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Boston College Baseball: How Do The Eagles Make The ACC Tournament?

Advanced statistics and math pave the road to determine how the Eagles can make it to North Carolina.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The modern era of baseball is more statistically driven than any other time period. Advanced numbers and SABRmetric stats provide more of a glimpse into a singular or season-long performance than any time in the past, and numbers formerly used have become more obsolete in going to determine success.

With the 2016 season fast approaching, let's take a look at how the team performs, then break down what to expect from their performance through those numbers.

Actual Wins

As always, there's no better measuring stick than good old fashioned wins and losses. Last season, NC State and Clemson secured the final NCAA Tournament berths from the ACC by winning 32 and 36 games, respectively. Five of the seven Atlantic Division teams went to the ACC Tournament.

The last place into the ACC Tournament was Georgia Tech, who finished just outside the NCAA bubble with 32 overall wins but only 13 conference victories. That means BC needs to come up with roughly five extra wins in order to be a bubble NCAA team, but they only need three conference victories to get into the ACC Championship picture.

The goal for the Eagles this year will be 32 victories, which means they need to win 58% of their 55 game schedule.

Runs Created

Runs Created is a great stat to determine how much the offense contributes to a team's success. In 2015, the Eagles scored 273 runs but only "created" 241 of them. They allowed 266 runs but only allowed opponents to "create" 220.

Those runs created and created runs allowed pushed the Eagles to a 50% winning percentage. That means in order to get to a 58% winning percentage, they either have to score more runs or simply allow fewer.

If they don't allow any less runs, BC would need to create 312 runs in a 54-game schedule. On the flip side, if they don't score any more runs, BC would need to allow 231 created runs in a 54-game schedule. Because they play one extra game this year (55 game schedule in 2016), they will need to create 318 runs or allow 235 runs created.

Total Hits and Total Bases

How does BC get to that number? Baseball's a funny sport; it's not so much based on replacing players as it is producing a certain amount as a team. A team can account for the loss of one player by simply displacing the production across four or five others. So despite losing Chris Shaw, the Eagles very well could get to this number by simply getting more out of more of their players.

Last season, BC averaged 9.09 hits per game and 12.74 total bases per game. That meant it took them 1.79 hits per run and 2.52 bases per run in order to get to those numbers.

If we're using the 318 runs scored as a litmus test, that means the Eagles must average the same number. That means BC will need to total 569 hits and 801 total bases in order to get to 32 wins, which should have them inside the ACC Tournament. That's a slightly higher number than it would've taken last year, showing just how more competitive the league became.

Expect a Variance

Remember that baseball has a variance stat known as Pythagorean Win-Loss. Pythagorean Win-Loss determines how many games a team "should have won" based on their performance. That win-loss record then goes one way or the other based on other factors—namely good or bad luck. BC could easily run into a team hitting a ton or a pitcher who shuts them down. So the performance, at some point, averages out over the course of the season—even if the wins and losses doesn't.

Last season, BC played well enough to win 51.2% of their games. One extra victory wouldn't have made much of a difference for them getting into the ACC Tournament, but if nothing else, it's something to take into consideration over the course of the year. How much there's a variance on that total bases and hits number will vary based on how far wins and losses vary from the Pythagorean Win-Loss percentage.

Opening day is just about a week away as the Eagles take on Northern Illinois at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Arizona.