Saturday, December 12, 2015

An insight from Strat-O-Matic

A year ago I mentioned on occasion a Strat-O-Matic Baseball project I was starting: A 64-team tournament of seven-game series involving teams from 1969, 1987 and 2009.

That project is over. And while I won't impose the details of the "40-Years Tournament" on you here -- nothing is as boring as somebody else's fantasy league -- the project has led to some posts on general topic, such as the decline in infield errors in the past half-century and the falloff in innings by starting pitchers.

Another concept this project reinforced for me: The capriciousness of the seven-game series.

Ten of the 64 teams in this tournament won 95 or more games. Only two made the "elite eight." Nine others won at least 90 games; only one of them made the final eight. A first-year expansion team that lost 98 games in real life, on the other hand, won three straight Game Sevens and made it to the final eight, and a sub-.500 team reached the final four. True, the eventual champion was a no-doubt quality team, but it barely survived two series on its way to the title,

The lesson isn't a new one; it's more reinforced than taught. The more MLB stacks up its postseason series, the less likely it is that the truly best team will emerge as the winner. The difference between the good teams and the bad teams really isn't all that great. It takes months for the gap to show.

(If you are interested in the details of the tournament, I chronicled it here.)

No comments:

Post a Comment