Monday, September 24, 2018

GOP 22-2 in October Senate Polls Needed to Get from 47 to 54 Seats

I've been updating the outlook for control of the House (click here).

Nate Silver weights every new poll based on if the firm leans more Democratic of Republic. Since the Kavanaugh hearings the landscape has changed, but Silver keeps adjusting for new polls that come out but we're run before Kavanaugh.

If you just look at polls on his list that we're run for the most part in October, the GOP is 22-2 in the seven races they need to get from 47 to 54 Seats. In all 7 races the GOP candidate leads the majority of polls:

47 seats definitely GOP
48. North Dakota 1-0 (ahead in one poll, not behind in any) by an average of 10.4 points.
49. Tennessee 3-0, 7.5
50. Texas 7-0, 6.5
51. Nevada 3-0, 4.0
52. Arizona 4-1, 1.6
53. Florida 2-0, 0.3
54. Missouri 2-1, -0.4

Indiana, Montana and West Virginia have not been polled and look tougher for the GOP, but gives a ceiling if 57.

Below are old notes:
 and here is how the Senate looks based on the trend of polling over time. It looks like the GOP's chance to expand their edge in the Senate is including after the Kavanaugh charges and defense. All four key races in which Kavanagh has been polled show his confirmation supported and thus making a Republican win more likely.

October 7 update - The day after Kavanaugh became a member of the Supreme Court, it appears the hearings gave the GOP a very solid 50 seats, with North Dakota, Texas and Tennessee all moving strongly to the Republican. The next 6 seats certainly look close, and I grade the GOPs chances as a "B" to take Missouri to get to 51, a "BC" to probably sneak out close wins in Florida and Indiana to get to 53. They may fall just short in Arizona, Montana and Nevada, (Grade CD below) but winning those as well would take them to 56 seats.

Only one poll in Arizona shows the GOP winning, but the fact that support for President Trump, Kavanaugh, ICE and particularly the GOP candidate are all strong, it would seem she has a decent chance to sneak across the finish line. The fact that Senator Flake endorsed McSally before the primary is an interesting dynamic, as she was one of the few to overcome a Trump-endorsed candidate in a primary. It would seem Trump campaigning in Arizona to add to Flake's support might complete the picture for her.

Aug 1-100-12
Aug 11-2044-6-6
Aug 21-1-200-6-8
Sept 1-10412-1-9
Sept 11-2049-1102-5-2-2-12-7
Sept 21-302-3-4-4
Oct 1-1012670-1-2-1-4-9
GOP if wins484950515253545556575859

I used bold italics for numbers that include CNN polls, which has been so much skewed toward the Democrats than other polls.

I start by putting the polls (or the average of polls) listed in chronological order from the oldest poll on top to most recent on the bottom, then if there is a Kavanagh poll from after the charges made against him I include that at the bottom.

Republicans get to 47 seats based on simply seats not up for re-election or seats in which the Democrat has never been within single digits.

GOP looks strong for 48th and 49th seats based on trend. 

48. Texas. As much as the Democrats hope to take out Ted Cruz, and the Republican was only a 1 points ahead in late August. However, that went to +4 in early September and +9 in mid-September, so it looks to be on a strong trend line for Cruz.

49. North Dakota. Likewise, after trailing by 3 points early in the year (-3), the Republicans led by 4 by June and were still up by 4 in mid-September, so it looks like North Dakota will give the GOP 49 seats. Oct 2 Note - this looks more likely with a new poll showing Cramer now +10, and the state supporting Kavanaugh 60-27.

GOP also on course for three more challenger wins to get to 52.

With Flake leaving, Republicans would feel very strong if they got to 52 votes for times when they lose a vote on the floor in Maine and Alaska, particularly if there are other US Senate votes. The trend for three other challengers seem to give them a good shot at three.

50. Indiana. Trailing by 12 in early August (-12), then 6 in late August (-6) and now up 2 by mid-September (+2) is the most lightning fast shift in favor of the GOP and seems to give them a very strong shot at the 50th seat and control of the Senate.

51. Missouri. Going from a tie to a one-point win by mid-September gives the GOP a tight edge for the 51st seat. Oct 2 Note - CNN polled Democrat back ahead, but their polls are getting much more Democratic results this year then all others . A state poll showed Hawley moving ahead and more voters saying McCaskill opposition to Kavanaugh will make them LESS likely to vote for her.

52. Florida. Almost the exact same scenario plays out in Florida except that it has been an exact tie in every polling period except for a 1-point lead in early September.

The Republicans do have a very realistic shot at stretching it to 54 seats, but the next two are tougher. Oct 2 update - a couple of recent polls show this edging Democrat so I might drop this to 54 and move the next two up a spot.

53. Tennessee. I will put Tennessee ahead of Montana only because they did lead by 4 points and it is an open seat, however, the 4 point lead in mid-August dropped to a -2 in late August, though it did get back down to -1 in mid-September - so very tight. Oct 2 - Nate Silver does have this as a GOP lean, though he is more bullish on the Democratic candidates in a number of others.

54. New Jersey. After making up almost an entire -21 in New Jersey, the GOP did slip back a little to a -6 in mid-August, so an upset is possible but trend has not continued as of now. October 2 Update: With a new poll showing Republicans within 2 points, I am starting to believe the GOP might win this race in the shocker of the night.

55. Montana. The one on the stronger trend toward a Republican win is Montana, where Tester's lead eroded from 8 points in June, to 3 points in July to 2 points recently. A big debate on Montana PBS could be key but the trend here is toward a GOP win. Oct 2 update - I wonder if north Dakota's overwhelming 60-27 support is close to the number in Montana, and if so if Teaters recently announced opposition to him makes this closer.

