baseball’s best team will not win the World Series

Examine the team run differential for each League Division Series in 2011:

  1. eleven runs (5 games)
  2. five (4)
  3. two (5)
  4. two (5)

Do you know which team outscored their opponent by 11 runs?  It’s the regular season MLB champion New York Yankees.  The Bronx Bombers had a 1.4 Simple Rating System (courtesy Baseball-Reference), i.e. they were 1.4 runs/game better than the average ML team from April-Sept (Texas was 2nd with a 1.2 Rating).

Alas, it was the Tigers who advanced to the ALCS thanks to “Da Meat Hook’slittle brother. Delmon posted a .789 SLG% & 0.3 Win Probability Added in 21 trips to the plate over 5 games against New York.

The 3 other LDS were closer but a statistical oddity jumps out of the composite box scores. Here are the losing teams run differential in the first round:

  1. Yankees +eleven 
  2. Rays +five
  3. Phillies +two
  4. Diamondbacks +two

Each team who advanced to the LCS was outscored by their counterpart in the opening round. Also, the Yankees, Rays and D’Backs had higher BA, OBP & SLG% than their opponents. All 4 losing teams had lower ERA’s than the series winners.

Five games does not a conclusion make, but neither does 19 games in October. Regardless of who is crowned World Series champion, give them credit for winning 11 games in 4 weeks over high quality opponents but know they are not the best team in baseball.

Posted on October 10, 2011, in 2011 playoffs and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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