Interested in getting the lay of the land as Game 7 of the 2016 World Series between the Cubs and Indians unfolds on Wednesday night? Watch the game, yes, ideally in person. On the side, however, you might want to play around with the win expectancy tool available over at GregStoll.com. It's simple to use and tailor to whatever the current game situation is. Here's a screengrab of the tool ...
It's easy to use, as you'll find out. Just click on the half-inning, use the gray plus boxes to adjust the score margin, and if you're doing it in the middle of the inning, click in the circles to indicate the number of outs and on the bases to indicate any runners (or use the drop-down box to add base-runners). Do that and you'll see the percentage chance that the team in the best spot has of winning the game in question. As you can see, at the start of the game, the home team is a slight favorite.
What if the Cubs put up a run in the first? They'd have a 51.77 percent chance of winning the game. What if it's 3-2 Indians after seven? The hosts would have a 77.54 percent chance of winning Game 7. And if it's 1-0 Cubs going into the bottom of the ninth? Chicago would have an 81.72 percent chance of winning it all.
The "Leverage index" you see in gray is also a pretty cool feature. It basically tells you the importance of the game at that particular juncture. If the game gets out of hand in one direction or the other, you'll see that figure drop. What if, say, the Cubs are up 6-5 in the bottom of the ninth but the Indians have the bases loaded with two outs? Here's what that would look like ...
A leverage index of 10.5 is about as high as you can get, and no doubt the tension of such a moment would reflect that.
The percentages are all based on the outcome of actual MLB games (see that the data sample above consists of more than 120,000 games), so these aren't just blind guesses. In that sense, win expectancy data is your historical guide through Game 7 or any other game.
Now let's watch some high-stakes baseball.