56. Nevada. This looks like a seat the GOP will give up even though it's always been within 2 points either way. However, the GOP's +1 early in the year turned into a -1 in early September and -2 in mid-September, so the trend is small but definitely toward the Democrat.

57. Arizona. Going from a 2 point lead to a -5 between early and late September definitely shows this trend away from Republicans, but certainly still winnable.

58. West Virginia. The GOP has polled barely within single digits a few times, but no steady trend and the recent polling is a -12, so this one looks very difficult for the GOP despite being overwhelmingly pro-Trump. October 2 - I moved this up one spot only because the support for Trump and Kavanaugh is so strong and it is possible he could vote with his fellow Democrats against the nomination.

59. Minnesota. Each polling period has the GOP within single digits, but no consistent trend so looks pretty solid for the Democrats to hold.

To get to 60, of course, the Republicans would need to win all the previously listed races AND win some other race in which they had never been within single digits - so just as the GOP seems to start with 47 in the bank the Democrats seem to start with 41 in the bank.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

GAME 7! Statis-Pro 2018 (2017 cards) World Series Winner Revealed

Each game of the World Series using 2017 Statis-Pro player cards with roster updates from 2018 is summarized below in reverse order. Spoiler alert - an incredible season and playoffs comes down to a Game 7 between the Indians (whose cards are from last season when they had the best record in baseball plus the addition of former MVP Donaldson and ace reliever Hand) and the Diamondbacks who had the 3rd best record in the NL last year and added the best rookie reliever in 2018 in Yoshihisa Hirano and the 2017 cards for playoff players Jon Jay (Cubs in 2017) and Eduardo Escobar (Twins). Learn to play Statis-Pro Baseball in 5 minutes by clicking here.

The following breaks down the pitchers available for the all-hands-on-deck season finale:

Game 7 - Chronological Highlights of deciding Game

Both pitchers work out of early jams. In the 3rd, Bauer gives up the HR to of all people Descalso! A single and a walk later and Bauer is removed. Kluber gets out of the jam. Not wanting too much credit, Descalso commits 2 errors in the bottom of the inning. Encarnacion with the bloop RBI single. After 3 innings, we are tied 1-1...

Corbin continues great work. Indians get 3 shutout innings of relief from Kluber. Olson with a scoreless 6th. Now will they have enough arms? Tension building we are still tied 1-1 after 6.
In the 7th, Rajai Davis lead off 2B, wild pitch, at 3rd, no outs. Corbin gets a K, then Hirano gets 2 more. No real threats in next 2 innings. Game 7 is headed to extra innings. Indians down to just two pitchers left.

In the 10th, Pollock triples, Marte with the RBI single, and Peralta with the crushing 2-run HR off Hand. Bradley closes it. The unlikely 2018 Statis-Pro champions the Arizona Diamondbacks winning game 7, the final 4-1, in 10 innings.

And so the Cleveland Indians, using cards from 2017 plus two superstar additions, fall just short to the Diamondbacks team that likewise added a pitching and hitting star (Twins Eduardo Escobar and rookie Yoshihisa Hirano) from the AL 2017 cards that produced the second best run differential in the AL with a +153 before falling to one of the hottest teams in history in the LA Dodgers.

Game 7 - Pitchers Match-ups

The Indians were extended to seven games by the Yankees which meant our AL Statis-Pro Cy Young award winner had to pitch that game and could only pitch Game 4 of the World Series. However, because we play pitchers can relieve three games after either pitching to 12 batters or starting (or relieve two games after pitching two games after facing 6 batters in relief) Kluber will be available to come into relief with an RR 6 during Game 7.

A quick recap, pitchers have one of five ranges by their PB; 2-9 means elite top 5 percent of pitchers, 2-8 meaning one of the top 15% of all pitchers, PB2-7 meaning strong, PB2-6 meaning mediocre, or PB2-5 meaning poor.

While the Indians do have their weakest 2017 pitcher card starting in Trevor Bauer who was only a mediocre 2-6, and four pitchers are not available, that still leaves the Indians as perhaps the best bullpen ever available in Statis-Pro with four PB2-9 pitchers guaranteeing they can pull Bauer at any early trouble and their other pitcher is closer Cody Allen as a PB2-8.

The Diamondbacks have an edge in lefty starter Patrick Corbin who is a PB2-7, and they did not need to use any relievers for 6 batters or more in Game 6 so only their Game 5 and Game 6 starters (Ray and Greinke) are not available. They do have eight pitchers, though they only have one PB2-9 to the four the Indians can bring in, and they do have two PB2-8 pitchers and three PB2-7 pitchers available, so there is little chance they would need to go to a PB2-6.

Game 6 - DBacks Slam Indians to Force Game 7

On the brink of elimination, Goldschmidt came through again with a 3-run homer in teh first, and then added a triple off Andy Miller to cap a 4-run fifth inning in an 8-3 win that forced a Game 7. Peralta doubled ahead of him both of those at bats. Greinke gave them five decent innings for the win, and that allowed them to let four different relievers go an inning each to have the whole pen and Game 4 starter Godley all ready for Game 7 if needed.

