Wednesday, November 1, 2017

The winner of the World Series is...

Tonight is game 7 of the World Series and the big question is who will win? If recent history is any indication, the Dodgers will win. Since 1982, the World Series has gone to a seventh game 11 times. How many times has the team that won game 6 gone on to win game 7? Let's take a look:

1982- Cardinals win game 6. Cardinals win game 7.
1985- Royals win game 6. Royals win game 7.
1986- Mets win game 6. Mets win game 7.
1987- Twins win game 6. Twins win game 7.
1991- Twins win game 6. Twins win game 7.
1997- Indians win game 6. Marlins win game 7.
2001- Diamondbacks win game 6. Diamondbacks win game 7.
2002- Angels win game 6. Angels win game 7.
2011- Cardinals win game 6. Cardinals win game 7.
2014- Royals win game 6. Giants win game 7.
2016- Cubs win game 6. Cubs win game 7.

Nine times out of 11, the team that won game 6 also won game 7. That's a pretty significant margin. The only two teams that bucked that trend were the 1997 Marlins and the 2014 Giants. Before you cling on to those teams as hope for an Astros win tonight, both those games had significant x factors that the Astros won't have. The Marlins were at home and the Giants had an all-time performance from the best World Series pitcher of the modern era (Bumgarner has given up one run in 36 innings, which is an ERA of 0.25). The Dodgers just beat the best pitcher Houston has and they're at home. They're going to be supremely confident going into the night. Meanwhile, Houston has the pressure of failing to capitalize on a golden opportunity, with everything lined up just right for them, and have to try to pull it out under tougher circumstances.

I've longed subscribed to the theory of game 6 deciding a seven game series. It even holds up well in basketball. During the same time frame, the NBA had a series go seven games six times (I'm eliminating 2016, because the format was no longer 2-3-2, but the team that won game 6 did win game 7): in 1984, 1988, 1994, 2005, 2010, and 2013. Of those six, only twice did the team that lost game 6 go on to win game 7. And in both those instances, it was the home team that was victorious.

So once again, in the last 35 years, whether it be baseball or even basketball, the road team won a game 7 one time out of 17. Can the Astros pull a 2014 Giants? Doubtful. Because if there's one thing more certain than the balls are juiced, it's that Houston doesn't have Madison Bumgarner.

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