So a car dealer in the Dallas-Forth Worth area is offering free cars if the Texas Rangers start the season 4-0 and the Yankees start 0-4. Could it happen? The Rangers last started 4-0 in 1996, but the Yankees have gotten out of the gate 0-4 just once in Texas' 37 years of existence, in 1973.
So we ran the odds. We used Baseball Prospectus' PECOTA projections of the winning percentages of the Rangers, Yankees and their opponents. Then we used the Bill James log5 method of computing the chance of each of the eight games in question going the right way. The Rangers open with three against Cleveland and then play at Detroit; the Yankees start with three at Baltimore and then go to Kansas City. (We didn't factor in any home-field advantage.)
After all the multiplication, we get a .08 percent chance of the Rangers having a four-game lead over the Yankees four games into the season. Or 1,224-to-1.
That's about the same odds of a 95-loss team winning eight games in a row. Or a .306 batter hitting safely in his next six at-bats.
Connecting you to your favorite North Texas sports teams as well as sports news around the globe.