Game 5 - Indians Rally to Take 3-2 Series Lead

While errors are less and less frequent in modern baseball, the Diamondbacks repaid the Indians charity in Game 4 by committing three errors, two of which led to runs that were the difference in a 4-3 Indians win. Donaldson was the hero of the game, driving in all four Indians runs on three different hits - but twice those hits came after Lindor reached on errors. He hit a two-run homer in the third that looked like it might be the game winner, then added an RBI double in the seventh to make it 3-1 after Lindor reached on an error on a grounder to second and then raced home from first just head of the tag. 

However, Goldschmidt's 2-run bomb off Cody Allen tied the game 3-3 in the bottom of the eight and the Indians were running out of pitchers if the game went extra innings (they carried only 10 pitchers and 15 position players on their World Series roster while the Indians kept 12 pitchers and 13 position players). However, the lightning fast Davis singled and stole second base to lead off the top of the ninth, though he had to hold at third on Brantley's single. With one out, Lindor lined the ball back to Dbacks closer Bradley and it bounced away from him. Davis had to hold at third to avoid teh potential double play and the Dbacks drew the infield in with bases loaded and one out to try to prevent the game-winning run from scoring. Donaldson then hit a grounder past the first baseman to provide the final 4-3 margin, and former Padre Brad Hand recorded the save.

Game 4 - Dbacks Score 2 Unearned off Kluber to tie Series

It would take something unusual to beat Corey Kluber.  The Arizona Diamondbacks got that in the 5th inning of game 4.  Working with a 1-0 lead (Chisenhall solo HR), trouble started with Josh Donaldson's throwing error that set the stage putting runners on 2nd & 3rd with 1 out.  AJ Pollock came through with a big 2-run single and two batters later David Peralta added another RBI single and Arizona had 3-1 lead after 5. Those two unearned runs would prove to be the difference. Overshadowed by Kluber, Zach Godley continued his post-season roll as he shut down the Indians for seven innings.  He finished his start with 2-runners on with two outs in the 7th, and having to face pinch hitter Edwin Encarnacion.  Luckily his hanging curve wasn't hit, and the bullpen took it from there.  Godley is now 4-0 in his 6 post-season starts this year.

Game 3 - Indians Blow Early Chances, Pinch-hit and Relief Secures 3-2 Win to Take 2 Games to 1 Lead

The Indians' tagged Pat Corbin for eight hits but left based loaded in the first and second inning as both bullpens dominated most of the game until Edwin Encarnacion drilled a two-out RBI double in the eights inning as Jason Kipnis raced home from first.

After Corbin and Trevor Bauer were knocked out, the two bullpens settled into a great dual - combining for 10 2/3 innings without allowing a hit besides Encarnacion's double.

Lindor tripled home Brantley then Donaldson doubled home Lindor in the second to make it 2-0 - but in both the 1st and 2nd inning runners decided to stop at third base on two-out hits. In the bottom of the third, the Diamondbacks jumped on Bauer - the only weaker PB2-6 starter in the World Series based on an off 2017 season - for singles by Avila and Pollock and then a 2-run double by Marte. The Indians have always gone to the pen more quickly with Bauer knowing they are often not needed the next day with Corey Kluber starts - and Olson retired Peralta to keep the game tied.

The Indians relief core pitched the minimum 22 batters to get through 6 1/3 innings. The only other baserunner was a walk by Cimber to Descalso in the bottom of the eighth after Encarnacion's go-ahead double, but Hand came in to induce a double play and retire all five he faced for the save.

Hirano unfairly took the loss, retiring the first five he faced before walking pinch hitter Kipnis, who then raced around on the double.

The Indians can take control if AL Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber can win Game 4. The only two relievers who need to skip that game due to facing more than 5 batter are Hirano for the Diamondbacks and Olson for the Indians.

Game 2 - Indians Tie Series 1-1 with 4-3 Win

After Game 1 ended with Francisco Lindor getting thrown out of the game to end a frustrating 5-0 loss, Game 2 started with Pollock hitting a homerun to put the Indians in a 1-0 hole.

However the Indians know if they can get to the latter innings they have the best Statis-Pro reliever cards in baseball. The Indians started the game with two hits to double their total from Game 1. Later Ramirez took Greinke deep for a 2-run homer to tie the game 3-3 after three innings.

The Indians bull pen was unbelievable as usual, with Tyler Olson coming in with bases loaded no outs in the 6th inning and getting a strikeout and double play grounder to start four hitless innings from the pen. Michael Brantley then through with a 2-out RBI double in 7th to give the Indians a 4-3 win and tie the series one game each.

The other option for tracking a Statis-Pro game is to keep marks for players and outs on the board and record results in box score form as below for Game 2.

Game 1 - Indians in Familiar Hole

The first game of the 2018 Statis-Pro World Series marks the second straight series in which the Indians were completely shut down by an opposing starter to fall a game behind. In the ALCS the Yankees Severino allowed only two Indians hits in 11 innings (see summary of series here), and September 23 the surprising Arizona Diamondbacks rode a complete game one-hitter by Robbie Roy to a one-game-to-none series lead. 

The Diamondbacks broke through in the sixth inning when AJ Pollock singled and Ketel Marte doubled him home on a very close play at the plate. The Indians went to Andy Miller,  with the best left-handed reliever Statis-Pro card in the AL based on his 2017 stats, but Miller walked David Peralta and then Paul Goldschmidt drilled a clutch 2-run double to make it 3-0. Jake Lamb doubled in the 9th and Eduardo Escobar drilled a clutch home run to provide the final 5-0 margin.

The last batter of the game provided excitement as the Indians leadoff man Francisco Lindor, who had the only hit of the game, let the umpire know what the Indians thought of his strikezone and he was ejected, forcing Greg Allen to finish the at-bat. 

