Brewers shutout streak: Not as unlikely as you'd think

Mike McGinnis

Sorry if I'm about to rain on your parade a bit.

So by now you've probably heard that the Brewers pulled off a 1-0, 13 inning win over the Marlins today, completing a weekend shutout of Miami. It's the first time in franchise history the Brewers have shut out a team for an entire three-game series, and only the second time they've ever pitched three consecutive shutouts.

Now, you may be wondering (you're probably not, but play along), "just how unlikely is this streak?" I guessed it would be something like one in a million, or at least one in several hundred thousand. The answer, surprisingly, is much less.

Including this weekend's series, the Marlins have played 889 innings this season and scored a run in 184 of them, roughly 20.1%. So if you're facing the Marlins for a single inning, your chances of keeping them off the board are slightly less than 80%. From there, you can get the chances of it happening 31 consecutive times by taking that percentage to the 31st power. That comes out to 0.075%, which is roughly the equivalent of once every 1324 tries.

When you factor in the four scoreless innings to close out the Diamondbacks series, things get a little more unlikely. I've got the odds of the Brewers' current 35 inning overall scoreless streak at roughly one in 4604. If they keep the streak alive and shut out the Padres for nine innings tomorrow, it'll become one in roughly 72,500.

By now many of you are probably lost or bored with the math, so I'll bold the takeaway point so you can skim down to it: This weekend's scoreless streak was pretty cool, but it's not as unlikely as you'd think.

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