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SERIES THREAD: WKU vs #17 FAU - May 19th - 21st, 2016

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Who: Western Kentucky (24-27, 10-17 C-USA) at No. 17 Florida Atlantic (34-15, 18-8 C-USA)

Friday 5/19 @ 6:30 PM
 
WKU: LHP Ryan Thurston (3-5, 4.30 ERA, 73.1 IP, 70 H, 74 K, 42 BB)
FAU: LHP Brandon Rhodes (6-3, 4.27 ERA, 78 IP, 80 H, 40 K, 14 BB)

Saturday 5/20 @ 6:30 PM

WKU: LHP Austin King (3-5, 5.58 ERA, 69.1 IP, 84 H, 59 K, 16 BB)
FAU: RHP David McKay (2-5, 3.67 ERA, 56.1 IP, 44 H, 56 K, 19 BB)

Sunday 5/21 @ 1:00 PM

WKU: RHP Josh Bartley (4-5, 5.18 ERA, 64.1 IP, 78 H, 49 K, 31 BB)
FAU: RHP Marc Stewart (5-0, 3.39 ERA, 63.2 IP, 54 H, 37 K, 27 BB)


Notes

It's the final weekend of regular season play for FAU and inquiring minds are likely focused on one thing and one thing only at this point in the year - Rating Percentage Index, commonly known as the RPI. RPI score is often represented similar to a winning percentage, such as the .5711 D1Baseball or the .5712 Warren Nolan has for us this morning. RPI rank is where the RPI score ranks nationally, and here is where the Owls stack up presently:

Florida Atlantic Owls

W-L: 34-15 (18-8)
RPI: 22
W-L vs. RPI Top 25: 5-3
W-L vs. RPI Top 50: 6-4
W-L vs. RPI Top 100: 14-8
Key Wins: Miss State (2), Southern Miss (2)
Key Losses: Charlotte (2), Georgetown

RPI often does the unexpected. With C-USA being such a strong conference in RPI, it would be easy to believe C-USA play would be a plus to RPI. Early in the year, that can be true. And for the weaker teams in the conference, that would be true at any time of the year. For the better teams, conference play is detrimental, and is even more so later in the year. RPI score is compromised of three components. Your own, RPI-adjusted win-loss record comprises 25% of the RPI score. The weighted average of your opponents' win-loss record comprises 50% of the RPI score, and is referred to as OWP. The final 25% of the RPI score is the weighted average of your opponents' opponents' win-loss record, and is referred to as OOWP. It is the OWP that is detrimental to FAU during conference play.

Our OWP as of Wednesday morning is .525756, which, times 50%, contributes .262878 to our RPI score. However, with 26 of our 49 games so far being in conference, and finishing with, if no rainouts this weekend, 29 of our 52 games, conference play makes up the majority of our OWP. But, conference play will result in an overall .500 winning percentage, which, being less than our current .525756, will cause the contribution of OWP to our winning percentage to decline. This is true for all teams at the top of the RPI rankings. So, while the RPI score can fall, the RPI ranking can actually improve.

LA Tech, though, is the conference member that we have not played. So, should they get swept this weekend, that would negate some of the negative impact of conference play. However, since they are playing Southern Miss, we'll gladly take that RPI hit.

Tuesday night, FGUC played at Miami. Since we played both teams twice, the weighted average of that game for our OWP would be .500. Again, that is less than the .525733 OWP which we entered Tuesday, and knocked .000023 off our RPI. Had we played the third game against Miami, it would have helped our RPI as the Miami win would have been weighted at 3, and the FGCU loss at 2, providing a .600 OWP impact.

Unfortunately, we are FIU fans this weekend for more reasons than wanting them to beat Rice. We have played FIU three times, and Rice twice. If FIU wins 2-1, the two wins have a weight of 6 and the loss a weight of 3. The Rice win would have a weight of 2, and the losses have a weight of 4. That would provide an 8-7 weighted record and an OWP of .533333, again negating the negative impact of conference play. For all other conference games, regardless of the outcome, we are going to suffer a hit to our RPI score.

