Using our pathetic team as a brief lesson in sample size

I'm playing with a sample size calculator today. Fun fact that you might not know: There actually is a way to calculate how big of a sample you need when you're estimating a population. In baseball, it never really works correctly because we're not taking random samples, but it's fun to take a look.

In any case, we have 162 games in the season and our current win percentage is .363. Throwing numbers into the old calculator says that we can be 80% confident that .363 is indicative of our actual win percentage, plus or minus 10%. But Dex, you're saying, plus 10% means we could actually win 16 more games than what you're saying. Sure that's true (and it's also true that I'm misusing this calculator somewhat), but still... Give the Padres those 16 games and be 80% confident that the .363 will stick and that means...

75 wins this season. 87 losses.

And that would've been with our team at full health. With K-Cam gone and no obvious replacement, it's tough to credit the Padres with the full 16. In fact, we might look at taking away the 16 (the plus or minus part of it) and see that there's an outside shot of actually only managing 43 wins. Keep in mind this is not based on a small sample size, but one that we can be 80% confident in.

Now obviously, the big thing that hurts this calculation is that it can't take into account any changes to the team over the course of the season and it doesn't take into account other teams that we have yet to play, but let's just say that it's not looking good.

Positivity though... The Padres quants know that we're moving into the realm of "this really doesn't look good" and I'm sure are actually making moves as we speak. As we speak.

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