Wednesday, October 03, 2012

At Least We Have This: Giants Aren't Built For Postseason

There's a delicious irony about the WSJ article yesterday, "How to Win a Post-Steroids World Series", given it was steroids which got the Giants to the postseason yet again this year (read: Guillermo Mota and Melky Cabrera, let alone others).

But anyway, the Journal did an assessment of the 2012 postseason teams relative to major statistical categories, and the Giants were worse off than the Cardinals, Nationals, and Reds:

The typical way to make predictions is to look at how San Francisco's aces will fare against Detroit's sluggers, for instance. But the answer may be simpler than that: By analyzing the statistical performances of the World Series champions the past five years (since offensive performances went off a cliff compared to the "steroids era") it's not hard to come up with a profile for an eventual champion. [...]

Every team has its strengths and weaknesses, but in four of the past five cases, the eventual champion met or surpassed certain statistical benchmarks. They all scored at least 4.7 runs per game, struck out fewer than 1,118 times during the season, gave up no more than 4.26 runs per game and coughed up fewer than 182 home runs.

In hindsight, it's not hard to see why the Philadelphia Phillies made a first-round exit last October despite winning 102 games during the regular season. That Phillies team didn't fit the portfolio of recent champions in numerous hitting categories, including on-base percentage, slugging percentage, home runs and runs per game.

So when using the past as prologue, the team that looks like the best bet to win the World Series is the Texas Rangers. The Rangers are the only team that surpasses the championship thresholds in every category, thanks to an offense led by outfielder Josh Hamilton and infielder Ian Kinsler, and a pitching staff led by Yu Darvish and Matt Harrison.

Going by these benchmarks, the Rangers will likely face a familiar foe in the World Series in the St. Louis Cardinals, who beat them last year. The Cardinals will have to win a wild-card game but have solid pitching and are the only National League team with a champion-caliber offense in three categories. (Naturally, NL teams are going to have worse offensive numbers and better pitching numbers than their AL opponents, because pitchers hit in the NL.)

Here's the graphic, if you are interested (click to enlarge):


QuadSevens said...

Time to root for the underdogs. Go Orioles!

Fred's Brim said...

I'm no statistician, but it looks like we are weak in the area of offense.

Somebody please check my work on this

Franklin Stubbs said...

In order of preference: Nationals, Orioles, Rangers, A's, Tigers, Reds, Braves, Cardinals, Yankees, Giants

Cliff Beefpile said...

Go O's, Go A's! Then maybe the Tigers or Nats. After that...well, anyone but the Yankees or Giants at that point.