As the MLB Postsesason moves into series play today following a couple of fantastic Wild Card Games, many will try to take their pick of who is best equipped to win the World Series.
Last year, I did this by statistically putting the playoff teams up against the previous 20 World Series champions based on the trends that the majority of those champions showed, in a post called “Trends of a World Series Champion.”
Every world champion did not necessarily fit every one of the 10 criteria, but most were within the trend in a majority of the categories. Last year’s Kansas City Royals fit eight of the 10 criteria and won the World Series.
Eight teams are still alive in the chase for the Commissioner’s Trophy: The Chicago Cubs, Washington Nationals, Los Angeles Dodgers, and San Francisco Giants from the National League, and the Texas Rangers, Cleveland Indians, Boston Red Sox, and Toronto Blue Jays in the American League.
Here is how each of the eight fit the trends of a World Series champion:
Trend: Team batting average of .250 or better
Within the trend: Red Sox (.282), Rangers (.262), Indians (.262), Giants (.258), Cubs (.256), Nationals (.256)
Outside the trend: Dodgers (.249), Blue Jays (.248)
Trend: Number of offensive starters hitting .290 or better (min. 50 games)
Within the trend: Red Sox (5), Indians (3), Nationals (3), Cubs (2), Rangers (2)
Outside the trend: Dodgers (1), Blue Jays (1), Giants (0)
Trend: Team ERA of 4.00 or better
Within the trend: Cubs (3.15), Nationals (3.51), Giants (3.65), Dodgers (3.70), Blue Jays (3.78), Indians (3.84), Red Sox (4.00)
Outside the trend: Rangers (4.37)
Trend: Starting rotation ERA of 4.25 or better
Within the trend: Cubs (2.96), Nationals (3.60), Blue Jays (3.64), Giants (3.71), Dodgers (3.95), Indians (4.08), Red Sox (4.22)
Outside the trend: Rangers (4.38)
Trend: Bullpen ERA of 3.92 or better
Within the trend: Dodgers (3.35), Nationals (3.37), Indians (3.45), Red Sox (3.56), Cubs (3.56), Giants (3.65)
Outside the trend: Blue Jays (4.11), Rangers (4.40)
Trend: Home winning percentage of .550 or better
Within the trend: Cubs (.704), Rangers (.654), Indians (.654), Dodgers (.654), Nationals (.617), Red Sox (.580), Blue Jays (.568), Giants (.556)
Outside the trend: none
Trend: Away winning percentage of .520 or better
Within the trend: Cubs (.575), Red Sox (.568), Nationals (.556), Blue Jays (.531)
Outside the trend: Rangers (.519), Giants (.519), Indians (.513), Dodgers (.469)
Trend: Win percentage after Sept. 1 of .500 or better
Within the trend: Red Sox (.655), Cubs (.621), Indians (.621), Nationals (.586), Dodgers (.586), Rangers (.536), Giants (.500)
Outside the trend: Blue Jays (.448)
Trend: Baseball-Reference.com Simple Rating System of 0.2 or better
Within the trend: Cubs (1.3), Red Sox (1.3), Blue Jays (0.8), Nationals (0.6), Indians (0.6), Dodgers (0.4), Giants (0.3), Rangers (0.2)
Outside the trend: none
Here are how many of the criteria each team fits the trend:
Red Sox 9
Blue Jays 5
By this token, the Nationals should be the favorites to win the 2016 World Series. But as I mentioned, last year’s Royals only fit eight of the criteria, so that would suggest that the top five all have a legitimate chance to win it all.
With five teams qualifying so well to make a deep run, and four rating better than the Royals (or anyone else) did last year, it shows the strength of this year’s playoff field.
In other words, it should be quite a postseason.