FanPost

Matt Cain's chances of throwing a no-hitter

I figure it's fitting to put something up about Matt Cain being so dominant as he nearly threw another 1-hit shutout today.  Too bad it ended 2-1 with 3 hits allowed (I hate Byrnes at AT&T, don't you?).

There's a site that has created a formula to see how good of a chance a pitcher has of throwing a no-hitter:

http://www.robneyer.com/book_04_ExpectNoNo.html

Furthermore, the boys over at MLBTraderumors.com plugged in Matt Cain's career stats and came up with this:

"His chances of throwing a no-hitter in any given start are 0.27%.  Not too bad! Nolan Ryan's chances in any given start were 0.35%.

So after figuring that out it's just a volume game.  If Cain makes 100 career starts, we should expect 0.27 no-hitters.  It follows that if he makes 364 career starts and maintains his hit rate, he should be expected to throw exactly one no-hitter. (Let's not get into his hit rate worsening after his peak right now).

Can Cain make that many career starts?  I honestly have no idea, but it seems reasonable on the surface (about 13 seasons).  John Smoltz is his top comparable, and Smoltz is at 429 starts so far.  However, a lot of promising young guys never sniff 300 career starts.  Browsing Cain's top ten comparables, only two have reached 300 (Smoltz and Andy Benes, although Josh Beckett has a shot).

Still, I think it's fair to say that over the life of his new contract, it's nearly a coin flip that Cain tosses a no-no."

Here's the link to this site: http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/san_francisco_giants/index.html

I hope nobody else put this up before, or else I'll feel like an idiot.  It's worth re-visiting, if that's the case.  Anyways, I get the feeling Cain's got a better chance of throwing a no-hitter than 1 in 364 starts.  But, who knows?

This FanPost is reader-generated, and it does not necessarily reflect the views of McCovey Chronicles. If the author uses filler to achieve the minimum word requirement, a moderator may edit the FanPost for his or her own amusement.

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