Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Why the 2010 Giants' World Series was no fluke

I don’t have anything new up today, but I thought you might want to head over to the Hardball Times for my recent article: Pitching (almost) always wins championships.
Here’s a portion that would be of interest to Giants fans:
I think this really hammers home the point that pitching really does win championships; that you need at least an adequate stable of arms to have a prayer. Trying to win the Fall Classic without league-average pitching has proven to be about as fruitful as attempting to drive a car without gas. You’re not going to get very far. So, if you had to choose which is more important between offense and pitching, the answer is obvious: run prevention…
I also took the liberty of averaging each teams OPS+ and ERA+ to determine how much better than average they were overall. I then averaged all of those numbers, whereby I discovered the average World Series champion has graded out at 108.7, or about eight percent better than league average.
If you take the most recent champion, the San Francisco Giants, and add their OPS+ (95) and ERA+ (121) from 2010 together, you get a grade of 108. This goes to show their World Series title in 2010 shouldn’t be considered lucky or a fluke, rather, they were a perfectly average champion. What’s more, their excellent ERA+ fulfilled the pertinent requirement of at least adequate pitching. Looking at the data this way would make a lot of pundits feel silly on their pre-postseason picks, routinely expecting them to lose.
Please head over to the Hardball Times for the rest.

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