July 26, 2018

O'Brien Claims It's "Very Rare" For A Team To Improve In The Standings On A Road Trip

NESN's Dave O'Brien remarked at the start of last night's game that the Red Sox began their current road trip with a 4.5-game lead over the Yankees and they had a chance, if they won the final game in Baltimore, to end the road trip with a 6.0-game lead. O'Brien informed us that it was "very rare" for a team to increase its divisional lead during a road trip.

(Note: After last night's game was postponed, MLBTV removed the video files of NESN and MASN, so I was unable to transcribe exactly what O'Brien said. It happened while Steve Pearce batted in the top of the first. If anyone has a transcription, post it in comments.)

Is it "very rare" for a team to end a road trip with a bigger lead in its division than when they began the trip? Or, if the team is not in first place, to improve in the standings?

I looked at the last three Red Sox seasons. ("Tied" means tied for first place.)

2018 (Improved in 5 of 8 trips (63%))
1st road trip - Improved from Tied to 1.0 GA
2nd road trip - Improved from 3.5 GA to 4.0 GA
3rd road trip - Dropped from 2.0 GA to Tied
4th road trip - Improved from 0.5 GA to 1.5 GA
5th road trip - Dropped from 2.5 GA to 1.5 GA
6th road trip - Dropped from Tied to 2.0 GB
7th road trip - Improved from 1.0 GA to 2.0 GA
8th road trip - Improved from 4.5 GA to 5.5 GA
2017 (Improved in 5 of 12 trips (42%); improved or stayed the same in 7 of 12 trips (58%))
1st road trip - Dropped from Tied to 1.5 GB
2nd road trip - Dropped from 1.0 GB to 2.0 GB
3rd road trip - Dropped from 3.0 GB to 4.5 GB
4th road trip - Stayed the same: 4.0 GB
5th road trip - Stayed the same: 3.0 GB
6th road trip - Improved from 3.0 GB to 0.5 GB
7th road trip - Improved from 1.0 GA to 3.5 GA
8th road trip - Dropped from 2.5 GA to 1.0 GA
9th road trip - Improved from 3.0 GA to 5.5 GA
10th road trip - Dropped from 5.0 GA to 4.5 GA
11th road trip - Improved from 2.5 GA to 3.5 GA
12th road trip - Improved from 3.0 GA to 5.0 GA
2016 (Improved in 4 of 12 trips (33%); improved or stayed the same in 6 of 12 trips (50%))
1st road trip - Dropped from Tied to 2.5 GB
2nd road trip - Improved from 3.5 GB to 0.5 GB
3rd road trip - Dropped from 0.5 GA to 0.5 GB
4th road trip - Dropped from Tied to 0.5 GB
5th road trip - Dropped from 2.0 GA to 1.0 GA
6th road trip - Stayed the same: Tied
7th road trip - Dropped from 1.5 GB to 5.5 GB
8th road trip - Stayed the same: 2.0 GB
9th road trip - Dropped from 2.5 GB to 3.0 GB
10th road trip - Improved from 2.0 GB to Tied
11th road trip - Improved from 2.0 GB to 2.0 GA
12th road trip - Improved from 3.0 GA to 5.0 GA
From 2016-18, the Red Sox improved their place in the standings on 14 of 32 road trips (44%). They improved their place in the standings or stayed the same on 18 of 32 road trips (56%). ... And the Red Sox have improved in the standings in 10 of their last 17 road trips (59%).

You cannot describe something as "very rare" if it happens approximately half the time. Of course, O'Brien had no clue if what he was saying was accurate or not. At that moment, he thought it must be rare, so that's what he said. A lot of listeners will assume it's true.

Don Orsillo may not have been perfect, but he never came off like a smug know-it-all. You don't have to listen to Dave O'Brien for very long before getting the impression that he thinks he's knows a lot about baseball, certainly much more than you do. However, the more you examine what he says, the more you discover that he is extremely ignorant about many things (statistics, in particular) and that he often just makes shit up.

3 comments:

allan said...

Two other teams in 2018 that have spent a lot of time in first place:

Astros: 9 road trips. Improved in 4 trips; improved or stayed the same in 6 of 9 trips (67%).

Cleveland: 8 road trips. Improved in 4 trips; improved or stayed the same in 5 of 8 trips (63%).

Gregory Lynn said...

He's just a goddamn dumbass. One of those mediocre white men out there being incompetent and not being held accountable for it.

Honest to god, when he got the gig, I thought we'd be fine. I'd heard him on the radio a few times and he was okay. But holy crap was I wrong. I might have been wronger about him than I was the Darren Bragg/Jamie Moyer trade.

Jim said...

O'Brien is all about the "tease" or the hype. I wish somebody on the Shopping Channel would make him an offer he couldn't refuse.