Every Friday, the political and sports analytics website FiveThirtyEight offers up problems related to the things we hold dear around here, math, logic and probability, in their popular Riddler column. When we get the chance, we enjoy checking out these puzzlers, and the solutions that oftentimes are the exact opposite of what you initially think!
This week, the Riddler offered up a problem relating to the MLB postseason and winning percentages, so we know we had to take a crack at it.
The 2017-2018 NBA season culminated in a final showdown between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors for the fourth year in a row. While predicting those two teams to make the final round of the playoffs was perhaps the easiest call ever made, we wanted to see if the other 14 teams that made a postseason berth could be predicted.
No statistic quite tells the whole story of a teams’ season like postseason odds, or the probability of making the playoffs. We love this stat, because when plotted over the course of an entire season, the hopes and dreams of an entire fan-base can be seen lifted up to unimaginable heights, or crushed into the nothingness that we all eventually become.