Playing WKU for the first time brings their sub .500 winning percentage into our OWP. Regardless of the outcome of the games, WKU's record will subtract approximately .0006 from our RPI per game. The resulting approximate net results of the WKU series,  including their entire season OWP, assuming all games played are:

Go 3-0: .0016
Go 2-1: -.0041
Go 1-2: -.0097
Go 0-3:  -.015

Bottom line, there will be little difference between either an Owls sweep or them being swept by the Toppers, however, there could be a significant difference in an automatic postseason bid should they not do well in the C-USA tournament next week.

On a side note, we started some very detailed tracking of RPI earlier this month when we noticed some strange anomalies, most notably that one Monday morning, the NCAA had Rice with an RPI rank of 20. When we went back and calculated Rice's RPI-adjusted wins and losses, and the OWP, it came out the only way Rice had an RPI rank of 20 was for their OOWP that weekend to be over 1.000 - clearly impossible. After sending an email detailing this impossibility, and the need for review, Rice's RPI rank was properly adjusted to 30. A fair and just touche' for all of those mound stall tactics last weekend, and we're sure they aren't happy about it.



The Toppers were swept at home last weekend by a hot Marshall squad (1-8, 1-14, 2-5) and have now lost 9-of-10. Senior 3B Danny Hudzina had a productive final game at home on Sunday, going 2-for-4 with a double and a run driven in. For the series, he finished 6-for-11 (.545) and reached base eight times total.

Hudzina is leading C-USA in batting average (.415) and hits (86), attempting to become the first .400 hitter in the league since 2011. In the past four C-USA series, sophomore OF/DH Kaleb Duckworth has gone 20-for-51 (.392) with 12 runs, 12
RBI, eight extra-base hits, five doubles, two triples and a homer.

WKU is in a dogfight for the final spot in the tournament, and will need to win at least two games to make it, with help as well.  Hilltoppers are currently tied for ninth with UAB, while FIU (two games up) and Charlotte (one game up) are ahead of WKU in the final two spots for the championships.

Thunderstorms will once again be on tap for a good part of the series, with Friday's contest being the one exception. Accordingly, time adjustments can't be ruled out.

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Owls EARN the opener, but not without some drama and the 2nd longest game of the season from an inning perspective:


UPDATED SCHEDULE & RESULTS: 2016 FAU Baseball Schedule - FAU Owl's Nest

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Rice and Southern Miss both lost today, but Marshall won.
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Rick said

Thunderstorms will once again be on tap for a good part of the series, with Friday's contest being the one exception. Accordingly, time adjustments can't be ruled out.
Posted On: May 18th 2016, 2:38 PM #356222


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Rick said

Rick said

Thunderstorms will once again be on tap for a good part of the series, with Friday's contest being the one exception. Accordingly, time adjustments can't be ruled out.
Posted On: May 18th 2016, 2:38 PM #356222



Posted On: May 20th 2016, 7:49 AM #356246


Are you expecting expected weather expected in Boca?
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Late afternoon or evening rain. Has been crazy this week. 8.0 inches on the rain meter at my office.
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No sight of rain so far today, but the hits were flying in the first of two contests!


UPDATED SCHEDULE & RESULTS: 2016 FAU Baseball Schedule - FAU Owl's Nest

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those series losses to Charlotte, and FIU might feel even more painful after this weekend. Probably will be the difference of winning the conference
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I'm about 9 miles from campus. Walking dogs , listening to thunder in the distance. Hope they can squeeze the next one in. They need to get through five to make it official. Good lord. Just looked at weather radar app, There is no way they will get this in without a delay. Huge rains moving in from the west.
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@DeltaAlumnus… you are 100% correct. Those insignificant losses, which seem so non-important , will come back and bite you in the behind. The top teams in C-USA are all very good and we messed up by giving up 7 unanswered runs to FIU after the delay. The Charlotte series, we just happened to play them while they were on a run. But you hit it on the head. Too bad too because this team has it all. Now we need to win the tourney.
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