I went the the Cubs game today against the Dodgers. I got to see Clayton Kershaw pitch (Awesome) and watch the Cubs get destroyed (Expected). It was 14-3 going into the 9th inning and some people were joking that a touchdown would get the Cubs right back in the game. (The Cubs “rallied” for two in the 9th to ultimately lose 14-5.)
But, this got me thinking. 14-3 does look like a football score, but 14-5 is clearly not. On the train back to school, I came up with this question: If all you knew about a game was the score, which sport would you guess generated that score?
To answer this question, I scraped the scores of (almost) all of the baseball and hockey games from 2000-2014, and I found a table of all NFL scores all-time. (I haven’t exhaustively scraped every single NHL and MLB game ever because 1) I don’t think the results will change much and 2) what I did was good enough for Friday night.) I then counted how often a specific score occurred each of the three sports (I did consider basketball, but it’s not really that interesting here) and converted that count to a percentage. Then for each score, I assigned the sport with the highest percentage of that score. The graphic below shows the results of this. If you click on the image, you can zoom in on it for more detail.
Some interesting things:
- If the winner scores 4 or fewer goals, those games belong to hockey.
- Additionally hockey gets 5-1, 5-2, 5-3, and 5-5. 5-0 and 5-4 are baseball scores though.
- If the winner scores between 6 and 9 runs, those games all belong to baseball. (With 6-6 and 7-7 ties belonging to football.
- Every shut out where the winner scores 12 or more (12-0, 13-0, etc.) belongs to football. Football also gets 10-0, but 11-0 belongs to baseball.
- In fact, any game where the winner scores 11 belongs to baseball.
- 18-8 is the lowest score combination to not be in my data set. This means that this score has never occurred in the NFL and has (likely) not occurred in the NHL or MLB since 2000.
- If the losing team score 10 points, the game belongs to football EXCEPT if the score is 11-10.
- If the losing team scores 12 or more points, it’s always football.