I’ve got no recapping duties today, so I thought I’d look at a 35 game assessment.
After 35 games, the Braves are 24-11. Since they moved to Atlanta in 1966, they’ve never had a better record after 35 games. They equaled this record in 1969, 1997 and 1998. All of those were first place finishes. They were 23-12 in 1982, 1994, 2000, 2003 and 2007. All of those [but one — Thanks to Bravemarine for pointing out that 2007 did not end great] were first place finishes except for the strike year of 1994. The were 22-13 in 1983, 1996 and 2012. They were first in 1996 and made the playoffs in 2012 as a wildcard, but the 88 wins in 1983 fell three games short of the playoffs in those pre-Wild Card days. They were 21-14 in 1999, 2005, 2013, 2018, and 2020: once again, all 1st place finishes.
So that makes 15 non-strike years before this year of a 21-14 or better start. All but one of these teams made the playoffs.
The 13 first place finishes in these results are 13 of the total of 22 first place finishes in Atlanta. So you can start considerably slower and still do well (looking at you, 2021) but the first 35 games do seem to have some predictive content.
Comment if you like in The Bar. I’ll be enjoying the off day.
[Edit: I did a little more work because, y’know, statistical models]
I then fit a logit model to predict the probability of finishing first as a function of the number of wins in the first 35 games. Fitting this model, the predicted probability of a first place finish this year is 87%. This doesn’t have to change because of Bravemarine’s correction, because I got the first place years correct when I did the model. I also deleted 1994 from the data.)
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