San Francisco’s Luckiest and Unluckiest Giants Fans
Here at Stubhub, we have an interesting opportunity to look at every game in every sport and see the people who attended these events. When you look at the outcomes of the games, we can do something fun – we can tell you who the “luckiest” fans are. The ones that have what we’ll call the “most interesting” stories. Since all our info is based on hard data, you’ll see the actual cases of real fans. The people who saw nothing but wins or witnessed tons of hard losses. Also you’ll have a story to one-up that co-worker/friend/neighbor of yours who insists “I went to ten games this year and we won all ten!” We all know that guy’s full of it.
Since baseball season is starting, we will look at the win-loss record of the fans of the 2012 World Series Champion San Francisco Giants. For example, if someone went to 5 games and the Giants won all 5, their record would be 5-0. Also, we’ll include the statistical likelihood of the fan having a record that good (or that bad). After all, the Giants went 53-36 at home last year (including playoffs) so if you went to ten games, chances are very good that you saw at least one of those 36 losses. If we assume that the Giants had a 60% chance (53 out of 89) of winning any given game, we can calculate the odds of a fan going 10-0, 5-10, or any combination you can think of. Before the statistics nerds troll me, I’ll add this caveat. The odds of winning any given game for the Giants is not always 60%. If they face a pitcher like Clayton Kershaw, their odds are a lot lower than if they’re up against some nervous rookie pitching in his first game. Baseball is hardly a perfect science. Just go with it.
Without further ado, our luckiest and least lucky fans.
The luckiest fan is…
Salvador from San Francisco. Salvador saw nine games and the Giants won all nine. The odds of seeing nothing but wins in nine Giants home games is a mere 0.9%. What makes Salvador’s story more interesting is the high quality of games that he saw. Take a look at his first 3 games to see how his season went. In his first game, he saw Tim Lincecum throw a 3-hitter. In his second game, he saw Madison Bumgarner 1-hit the Reds and out-duel Johnny Cueto. In his third game, he witnessed a 12th inning walk-off win courtesy of catcher Hector Sanchez. And his luck didn’t end there. On September 22, he was there as the Giants clinched the NL West title. After that, he went to three playoff games. The Giants only posted a 5-3 record at AT&T park during the post-season, but sure enough Salvador was only there for wins. He went to Game 6 of the NLCS as Ryan Vogelsong upended the Cardinals 6-1, and Game 7 as Cain dominated them en route to a clinching 9-0 victory. And of course he went to arguably the biggest win of the Giants year, Game 1 of the World Series as Pablo Sandoval became only the 4th player ever to hit three home runs in a World Series game. (With two of them coming off of ace Justin Verlander).
Overall, the most runs scored by a Giants opponent during his nine games was only four. The Giants allowed a mere 16 runs in those 9 games, just 1.8 a game as stellar pitching propelled them. In other words, if you know Salvador and he tells you he’s going to the Giants game, you should get tickets too. Unless of course you’re a Dodger fan.
The unluckiest fan is…
Juan from San Francisco. Juan had tickets for 27 Giants games and saw losses in 19 of them. That’s a stunningly low .297 win percentage, especially considering the sheer volume of games he bought for. The odds of seeing 8 or fewer wins in 27 Giants games (assuming that they win 60% of the time) is an astounding 0.1%. In other words, if you picked 1000 people at random who went to at least 27 Giants games in 2012, Juan would probably have a worse record than all 1000 of them. Oddly, his season started off fairly well. After enduring a tough 1-4 start, Juan saw the Giants win 4 out of their next 5. On July 15, he had a personal record 6 wins attended and 5 losses. Not too shabby right? Then the bottom fell out and his luck started a quick downward spiral. He went to consecutive games against the Dodgers with the Giants losing an extra inning heartbreaker in the first, and then enduring a 10-0 drubbing in the second. He was there when the Washington Nationals handed the Giants a 14-2 beating, their worst loss of the year, and finished off the regular season with 6 more losses in a row. Since that July 15 date, he had seen only two wins versus 11 losses.
Then the playoffs began but Juan’s luck didn’t change. He bought tickets for both of the Divisional series home games against the Reds, and the Giants dropped both of them, including a 9-0 blowout. The Giants only survived due to a critical 3-game sweep in Cincinnati to advance to the NLCS. Once again, Juan bought tickets for Game 1 against the Cardinals, and once again the Giants lost. It was the last game Juan would buy tickets for, but stunningly it was also the last home game the Giants would lose. Once Juan stopped buying the Giants caught fire. The combined score of their next 3 home games was 18-2 as the Giants pitching dominated the tail end of the NLCS. Juan did not buy tickets for any World Series games either and the Giants had two fantastic home games – the aforementioned Sandoval three home run game and Madison Bumgarner’s commanding performance in game 2, allowing only 2 hits. Looking at Juan’s purchase pattern, it makes you wonder if he felt he was a bad luck charm and purposely chose to stay home. I don’t know if I believe in all that but you can’t argue with results. Juan, Giants fans owe you a beer.
It’s 2013 now and hope springs eternal for teams and fans alike. We want to help turn around Juan’s luck and keep Salvador’s win streak alive, so we are giving Juan and Salvador two free tickets each to an upcoming game. Are you looking to try your luck? Other Giants fans can go StubHub, while the rest of baseball nation can find their favorites here. We’ll update you come October on who had the best year as a fan, and who will be hoping for better luck next year.
Article written by Andy Sevastopoulos, StubHub Analytics Manager