Saturday, October 23, 2010

The World Series Post

Before the playoffs started, I picked the Braves over the Rangers in the World Series. This was based on zero analysis. I wrote down the names of each playoff team and picked the teams based on match-ups. The point of that exercise was to show that World Series winners, more often than not, are random.

Ideally, some sort of Rays, Yankees and Phillies World Series combination was where the money was at, but in small game samplings, heroes can come from anywhere. That's where someone like Cody Ross can go from average major leaguer with some pop to NLCS MVP.

The Giants have great starting pitching in Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner and Jonathan Sanchez. The Rangers have super duper ace Cliff Lee, the severely underrated Colby Lewis and probable AL MVP and ALCS MVP Josh Hamilton.

You have to like the Rangers any time Cliff Lee and Colby Lewis take the mound. They figure to pitch in four games, and that is all the Rangers need to win the World Series. That said, Lee had 4 wins to 6 losses for the Rangers this year, and Lewis had 12 wins and 13 losses. But wait, wins and losses are a meaningless statistic and don't show how dominant Lee was with a 10.28 so/bb (second all time!) and Lewis with a 3.02 so/bb (comparable to Lincecum). Exactly, but the point in this case is that teams can win against those pitchers on the mound. It's unfair to assign those outstanding pitchers with team wins and losses, but there are so many variables in a game--starting and relief pitching, hitting, defense, speed and coaching.

My World Series prediction won't come from analysis or picking teams out of a hat but rather feeling after watching these games in which managers affect outcomes more so than not. Analysis is useful in predicting a full season and forecasting next season. It is still useful in predicting series winners, but it's such a small sampling that both teams have an equal shot of winning it all.

I like the San Francisco Giants to win the World Series. Both teams have a lot of talent, but I have a feeling Rangers manager Ron Washington will use Darren Oliver a little too much.

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