Red Sox Clinch Division in March

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The fantasy baseball season is in the stretch run at http://www.coolstandings.com. The site is simulating the 2007 baseball season but allowing fans to boost the performance of their favorite teams. Red Sox fans are hoping that the fantasy season results carry over into the regular season.

The Boston Red Sox clinched the American League East before the 2007 season even got started. The website http://www.coolstandings.com is simulating the 2007 baseball season using 2006 statistics, and if this fantasy season is any indication of the upcoming regular season then Red Sox fans have reason to celebrate. Boston clinched the division with a 3-2 victory over the Baltimore Orioles in just their 142nd game to improve their record to an amazing 107-35.

The fantasy season at coolstandings.com differs from traditional fantasy baseball leagues in that participants do not select individual players to form their own teams. Instead, participants are able to boost the offensive or defensive performance of their favorite Major League teams to influence the outcome of each simulated game. This model enables fans to share in their fantasy baseball success with fellow participants and build a stronger online community, according to co-founders Greg Agami and Sean Walsh.

"Fans are more loyal to their home teams than they are to the individual players," says Agami. "Players sign with other teams or get traded, but your home team sticks with you for life."

At coolstandings the fans have a significant impact on the standings. Team statistics including runs scored and runs allowed in 2006 help determine how many runs each team scores in a simulated game. However, visitors to the site can click on "boost" buttons to increase the number of runs their team will score or decrease the number of runs scored by the opponent. The Red Sox enjoyed a large fan following that propelled them to win the division by over 20 games. In fact, the Red Sox received the most boosts among all teams, with 22% of all boosts, while the Yankees were next with 11% of all boosts.

The New York Mets also enjoyed a significant fan following, collecting about 10% of all boosts and running away with the NL East. Other teams that were pushed into playoff contention with the help of their fans include the Chicago White Sox, Chicago Cubs and Atlanta Braves. The Washington Nationals and Florida Marlins received the least help, each with only 0.2% of the total number of boosts. Unfortunately these teams and other struggling ballclubs needed the help more than most of the well supported teams.

Although Agami and Walsh are devout Red Sox fans, both express surprise at Boston's dominant fantasy season. "Last year the Red Sox blew a 5 game September lead to the Yankees in our fantasy season, which seemed all too familiar," recalls Walsh. "This season is a bit more satisfying!"

Agami and Walsh launched coolstandings.com in 2005 to project the playoff picture for professional baseball, football and basketball. During the regular season for each sport, the site simulates the remainder of the season millions of times to determine the playoff chances for each team. These probabilities are updated every day for every team. Coolstandings.com also simulates the playoffs for baseball, football and basketball, calculating the probabilities for how deep each team will get and offering projections for individual games and series. Since 2005, the site is a combined 33-18 in predicting series winners during the playoffs.

The simulation model builds upon principles from the field of sabermetrics to predict team performance using simple team statistics and Monte Carlo simulation. Sabermetrics is the objective analysis of baseball using statistics, and was pioneered by Bill James in the 1970's. Daryl Morey and others extended some of these concepts to other sports such as football and basketball.

To see the latest fantasy baseball standings and find out more about how the simulation works, visit http://www.coolstandings.com.

About coolstandings.com
Coolstandings.com, Inc. projects the playoff picture for baseball, football and basketball, calculating the chance of each team making the playoffs -- updated daily -- by simulating the remainder of the season millions of times.

Coolstandings.com is not affiliated with Major League Baseball in any way or with any team mentioned.

For more information, please visit http://www.coolstandings.com.

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GREG AGAMI
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