The Indians use a radically different line-up against right-handed pitchers, so will try it again in Game 2. They will face righthander Zack Greinke who was hit hard both in Game 1 and Game 5 of the NLCS (see summary of series here). Below is how we record Statis-Pro games - much like a scorebook but we do it on an open pad of paper.

That win could be paramount because if they fall behind 2 games to none they would then face a tough pitching match-up in Game 3 facing lefty Patrick Corbin and throwing Trevor Bauer based on his weaker 2017 stats when he was a mediocre PB2-6. Being pushed to the 7th game by the Yankees means they do not get to throw the best starter in the league - Corey Kluber, until Game 4 (against Zack Godley) and that would likely be his only action of the series except for perhaps an inning in relief if the series went seven games.

The Indians Statis-Pro cards appear in this post. The Diamondbacks Statis-Pro cards are show below:

Friday, September 14, 2018

Odds of taking extra base on hit; updated table for Statis-Pro

After pulling together additional data on how rarely runners are thrown out trying to take an extra base on a hit, the following are the best rules to play.

1. If playing with a Statis-Pro Fast Action Deck then a runner should only be thrown out by an outfielder with a T2 (the weakest throwing arm) on an 88, by a T3 on an 87-88, by a T4 on an 86-88 and by a T5 on an 85-88. That means even a T5 will throw out a runner 6.4% of the time, and this is consistent with our earlier piece on only 1.3% of runners on first base being thrown out at 3rd base on a single, and we just reviewed additional data showing that runners going second to home are out only slightly more at 2.9% of the time. Sometimes the decision will be made not to take any chances and send the runners, but this is it. Still, use the charts on whether or not the runner takes the extra base, but if the number is too high to take the extra base but not one of these 85-88 numbers, the simply have the runner stop after taking as many bases as the batter.

2. If playing with dice, the following is the updated chart we are adding to the game.

Die RollRoll for extra base on hit2nd roll if 6 on 1st roll
1OBR A,B,C extra base, others holdTagged out
2OBR A,B extra base, others holdOut if T3, 4 or 5, if not safe
3OBR A extra base, others holdOut if T4 or 5, if not safe
4Second to home score, but 1st to 3rd holdOut if T5, if not safe
5Safe if 2 outs, others holdSafe
6Roll again for close playSafe

Note that runners have a much better chance of going from second to home than from 1st to 3rd on a single. The study actually shows that a runner goes 2nd to home 58% of the time, almost twice as much as the 30% chance of going from 1st to third base. The actual average from 1st to home on a double is slightly closer to the 1st to 3rd on a single - on which the runner makes it a little over 40% of the time according to this study. 

In the dice version of the game, a fast OBR: B runner trying to advance on a mediocre T3 throwing arm will go from 1st to 3rd (or 1st to home on a double) with less than two outs 44% of the time in the game, but from second to home with two outs 78% of the time.

An earlier post covered how we set up the odds of advancing an extra base on a hit in Statis-Pro based on the fact that runners were only thrown out going from 1st to 3rd a total of 1.3% of the time. The following is our new simple chart for attempting to take an extra base on a hit:

Note that the runner can only be thrown out if the first roll is a 6 and then a second roll is lower than the outfielders throwing arm, so rolling for the extra base in the game is almost always worth the shot.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Sept 30 Update: Democrat 215, GOP 214 if adding Sabato & NY Times Live Polls; 3 Other Indicators Suggest Strong Democratic Takeover

Oct 2 Note - note on the table below, but NC9, which both Sabato and Nate Silver have as Democrat due to a conservative pastor beating a GOP incumbent, is a +10 GOP through 181 calls. If GOP holds this one it would put my count at 215-215, and it also seems to follow the thread of conservative areas moving to GOP post Kavanaugh (ND and MZ in Senate races).

Start full up update here:
Of the four indicators I review suggest a blue wave taking the House - and the Senate is not impossible. However, first I will cover the one indicators that suggest the Republicans could hold the House:

Sept. 30 update - If you add Larry Sabato's 206-200 Democrat edge and then use the NY Times live polling for his toss-up races,
good news for GOP as NJ7 and CA25 shift to +3 GOP to push them to 220-215 projection. Iowa 1 poll showing big Democrat - but that race already in 206 already counted by Sabato as Democratic.

Based onRepublicanDemocratTie/Toss=up
NY Times1481

StateCDGOP leadNum. ratingBased on
CA252RepublicanNY Times Poll
CA45-5DemocratNY Times Poll
CA480Toss-up/tieNY Times Poll
IA3-1DemocratNY Times Poll
IL61RepublicanNY Times Poll
IL121RepublicanNY Times Poll
KS2-1DemocratNY Times Poll
KS3-8DemocratNY Times Poll
KY61RepublicanNY Times Poll
ME25RepublicanNY Times Poll
MI81Republicanincomplete NYT
MN2-12Democratincomplete NYT
MN8-1DemocratNY Times Poll
NC96Republicanincomplete NYT
NJ3-10DemocratNY Times Poll
NJ71RepublicanNY Times Poll
NM2-1DemocratNY Times Poll
OH19RepublicanNY Times Poll
TX73RepublicanNY Times Poll
TX238RepublicanNY Times Poll
VA28RepublicanNY Times Poll
VA74RepublicanNY Times Poll
WV38RepublicanNY Times Poll
1) Scoreboard (updated 9/30/2018, 11 p.m.) - Live NY Times polling of House seats rated as a TOSS-UP by Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball shows Republicans going 14-9. When you add those to the races where Sabato gives an edge to the Democrats (206-200) you end up with the Democrats getting 215 seats to 214 for the Republicans in the quest for 218 and control. That leaves six Sabato toss-ups that have either not been polled by the NY Times or are tied.

