Projection perspective

In this week’s podcast, John E. Gibson suggested it will be a hard slog for Yakult Swallows, whom my simplistic projection predicts will win the Central League pennant, to do that.

His thought was that since the Swallows play 11 of their final 21 games against the league’s second- and third-toughest teams, the Tigers and Giants, it will be harder than it looks.

My simple projections, allotting each team’s share of remaining wins based on their runs scored and allowed this season through Sunday, had the Swallows winning by a half-game over the Tigers, with the Giants three games back.

But thinking about the difficulty of schedules, I devised a different method, matching the Pythagorean win percentages of each team compared to their remaining opponents, and distributing wins in that fashion.

That new projection shows the Swallows doing even better, beating the Tigers by four games, and doesn’t account for eight of those 11 games against the Tigers and Giants being played at Jingu Stadium.

The new projection gives the Swallows a 57-percent chance of winning a game against the Tigers and a .56-percent chance of beating the Giants. Runs scored and allowed over the course of a season don’t of course reflect each team’s actual strength at this instant, and some teams will be relatively stronger or weaker. But in general, it is a handy tool to use, and if you have an objective one that is better, please shout out.

Here are the projections for the final 2021 results based on the games through Sept. 26.

My overly simplistic projections: CL

p Wp LTp Win Pctp GB

My overly simplistic projections: PL

p Wp LTp Win Pctp GB

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