For Thursday, April 19, 2018

Things That Caught My Eye

Eli deserves way better than this

Eli Manning is the quarterback of the New York Giants, has two Super Bowl victories under his belt and is still somehow poised to become the second banana quarterback on his team. It’s possible that New York will select a quarterback with their second pick in the draft. There have been 31 quarterbacks who threw 25,000 yards or more with a single team and made it to at least one Super Bowl; 23 of them are no longer active, and only seven of them had to sit and watch their team use a first round pick on a quarterback. This will lead to an instant fight for the starter spot; in the past decade 13 quarterbacks were drafted in the top five, and the longest wait those 13 players had to start was nine games. [FiveThirtyEight]

Get me the Brad Pitt of Canada on the line, right now

Using a dataset of about 175,000 contests, curling is now poised to see its own stats revolution. One example of how the numbers are changing the game is that it’s been long held that being down with one hammer in the last end is superior to being on the other side of that. This is a misconception — even though that situation means the curler controls their own destiny, they actually only win 40 percent of the time. [CBC]

Ugly weather at the marathon

Desiree Linden was the first American woman to win the Boston Marathon since 1985 with a time of 2:39:54. That’s the slowest time since 1978 and likely due to the absolutely abysmal weather conditions endured during the race. [FiveThirtyEight]

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

Trout can be GOAT

Mike Trout is 7.6 more wins above replacement away from catching Ty Cobb’s record as the greatest position player through age 26 in history. This is hard, but doable; Trout averaged 7.9 WAR per 146 team games over the past three seasons, so all he’s got to do is not slow down. [FiveThirtyEight]

The Mets win on the mound

The New York Mets are good again, judging at least by their first few games. This may be because the team is pitching well again, and generally the Mets win or lose by their pitching alone. In 2015 and 2016, when they had a really outstanding pair of seasons, 52 percent of the team’s WAR value was derived from pitching, compared to the league average of 42 percent. [FiveThirtyEight]

Sixers are good at winning despite their historical prowess for losing

The Philadelphia 76ers won 37 of their past 48 games, which is pretty ridiculous given where they were just a few years ago when as part of The Process they lost 253 games over a four year period. Indeed, they have a 21 percent chance of making the Finals. Trust the process, it would seem. [ESPN, FiveThirtyEight]

Big Number(s)

27 percentage points

Looking at the bottom of extra innings, we can get a true sense of how umpires can be influenced by external factors like “wanting to go the hell home.” Teams in extra innings who are in a position to win get as much as a 27 percentage point increase in the rate of called balls in some regions of the strike zone, while teams in a position to lose can see a 33 percentage point increase in the rate of called strikes in certain parts of the area above the plate. [FiveThirtyEight]

Leaks from Slack: Geoff Ruins A No No edition

 

neil:

Curling may finally be having its Moneyball moment | CBC Sports

cc @natesilver

natesilver:

OH SHIT!!!!

galen:

so… we never went curling in Jersey

natesilver:

THAT CAN BE FIXED AT ANY TIME, GALEN

 

Predictions

Oh, and don’t forget
Enough locker room talk already

Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.

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