One interesting note is that three toss-up races that were already in progress before the Kavanaugh and Ford testimonies shifted Republican after the testimonies. Arizona 2 was at a -12 (Democrat lead by 12) and just shifted 1 point to -11, but Ohio 1 went from a 3 to 12 point GOP lead and Virginia 2 went from a 1 to 9 point GOP lead. Not a big sample size and this could be because they started reaching more Republican regions of the districts in question, but an average 6 point shift toward Republicans with other polls showing Republicans potentially being helped or at least staying even in Senate races would seem to at least hurt the narrative that this hurt the GOP.

DistrictGOP - DemocratStatus
Arizona 2-11from -12 to -11
California 252
California 45-3
California 480
Colorado 6-11
Illinois 121
Illinois 61
Iowa 33
Kansas 2-1
Kansas 3-8
Kentucky 61
Maine 25
Michigan 82new and incomplete
Minnesota 2-15new and incomplete
Minnesota 3-9
Minnesota 8-1
New Jersey 3-10
New Jersey 71
Ohio 112from 3 to 12
Texas 238
Texas 73
Virginia 29moved from 1 to 9
Virginia 74
West Virginia 38
Average-0.4GOP average lead in Sabato toss-ups


NY Times has three other polls running now that are not in the average above because they aren't sabato toss-ups - they are in the 206-200 Democratic lead already in Sabatos rankings. For example, their email updated tonight showed the big Democratic lead in Iowa 1 - but that and California 49 area already counted in Sabato's 206 Democratic, just as we don't count NY Times polls showing Republicans ahead in Florida 26, Wisconsin 1 and Texas 32 because Sabato already has it in his 200 GOP. The one counter example from the non toss-ups is Iowa 2 where Sabato has a lean GOP but the NY Times gave the Democrat a 1-point lead.

The other three indicators point to a strong win for the Democrats:

2. History: Larry Sabato points out that the average number of House seats lost two years after a party wins the White House is 33 seats - 10 more than the Democrats need to take over the House.

3. Enthusiasm Indicated by Primary Turnout: Many more Democrats are turning out than Republicans in primaries. For example, many Trump supporters noted Minnesota was another primary victory over a Trump opponent with Jeff Johnson's win with 168,495 votes, however, that's only enough votes to finish third in the Democratic primary the same day where 81% more Democrats voted than Republicans (582,811 to 320,252). The silver lining Republican hopes offset this gap is that Trump rallies do have a strong turnout, and while 38% more Democrats voted in the primary in Minnesota 8, Stauber did receive 44,865 in the GOP primary while Radinovich received 30,440 in the Democratic primary.

4. Nate Silver's generic ballot shows Democrats with a 9.1 percent advantage. If that ballot ends up between 6 and 10 points it would point toward Democrats winning the House and Republicans holding the Senate, so as of September 16 at 8 p.m. eastern that would indicate Democrats taking the House fairly easily and even having a shot at the Senate.

Further background written before we started to tally above

The New York Times takes election analytics to another level again. Their election night percent chance of winning is unbelievably great and exciting as you can see the percent chance for each
candidate adjust slightly as new results come in during the night.

(Note: Before anyone who told me Trump was going to "Win by 5 points or more because
no one is telling the pollsters the truth" dismisses the polls - I will remind you that statement
was 7 points off and the Real Clear average of head-to-head polling was just over a point
off and MY September 9, 2016 mass emailed prediction was almost exactly right - Clinton
by 3 in the popular vote, Trump over 290 in Electoral College to win.)

Here are the only two steps you need to follow to have an incredible understanding on which
way Congress is moving:

1. Look at Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball. As of 10:30 p.m. Eastern on September 11, He
has 29 Congressional races as toss-ups and when you add up the ones he has leading
Democrat or Republican - the Democrats would need to win 12 of 29 toss-ups to take
the House 218-217.

2. Go to the toss-up races the New York Times is incredibly LIVE polling - meaning they
show you the results every time they call a voter and when a voter answers their poll and
based on the voter's geography, age, gender, race etc. they update where the race should
end up. Right now they are polling three races Sabato rate’s as toss-ups, SO since the
Democrats need to win almost half of those races if the three races were even overall it
would mean the Democrats are likely to win the House (because even would tend toward
them getting 14 or 15 of the 29 races) whereas if the GOP averages even a slight lead of
a point or two, then it is likely they could get the 19 of 29 toss-up seats they need.

This is only three races, and the polls are not complete, BUT the first data points to the
GOP holding the House (which is not the same conclusion I’d reach looking only at the
generic ballot where the Democrats have a bigger edge than the +6 the Republicans
could probably withstand to still hold the House.

(original note before adding other three)The Republicans are winning all three toss-up races - by 3, 8 and 8 points, and they
are three different kinds of districts (suburban and rural mix in Richmond VA, Majority
Hispanic district in Texas and strong Trump in West Virginia). An average 6+ point win
for the GOP in three districts that look like toss-ups is good news for Republicans -
but these are early returns and if you keep clicking on these links they will keep updating
whenever they are calling.


