Mattress Mack of Gallery furniture made a bet last year against the Astros that backfired on him. Jim McInvale, always a Houston sports fan, made a bet that if the Astros don’t lose 100 games in 2014, up to 500 customers who spent $6,300 in furniture will be refunded 100% of their purchase price. So the Astros won 70 games in 2014, which cost Gallery Furniture $4.2 million.
“About $4.2MM,” McIngvale told SportsRadio 610 on the amount he is returning. “It’s exciting. We’re in the customer business. Nothing makes customers happier than winning a promotion like this. It’s good to give back money to customers and they become customers for life.”
“Nothing makes customers happier than winning a promotion like this. It’s good to give back money to customers and they become customers for life.”-Jim McInvale
Don’t worry about Mattress Mack, he probably got the promotion insured. Mattress Mack has said he will not do one of these promotions again, but if did, he should put the Astros win total a little higher. So Mattress Mack, here is the math for your next Astros win promotion. If you win, I could use home theater furniture and a projector.
First, let’s look at the Astros’ record since 2011.
I used an 8th grade concept of percent of change to show the change in the win totals between the year and the prior year. It shows a big drop between 2010 and 2011 of 26% less wins. Between 2011 and 2012, the Astros win percentage decreased by 1.79%, followed by a decrease of 7.27% between 2012 and 2013. Then there was a 37.25% increase from 2013 to 2014.
After 2010, the Astros knew that it was time to rebuild, which explains the drastic difference. After three straight 100+ loss seasons, they broke that barrier last season. Let’s look at the Washington Nationals from 2007-2011.
While the Nationals didn’t have as deep of a rebuilding process as the Astros have had, it’s a good example as to what to expect from the Astros this year. After bottoming out in 2009, they increased their number of wins by 15%+ each season.
The Astros win percentage jumped up 37.5% in 2014, so they improved in one year what it took the Nationals to do in 2 years. Do I think the Astros can improve their number of wins by 37.5% again in 2015? Probably not, because that would be 96 wins. However, I do think they can follow the Nationals pattern of increasing by 15% each year.
The Astros had 70 wins in 2014, so I can see an increase of 15% more wins in 2015 putting the Astros at 81 wins. Doing the math, that’s a 0.500 winning percentage going 81-81. That will put the Astros where the Nationals were in 2011, before they exploded for 98 wins the next year.
I think most Astros fans will welcome this record in 2015. The prospects are starting to hit the Astros big league club, and with them bringing the talent the Nationals now possess. Continue with the 15% pattern into 2016, that would put the Astros at 92 wins. Is it possible? Is it likely? Let’s compare players on the 2012 Nationals lineup to the projected 2016 Astros lineup.
It’s hard to project what the Astros prospects can do until they are called up, but I see a lot of similarities between the 2012 Nationals and the projected 2016 Astros.
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Bringing it back to 2015, if Mattress Mack wants to do this promotion again this year, what should he set the number of Astros wins at? Adding the 70 wins from 2014 and my projected 2015 81 wins, then dividing it in half, I get 75.5 wins. Normally I would tell my students to round-up, but Mattress Mack should round down to 75 wins. That 1 win could be the difference between keeping the millions or having to pay it back.
So Mattress Mack, you got all of the publicity for your 2014 wager even though you lost. Maybe the Astros used Gallery Furniture as the Indians used the cutout of their female owner in Major League, and removed a piece of clothing after every win. Or maybe the Astros loaded up the spring training truck with Gallery Furniture, and had that extra motivation.
As an Astros fan, would you be happy with an 81-81 2015 season?