Luck Factor

Well, I got my wish: Alex Johnson has enough ABs to qualify for the batting title! His .294 is only good for 8th in the league, but that’s ok.  What’s been hard on me this week is seeing Roberto Clemente hitting just .261 — he’s really slumped since the all-star break.  Luck definitely plays a role in these kinds of simulations!

One of the stat reports available is each team’s Board Game Breakdowns.  Here we see which team has things like the most clutch hits and outs.  Oddly enough, the first-place Council Bluffs team leads the league in choke moments with 22, and our last-place team, Dubuque, has the fewest with 3.  It might be more a function of having lots of runners in scoring position than anything else, but interesting nonetheless.  One definite place where we can see luck as a factor is the percentage of ballpark homer and single chances that convert to hits.  Here are the numbers, with teams listed according to the current standings, and note that 45% is the expected percentage, so good and bad luck is deviation from that mark:

                                        OFFENSE             DEFENSE
Iowa Baseball Confederacy             
Council Bluffs Falcons (A’s-Giants)     45%   39%    -1     37%   48%
Davenport Knights (Tigers-Cards)        38%   44%    -6     45%   43%
Ames Little Cyclones (Orioles-Pirates)  48%   47%    +4     44%   45%
Iowa City Regals (Red Sox-Phillies)     45%   44%    +4     43%   42%
Cedar Rapids Saints (Twins-Dodgers)     42%   40%    -7     43%   46%
Sioux City Crusaders (Indians-Reds)     49%   43%   +16     40%   36%

Des Moines Scarlets (Yankees-Cubs)      47%   39%     0     47%   39%
West Metro Maroons (Angels-Mets)        46%   40%    -1     46%   41%
Waterloo Sailors (White Sox-Braves)     35%   46%   -12     50%   43%
Dubuque Golden Eagles (Senators-Astros) 43%   44%    +4     40%   43%

Oddly enough, 8 of 10 clubs are unlucky as far as hitting ballpark singles is concerned.  Two teams, Council Bluffs and Des Moines, are way down at 39%, and this is strange given the lucky nine from Ames is just 2% above expected.  Bad luck also seems more pronounced than good when it comes to hitting ballpark homers, where the Waterloo Sailors and Davenport Knights are both under the 40% level.  Taking a combined look, notice that only two offenses, Ames and Sioux City, can be considered “lucky” thus far… and let’s hope Clemente and Johnson can grab a larger share of that good fortune in our final month.

Defensively, it seems obvious that Waterloo’s troubles are at least in part due to that 50% mark for ballpark homers hit against them.  Luckiest pitchers have been in Council Bluffs, so some of that 75-50 record has come from some catches up against the outfield fence. 

From a combined standpoint, the luckiest team so far seems to have been Sioux City, and the least lucky has been Waterloo.  Perhaps this explains why Hank Aaron has been such a disappointment!

Here is a link to the Strat-O-Matic league file after 19 weeks of play, and the current standings.  At the top, the Falcons (6-4) and Knights (5-5) see Ames (8-2) and Iowa City (7-3) creeping a little closer.  Dubuque had a horrible week (they must be tanking it for a better draft slot).    


8/18/68 Iowa Baseball Confederacy        Won   Lost    Pct     GB
Council Bluffs Falcons (A’s-Giants)      75     50    .600     —
Davenport Knights (Tigers-Cards)         73     54    .575    3.0 
Ames Little Cyclones (Orioles-Pirates)   71     53    .573    3.5
Iowa City Regals (Red Sox-Phillies)      69     56    .552    6.0
Cedar Rapids Saints (Twins-Dodgers)      65     60    .520   10.0
Sioux City Crusaders (Indians-Reds)      65     63    .508   11.5

Des Moines Scarlets (Yankees-Cubs)       61     65    .484   14.5
West Metro Maroons (Angels-Mets)         55     70    .440   20.0
Waterloo Sailors (White Sox-Braves)      50     76    .397   25.5
Dubuque Golden Eagles (Senators-Astros)  44     81    .352   31.0

That’s all for this week. 

© John Kisner 2019