If I were just looking at Nate Silver's generic ballot, I would draw the opposite conclusion out of the belief that the Democrats +8.6 is about two points better than they need to take the House, so the two tests lend to opposite conclusions and we should keep watching each of those New York Times polls continue to play out as well as new swing district polls they will add.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Dbacks Shock Cubs in Game 7 to Face Indians' in World Series

This blog is the home for the 2018 Statis-Pro Championship featuring the 2017 player cards and 2018 rosters. Click here for accounts of the season and playoffs that resulted in the Indians winning the AL title in a thrilling 7-game ALCS and the Arizona Diamondbacks and 3-time defending champion Cubs making it to the NLCS. This link includes a complete free version of the game along with 2018 pitcher and player "cards" in sheet format for all 30 major league teams, with an account of a "sneak preview" single game elimination using those card/sheets.

More than 8,000 baseball fans clicked on this blog with copies of the 2017 traditional cards for the Indians and Yankees appear here with further instructions for first-timers for how to play the game.

The result of the most recent NCLS game or subsequent World Series game will appear first below, and the accounts of the other game in preceding order.

NLCS Games 6 & 7 - Diamondbacks Stun Cubs, Advance to Face Indians in World Series

The Cubs traded grand slam home runs to rally in Game 6 and keep NL Statis-Pro dynasty alive for another day, but then the Diamondbacks pulled off Game 7 to complete their surprise run to the World Series against the Indians.

NLCS Game 5 - Dynasty Not Dead Yet! Cubs Pound 14 Hits to beat Dbacks 9-5

The bats finally awakened as the Cubs pounded 14-hits and jumped on Arizona early.  Anthony Rizzo broke out of his post-season slump going 2-4, with 4 RBI's.  A decent start from Jon Lester gets the job done and gets the Cubs back to Chicago.  Now can Patrick Corbin duplicate his effort from game 2 and get the Diamondbacks to their first ever Statis-Pro World Series?

Chicago    9
Arizona     5

(Diamondbacks lead series 3-2)

NLCS Game 4 - Cubs Must Win 3 Straight to Keep NL Dynasty Alive

The same formula established in Game 3 below plays out in Game 4.  A pair of 2-run HR's in the first from unlikely sources carry the Diamondbacks.  Ketel Marte and Nick Ahmed each went deep.  As for pitching, Robbie Ray has underachieved in the regular season (2-4) and the playoffs (0-2), but finally gives a quality start. (6 IP, 2 ER). Meanwhile, Cole Hamels continues the bad NLCS trend of providing his worst post-season start during this series.

Chicago  2
Arizona   5
(Diamondbacks lead series 3-1)

NLCS Game 3 - Goldsmith Powers Dback to 2-1 Series Lead over Cubs

It is a simple combination of quality pitching and timely hitting and Arizona has it at just the right time.  Zach Godley continues his solid post-season with another quality start (7 IP, 2 ER).  He is now 3-0 in 4 playoff starts this year.  For Chicago, it was bad timing for Jose Quintana to turn in his worst start of the playoffs.  Paul Goldschmidt added another 2 RBI's as the Diamondbacks take the series lead.

Chicago   3
Arizona    5
(Diamondbacks lead series 2-1)

NLCS Game 2 - Corbin's no-hitter ties Diamondbacks and Cubs at 1-1

The Arizona Diamondbacks Patrick Corbin throws a no-hitter in Game 2 of the NLCS.
Once again Statis-Pro illustrates the somewhat random nature of these with Corbin's less-than-overpowering card, but it was his day (several numbers breaking his way).  Arizona got all the offense they would need with a huge third inning when 10 batters went to the plate and four scored.

Patrick Corbin final stats:
He allowed 2-baserunners.
4th: Walk to Kris Bryant. (DP erased this, so he faced one over the minimum)
9th: Error allowed Willson Contreras to reach.

9 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 11 K

Arizona    4
Chicago   0
(Series tied 1-1)

NLCS Game 1 - Former Nat Murphy caps Cubs rally to take 1-0 Lead over DBacks

The Diamondbacks are kicking themselves since they could be looking at a big early series lead.  After Chicago erupted for a 4-run first, Arizona comes all the way back and Jon Jay's 2-out, 2-run pinch-hit single gave them the 5-4 lead after 6-innings.  Bottom of 9th, two outs, runner on first, the Diamondbacks are ready to clinch the opener as Archie Bradley prepares for his 5th straight playoff save.  But Anthony Rizzo's fly ball is misplayed by David Peralta, the run scores and it is extra innings.  In the 10th, Ketel Marte throws one away and puts a runner on 2nd, Daniel Murphy follows with the walk-off hit and the Cubs rally for the win.

Arizona   5
Chicago  6  (10 innings)
(Cubs lead series 1-0)

Breaking ... Dbacks Corbin no-hits Cubs in battle to face Indians in World Series

The Diamondback's Pat Corbin no-hit the Statis-pro NL dynasty Cubs to even the NL championship series. The winner will face the Indians in the World Series. Details to follow ...

Friday, September 7, 2018

Free Statis-Pro Baseball Cards for all 30 Teams AND the Complete Game - Just Add Dice and Play

Click here for the free version of Statis-Pro plus the pitcher and batter cards for all 30 teams.

In addition to the main Statis-Pro playoffs, we wanted to try a simple single-elimination tournament using only the pictured dice and sheet to record results and what bases people are on, and the google sheet above with tabs using numbers based on this season for all batters and pitchers and additional tabs with instructions.

