My playing around yesterday with Kershaw’s chances to get 300 wins (low) got me to looking at other career accomplishments (like 500 HRs) and looking at the leaderboards, I must admit that I had missed that Pujols now has 591 HRs – wow! His chances by the James tool are 99% (there is always a small chance of a career-ending injury). Oddly, though, his chance for 700 is not as large as you would think (24%) and he has NO established chance to break Bonds’ record. NOTE: I should have clarified yesterday, the tool doesn’t say “no chance” but “no established chance”. Obviously, we have no idea what Aaron Judge will be – he may mash 60 HRs a year and blow by Bonds in a dozen seasons, but the tool says it can’t see that happening on evidence to date.
This got me wondering (about HRs): Does ANYONE in the game today have an established non-zero chance to break Bonds’ record (762 HRs)? I of course didn’t run the numbers for all the players, but I did find this:
Chance of 763 HRs:
Mike Trout 5%
Wow! An established 5% chance after only 168 HRs. We know that Trout is a special player, but who knew? I don’t really even think of him as a super power guy, but he had 29 this year, down from 41 and 36 the two previous years, and he is just 24. Of course a 5% chance to do it is a 95% chance to NOT do it, but it is pretty remarkable none-the-less. Bryce Harper, if you were wondering, has no established chance to break the record.
Meanwhile, Israel completed its undefeated pool play, beating group runner-up Netherlands 4-2. Japan has emerged (no surprise) as the pool leader in the other far-east pool. Tonight’s game between Australia and Cuba may well decide the other spot: Japan has beaten them both, and Cuba has beaten China (Australia has yet to play them. The probable outcome is that the winner of this game will have two wins and second place in the pool, with Japan in first place.
Winning the pool carries no ACTUAL benefit, though: both teams go into a second-round pool, in which they will again play round robin, with two teams going into the knock-out, medal round. So China and Netherlands will join Japan and (probably) the Cuba-Australia winner for the next stage.
And play begins today in our own hemisphere. The USA is in a pool with Colombia, Dominican Republic and Canada – The USA should be one of the two best of these four (along with the Dominican) but neither Canada nor Colombia is a true pushover, and a loss to either puts our advancement at risk. We play 3 games in 3 days starting tomorrow, so by Sunday the next round will finalize.
No real news from spring training – no major injuries or other calamities. Many of the ML teams played against WBC teams yesterday, with some fun results (Venezuela beat the Royals 11-0, and the Twins beat USA 3-2).
I love this game!