## Tuesday, February 19, 2013

### A Fortnight of 2013 Topps: Day 13

The odds of guessing a streak of 57 is so absolutely absurd.  Just for fun, I ran a little simulation.  Consider that there are 179 days of baseball this year.  So, for the sake of this experiment, we'll say you get 179 chances to pick hits.  Assume that you have enough codes, since we're not certain exactly how the chase works.

Each of those 179 days represents a guess that is either a 0 (no hit) or a 1 (hit).  To win the contest, you would need 57 1's in a row.

Assuming a league batting average of .250 (meaning 1 in 4 are a "hit),  the best streak I got in 100,000 repititions was 12.

That doesn't tell the whole story, though.  You likely will be picking players with high averages.  Let's assume that you pick from players that average .300.  The best streak here was 17.

Let's say you are a good guesser, so you're going to effectively make the average .500. So basically, it's a coinflip.  The best streak here was 23.  We're not even halfway to 57.

It wasn't until I bumped that percentage up to 0.75 that I got a streak of 57.

So, guessing at a 75% clip, I got one streak of 57 in 100,000 tries.

That's also considering that you can pick whoever you want, whereas it actually sounds like you can only choose from the players you unlock. That makes the odds way way tougher.

Of course, this isn't perfect, and it's far from a true statistical analysis of the problem.  However, you can rest assured that the odds are long and you probably aren't going to win \$1,000,000.

Yes, those are two different scans because I'm a dork.

Unless there are some real cards to unlock, I just don't understand why people would be buying these codes up.  I honestly think you'd be better of buying lottery tickets.

Even for a decent guesser/analyst, I believe the chances of getting 57 is somewhere in the 1 in a few quadrillion range.  I will be floored if anyone wins it.

Really, I told you all this just to make it seem that much more amazing when I bring home the cash.  My 8 codes and I are going to rock this.

Chris Reed said...

Like the lottery, if enough people play someone will win (it just won't be you or me).

Community Gum said...

Not only do you only get to pick your players, but you have to essentially get the streak with that same player. My Adam Dunn ain't looking hot. I think you can activate and de-activate at will, though. The only reason to do it at all is the side prizes. If you get a streak of 5, 10, 15, 25 there are other prizes like autos or a set of autos, etc.
But yeah, I don't know why people would buy these codes at all.
--Jon

Matt Perry said...

Exactly right. On top of all that, at a streak of 5, you only get "entered" into a drawing for a card, and then only get real actual cards at 10 and 15. This is completely BS this year. At least a couple years ago we got crummy cards from the 70's and 80's, but it was something. We could have them shipped if we wanted. Last year with the coins was even more ridiculous but at least you got a card every once in a while. This, this is just stupid.

Topps, if I wanted Fantasy Baseball, I'd be playing it, not guessing if Hunter Pence or Carlos Pena is more likely to get a hit. Geeez.

BaseSetCalling said...

Hi, love the blog, Thanks!

There is more to it than assuming a player hitting .250 will get a 17 game hitting streak once every 10,000 starting dates. I wasn't sure if you factored in 4 at-bats per game? Most of the "Roster" for this is players who would hit at least 5th in the batting order.

You can also turn a player ON or OFF each day, and you can have 3 players active simultaneously.

But the above comment about playing Fantasy Baseball is dead-on. You could really play the numbers, all the way to the career head-to-head of your batter vs that day's starting pitcher.

I will probably fool with it for fun sometimes. Hopefully the website works good on mobile. It's a little clunky with Safari on desktop, but it eventually worked. I drew a half-dozen .275 sluggers before getting several .300+ stars.

Some of the codes are "instant win" I believe, so it is worth typing them in at least, even if not to play very much.