Pigskin Rationale

sports
We hear all the time that baseball is a marathon and not a sprint and more often than not that comment is typically followed by a lazy comparison between the average Rangers fan and a typical Cowboys fan. The nature of the baseball schedule allows for losing streaks and bumps in the road along the way, but some nights that can be lost as fans get caught up in dramatic moments of individual games-but that’s okay! 
That is what makes watching sports entertaining and compelling as we try to distract ourselves at times from our everyday stresses and responsibilities, so if you want to get caught up in a Joe Nathan blown save like it’s the end of the world, that’s your right and I say go for it. The other narrative we hear a lot in regards to the football/baseball comparison is that you have to look at the baseball schedule in 10 game sections to truly evaluate their performance throughout the season. During this All-Star break now is a great time to see how the Rangers would be doing according to NFL schedule standards.

Fans who study advanced stats know that a small sample size can lead to false narratives and rash judgments, but when examining wins and losses looking at a 10 game span can paint a fairly decent picture of the team. During that span, a team will have played on average three different series against three different opponents allowing for the occasional “cupcake” and contender on the schedule (if a cupcake really exists). The 10 game-window also allows us to see on average 40-50 at bats from a particular hitter which is a large enough sample to gauge possible hot/cold trends for each hitter and the same can be said for pitchers as it typically allows us to see two starts for each starting pitcher as well. Based on that idea, below is a chart showing how the Rangers have done in those aforementioned 10 game chunks so far this season:

Games
1-10
11-20
21-30
31-40
41-50
51-60
61-70
71-80
81-90

W/L Record
7-3
6-4
6-4
7-3
6-4
4-6
3-7

8-2
6-4

As you can see, the Rangers only had two losing stretches when examining the 10 game-window theory and according to our NFL comparison logic that would mean the Rangers are 7-2 heading into the second half. 7-2 at the midway point in the NFL season would make Cowboy fans rejoice in the streets and praise Jerry’s brain trust. The current Rangers record has generated mixed emotions and as Peter Ellwoodpoints out in his latest article, there are valid reasons for both emotions.  The thing that jumps out at me when looking at the table is that the Rangers have avoided the dreaded 1-9 or 2-8 disasters, but at the same time they haven’t really caught fire and put together a 9-1 or even better a 10-0 run. Those are rare and cannot be expected, but the four months of 6-4 suggests more mediocrity than fans would like to hear.

As is the norm now with Rangers comparisons, we have to look at how the Oakland Athletics have done this season in the same 10 game chunks:

Games
1-10
11-20
21-30
31-40
41-50
51-60
61-70
71-80
81-90
 W/L Record
8-2
4-6
5-5
3-7
7-3
8-2
6-4
5-5
7-3
According to that NFL schedule logic the Athletics would be 5-2-2 and would need some help getting into the playoffs. Obviously, the ties are a wash when comparing the results, but when speaking of mediocrity nothing says that more than two 5-5 records for the Athletics versus the four 6-4 stretches for the Rangers. Oakland had one more 8 win stretch than the Rangers and are 3-2 in their current 10 game-window compared to the Rangers at 1-4.

It will be interesting to see how this season plays out and based on what we have seen the last two years, the Oakland Athletics will be involved in this race down to the wire and they should be because they are a very talented bunch. How the Rangers bounce back in the second half will more than likely be relative to the number of players that are on the disabled list in August and September, but with a few 8-2 or consistent 7-3 stretches who knows what can happen?

*The Rangers are currently 1-5 in this 10 game stretch*

Jeff  Johnson is a Staff Writer for ShutDownInning. He can be reached at Jeff.Johnson@ShutDownInning.com or on Twitter @Houstonhog
Jeff Johnson

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