From the pitchers' tab I wrote down the pitcher's card numbers from the 2nd tab. For the Braves' starter, Foltynewicz allows hits up to a roll of 18, strikeouts up to 38, walks up to 48, the 51 on passed ball and 54 for wild pitches (passed ball and wild pitches are outs with no one on base). Most important, the first PB 2-7 means the two 6-sided dice keep it on his card. However, I recreated the roll from the first inning on which the 8 put the action on Yelich's line (see the bottom line on the sheet) and the 35 rolls on those dice fall within his 34-42 range for his 1st inning homer.

On outs the 4th tab and 20-sided die yield results.

The 3rd tab has instructions for new players, but also has options for trying to steal bases, bunt, or take extra bases on hits.

I played this Brewers-Braves games as a 1st test game using the Google sheet only. I seeded 12 teams for a single elimination to test if out and the Braves and Brewers batters were right by each other on the Google sheet which made it easier. Here is the quick tournamament bracket, where I seeded teams based on their actual mlb records right now.

Not that the Google sheet is set up with the top rows frozen, so anytime a pitchers comes up to hit those results are right at the top. When the pitcher is batting, you skip the PB and always get the results off his card.

Sneak preview single elimination for the first look at 2018 player cards in simple dice version showed some interesting updates for players who will be better or worse next year. For example, the Yankees Stanton won the MVP in the big season based on his 2017 card and the Mariners' Cano was not far behind - however using the 2018 cards neither of them even starterd for their team.

Final Four. The Braves will meet the A's in the championship of the mini-sneak peak. In the first semifinal, The A's incredible bullpen came through for the second straight game - standing six Red Sox in the final three innings to hold onto a 2-1 win. Betts had two more hits, stole a base and scored, but the A's strung together three singles and two RBI sac flies in the fourth for the final margin. In the second semifinal, the Albies again led off with a double to spark a 3-run first inning and Jackson threw a 5-0 shutout to eliminate the Indians. In the battle of the two best bullpens in baseball, Freeman gave the Braves a 2-0 lead with a 1st inning homer, but Canha pulled the A's within 2-1 with a 3rd inning homer and Olson added a 2-run homer in the 5th to make it 3-1. The A's extended the eventual championship final to 6-2 by outhitting the Braves 11-5 and the top 2018 closer in the game, Trienen (PB2-9, hits only 11-16) wrapped it up for the win. Tournament champion Oakland A's.

6-seed Indians blow out 11-seed Rockies 7-0. With Bauer just as good as Kluber on the new cards, he threw the shutout and Kluber is saved for 3-seed Yankees in next game. Indians outslugged them 11 hits to 4. Lindor has 2 of teams 3 doubles and Ramirez and Kipnis homered. While Kluber (PB-2-8) is not quite as dominant as his PB2-9 2017 card and the Yankees rookies are even better than our early season projection cards - Kluber had just enough to pull off a 7-3 win behind homers from Lindor and Ramirez The pen realy is weaker with Miller (PB2-7) and Allen (PB2-6), but for Padre Hand came in after Kluber gave up a leadoff homer in the 7th. Final Four from these 3 teams - Indians.

Kershaw delivered a big win for 12-seed Dodgers over 5-seed Cubs, but then Wood loses 3-1 to 4-seed A's. Lowrie had 2 of A's 6 doubles to chase Wood in the 5th and get to the amazing bullpen of Kelly and the closer Treinen. Final Four from these three teams -A's. 

#8 Cardinals biggest home advantage as #9 Mariners slugger Cruz could only pinch hit in 4-0 loss. Carpenters 2-run homer in the second put Cards on the road to a matchup with 1-seed Red Sox. However the Cardinals may have run into the best pitcher and best batter card from the 2018 stats in the next game. Chris Sale looks like the best pitcher card in the majors from this year's stats (PB2-9, hits only on 11-15) and he threw a 1-run, 1-hit game, while Mookie Betts (HR34-43, On Base Running and Stealing/Speed A, top defensive outfielder) doubled in Benintendi in the first then scored on back-to-back outs, then homered his next at bat to provide the 3-1 win. Final Four from these 3 teams - Boston Red Sox.

10-seed Atlanta jumped up 2-0 after Acuna singled to start the game, stole second and went to third on a wild pitch before Camargos RBI single. Yelich's homer made it 2-1, but Suzuki's RBI double made it 3-1 and closer Vizcaino survived a 9th inning double and run scored by Moustakas to get a showdown with 2-seed Astros. Atlanta then became the only NL team to make the Final Four in this single game elimination when they jumped on both Verlander (PB2-8) and closer Rondon (PB2-9) for homers by thier two top of hte line-up sluggers Albies and Acuna. Meanwhile Sanchez (strong PB2-7) and closer Vizcaino (PB2-9) scattered 8 Astros hits with the help of one run-saving diving stop by shortstop Swanson off line-drive off the bat of Sprinter for a 6-0 win. Final 4 from these 3 teams: Braves.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Free: 800 New Player Cards and Statis-Pro game: Features 25-man rosters to pit Encarnacion's Indians vs. Sanchez' Yankees

Vote here for the top Dominican stars of all time, including Gary Sanchez and Edwin Encarnacion featured below on the final 25-man rosters we used once our AL Statis-Pro season went from 15 teams down to the final two - the Cleveland Indians and New York Yankees. See updates on all Statis-Pro playoffs by clicking here(Note: Game highlights appear at the bottom, including the Dominican Republic's Edwin Encarnacion's Series MVP for leading the series in homers and runs scored to lead the Cleveland Indians to the World Series with a Game 7 win over the Yankees.). 

