The 2012 postseason

This isn’t a baseball blog. Except when it is.

Nothing profound to say here, but so far this has been one thrilling postseason!

Readers who are following may have some more profound things to say…

3 thoughts on “The 2012 postseason

  1. Well, the World Series was a dud. The Tigers finally played like the seventh best team in their league that they were.

    I am happy with the outcome. But not with the process.

    Only three and a half months till pitchers and catchers report!

  2. The Tigers won 88 regular season games, seventh best in the American League, while the Giants won 94 games, third best in the National League.

    Counting regular season games and playoff games, if the World Series had gone the other way and the Tigers had swept the Giants, the Giants still would have won more regular season and playoff games (101) than the Tigers (99). The Tigers would actually have won more regular season and playoff games than any other team in their league, though their would have been two National League teams, the Giants and the Nationals, with more regular season and playoff wins.

    By getting swept, the Tigers actually finished fourth in the American League (behind the Yankees, Athletics, and Orioles) in combined regular season and playoff wins. I agree with MSS, we just had a World Series with a solid playoff caliber team prevailing over a fairly marginal one.

  3. Looking at combined regular season and playoff wins is an interesting exercise. I went back and did this from the introduction of the divisional system and the second tier of playoffs in 1969.

    The World Series winner is of course not always the team with the most combined regular season and playoff wins, but is usually one of the two two. Note that under World Series winner will by definition have added seven or eight playoff wins to their regular season total under the four division system, and eleven or twelve playoff wins under the wildcard system. That means it takes a very marginal team that has gotten hot in the playoffs to win the World Series and not at least come in second in terms of regular season wins plus playoff wins.

    During the four division system (1969 – 1993), there were five times where a team won the World Series and did not finish in the two two teams in MLB with the combined total of regular season and playoff wins. These teams were the 1974 Athletics, the 1980 Phillies, the 1985 Royals, the 1987 Twins, and the 1989 Dodgers. Most of these teams are generally agreed to have been marginal World Series winners. In the first two cases the team at least finished first in their own league. This makes for five instances over twenty-five seasons.

    During the wild card era (1995 -), there have also been five times where a team won the World Series and did not finish in the to two teams in the MLB in terms of the combined total of regular season wins and playoff wins. This is over eighteen seasons so far. These marginal champions were the 2000 Yankees, 2001 Diamondbacks, the 2003 Marlins, the 2006 Cardinals, and the 2011 Cardinals. Again, the first two of these teams at least finished ahead of the other teams in their own league. The 2006 Cardinals is the most extreme instance, finishing sixth with the lowest combined regular season and post season win total for a champion since 1969.

    Incidentally, the top five finishes in terms of combined regular season and post season wins since 1969 were the 1970 Orioles, the 1975 Reds, the 1986 Mets, the 1998 Yankees, and the 2001 Mariners. All of these except for the 2001 Mariners, who never made it into the World Series, are considered to be dominant dynastic teams, so the metric works fairly well in the other direction.

    The increase of the number of teams in the playoffs does seem so far to have increased the chances of a mediocre team winning the World Series, probably by about one third as compared to the four divisional system.

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