To Play Any Team Yourself; 1) Click here for more than 800 Statis-Pro player cards for the 2018 season and how to play the game; 2, then get the five dice pictured in these instructions and; 3; follow the results on this free Statis-Pro game. On the player's on the link the number shows the highest number roll that equals that result, with the red number being the highest number on which the player homers.

Batter Cards: The average Statis-Pro batter card has a home run range of 27-32 (actually 4 out of 64 numbers since it is a base-8 system from 11-88), and has just ONE walk number. The Indians and Yankees powered their way through the season with much better cards. For example, Aaron not only has over twice as many home run numbers as typical (25-35 is NINE home run numbers), but the fact that he gets hits all the way up to 35 instead of 32 shows a high batting average, and he has 10 extra walks on his cards. Put it all together, and if a pitcher leaves the action on Judge's card he actually gets on base on a hit, walk, or hit by pitch mroe than half of the time (33 of 64 numbers).

We use the player cards calculated based on their 2017 stats, but the 2018 rosters. You will notice that the 5th hitter Andrew McCutcheon says "2017 Pittsburgh Pirates," while the 10th hitter (only starts against left-handed pitchers) Luke Voit was a 2017 St. Louis Cardinal I copied.

The new cards I made for rookie of the year candidates Andujar and Torres by entering the 2018 projected stats at into this google sheet that anyone can use to make cards for new players.

You can follow the line-up reading from left to right and notice I write the number of their spot in the line-up, so the first batter with a "1" in the upper left is Brett Gardner, then "2" Aaron Judge is the second batter, and the second row starts with the "6" hitter Did Gregorius through the "9" hitter Bird. You may notice Bird has a "9/B" which I use to indicate he is the 9th hitter normally (against a right-handed pitcher, but the "/B" means he is on the bench against left-handed batters. Luke Voit has the reverse "B/9," meaning he is on the bench against right-handed pitching but starts as the 9th hitter against left-handed pitchers since left-handed hitters like Bird are automatically out on numbers of 11-15 against left-handed pitchers - so all his doubles would be turned to outs. The bottom row is all reserves for me, even though right now recent acquisition Hechavarria is actually starting at shortstop since Gregorius is out injured.

Half of the Cleveland Indians line-up is left-handed (four lefties and one switch-hitter). For this reason, I change their line-up a lot more when they face a lefty. As you can see Michael Brantley leads off but drops to 9th in the order against lefties (1/9), then Lindor bats 2nd against righties but moves up to leadoff against lefties, etc. Lonnie Chisenhall and Bradley Zimmer both start against righties (we do keep players in Statis-Pro action even when they are injured as long as they played some of the seasons), but Rajai Davis and Melky Cabrera start against lefties.

Perhaps the most important bench strength the Indians have over other teams is two speedsters off the bench that can pinch run or steal and take an extra base on a hit or fly ball. Davis has an OBR (on baserunning) and SP (base-stealing speed) of A, which led to the Game 5 win in the ACLS Statis-Pro series. Calculating the rookie card for Greg Allen - who is actually starting in centerfield due to Zimmer and Chisenhall are on the disabled list - is an even better A / AA. The SP: AA is the same as SP: A on most base-stealing efforts, but there are two exceptions. If Allen gets a single or double on his card, the automatically steals a base. In the dice version, he steals second base on a 1-4 instead of just a 1-3 like an SP: A.

Like Judge, recent acquisition Josh Donaldson also has NINE home run numbers and with even more walks he reaches on just one fewer number than Judge - 32 out of 64. Judge is a little better because he has three more hits whereas Donaldson has two more walks - which don't score runners in scoring position, but Donaldson's card from last year is almost as good as Judge's from last year, so in the game they are virtually even.

Pitcher Cards: The average pitcher in baseball starts with a PB: 2-6, however, so typically a PB: 2-7 is a good starting pitcher and a PB: 2-8 is a strong relief pitcher who might close games or be a strong set-up man. However, the Yankees and Indians pack PB: 2-9 (the best, keeps action off batters' card 83% of the time).

Below we list the four starters in order with S1, S2, S3, S4 and then R1 for the top reliever or closer in the top row. Then the second row starts with the second best reliever (R2) etc. all the way to the 6th best reliever. Notice that I do use pitcher's in roles based on how good their card is, while others would use Cody Allen and Chapman as the closer even though their cards are not quite as good as some of the loaded middle relievers.

Here are the loaded Yankees, and Chad Green actually has the best card and David Robertson the second best, even though in real action Aroldis Chapman would be the closer once back off the DL. I accidentally put Happ before Severino in the photo, but as you see from the S1 Severino is actually the ace and first in the rotation.

And here is the Indians incredible pen as they only team I ever remember with six relievers that are all either PB 2-9s and PB 2-8s.

Andrew Miller's PB2-9 with only 5 hits and three walks allowed, and the other 56 of 64 numbers resulting in outs, is the second best pitcher card in the AL behind only Boston's Craig Kimbrel (5 hits and 1 walk). That means that if Miller faces a left-handed batter and it is on the pitcher's card, the hits are all erased and the batters only three chances to reach are a walk on 48-52. However, the most impressive card in the league is Corey Kluber, because while he allows two more hits, he still only allows a baserunner to reach on eight of 64 numbers (one walk) and as a starting pitcher he can keep doing that for a complete game rather than just a couple of innings.

With both teams bringing in key players right up to the waiver line August 31, we did need to go back through and cut both rosters down to the 25-player legal limit. This did entail dropping some lesser players that are on both rosters because we allow players on DL to play and in some cases had to choose the better card between a current roster player and player on DL or suspension but who did play at least some this season.