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— Where Thinking Red Sox Fans Obsess about the Sox

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Extra Special

Boston won in extra innings in each of their last two games, which continues their dominance past the 9th inning. They have an overall .702 winning percentage, and if you applied that to their 11 extra inning games you’d get an expected 7.7 wins. In reality, they’ve actually won… 8.

Hmm. That’s not as interesting as I’d hoped. Instead, let’s take a stroll through those games. There are some good memories.

April 5 at Miami - A Chris Sale start, and a 1-1 tie after 4 innings. Bradley doubled to lead off the 8th; Moreland followed with the productive out to RF; and then Nunez grounded to 2B for a fielder’s choice, with Bradley out at home. Nunez was caught stealing 2B, doing his best all around to end their best threat to win in nine. In the 11th, a one-out Nunez double and a Benintendi RBI single put the Sox up, but Barnes gave up a double with 2 runners on in the bottom of the inning. One of those runners scored, but a great relay from Benintendi to Bogaerts to Vazquez cut down the potential winning run and ended the inning. In the 13th, Mookie singled and, with two out, Miami intentionally walked Benintendi to face Hanley. He came through with a 2-run double, which - followed by a second scoreless inning from Hembree - won the game.

April 7 vs. Tampa Bay - Their next game, and the home opener. Scoreless tie through 7, despite a leadoff triple from Martinez in the second. Carson Smith replaces David Price in the 8th, and promptly allows a walk and a HR. Down by two in the 9th, Boston has 6 batters reach base but only scores 2, the others left useless by a Martinez DP and a bases-loaded groundout by Bradley to end the inning. Kimbrel gets through the 10th but not before loading the bases. The Rays threaten in the 12th against Bobby Poyner with a single and two productive outs, but he strikes out Kiermaier to end it. And then in the bottom of the inning: Bradley double, Vazquez bunts him to 3rd, Betts is intentionally walked, Betts steals 2nd, Benintendi is walked, and yes, Hanley Ramirez comes through again with the game-winning hit.

April 24 at Toronto - Down 3-1 going into the 9th, Boston scores 2 on a walk and 4 singles, the whole thing ending when Nunez is thrown out at home trying to score from 2nd on a single to shallow LF. Joe Kelly remains in to pitch a 2nd inning and gives up a double but nothing else, so we’re going to the 10th. In the bottom of the 10th Kimbrel comes in and Granderson goes deep to end it.

May 1 vs Kansas City - It’s a Chris Sale start. You know what that means: he leaves with a lead after 7, Barnes holds it for an inning, and then Kimbrel gives up a HR to Alex Gordon in the 9th. Boston bats go quiet for a while, so we fast-forward to the 12th when Hembree allows a double, a sac-bunt-turned-single, and a sac fly for a 1-run deficit. But Nunez counters with a HR, and the game continues. Against Brian Johnson in the 13th the Royals get one of Earl Weaver’s keys to winning: a 3-run HR. Moreland and Bogaerts lead off the inning by getting on base, which helps Boston score 2 runs. But Nunez flies out to deep CF to kill the rally once more. Most of the time, scoring 3 runs in extra innings is enough to win it, but not when the opponent scores 4.

May 11 at Toronto - It’s a Chris Sale start, but this time he leaves after 9 innings in a 3-3 tie. In the 10th threatens after an ROE and SB by Betts, but that’s all. Barnes makes it interesting in the bottom of the 10 by walking the first two batters, but he retired the next three. In the bottom of the 12th Brian Johnson comes in and Luke Maile goes deep to end it. NOTE: As of this writing, this game - almost 3 months ago - is the last time Boston has lost in extra innings.

June 11 at Baltimore - A scoreless tie goes to the 12th, when Boston loads the bases with no out, and scores 2 on a couple of sacrifice flies. Kimbrel strikes out the side in the bottom of the 12th to seal it. Wright started, but 5.1 IP from the bullpen - giving up just 1 hit - was the difference. The final 7 Baltimore outs were swinging strikeouts.

July 14 vs Toronto - Down 2-1 in the 9th, Boston doubles up on doubles, with Bogaerts and Bradley back-to-back. That tied it and send it to extras. In the bottom of the 10th, Bogaerts hits a 2-0 pitch for a walk-off grand slam.

July 27 vs Minnesota - It’s a Chris Sale start, and he leaves after 6 with a 2-0 lead. The Twins get 1 in the 7th, and strike for another 2 in the 9th (on 2 walks and a double, off Kimbrel). Devers leads off the 9th with a HR; “Tyler Thornburg” gets a 1-2-3 tenth, and in the bottom of the inning Betts leads off and walks off.

July 30 vs Philadelphia - A 1-1 tie after 5, the game stays that way until the 13th. Nunez singles and steals second, where he’s in position to score on Swihart’s double.

August 5 vs New York - Down 4-1 going into the 9th, Boston loads the bases on 3 walks by Chapman mixed in with 2 strikeouts. Martinez singles in two runners, and then Bogaerts reaches safely on a bad throw, which allows Bradley to score. In the 10th Barnes shuts down the Yankees, and then with 2 out Boston gets 2 on and Benintendi singles home pinch-runner Tony Renda to win it.

August 7 at Toronto - Up by 1 in the 9th Boston brings in Kimbrel, who strikes out the side. Oh, wait, he also (checks notes) gave up a HR to Smoak, tying the game. In the 10th Boston scores five runs on a Betts triple, Benintendi walk, Moreland HR, Bogaerts single, and Bradley HR. In the bottom of the inning “Tyler Thornburg” gives up two on a single and HR, but that’s within the margin needed.


So… Eleven extra-inning games. Eight wins. Five games in which Boston scored multiple runs after 9 innings. Four games in which Boston had to score in the 9th to send it to extras. This team always seems like they have a chance. Do you remember in any of these 11 games feeling like they had no chance to win? For me it was the last inning of the 5/1 KC game, but that’s about it.

villageidiom Posted: August 08, 2018 at 09:39 AM | 43 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. karlmagnus Posted: August 08, 2018 at 02:20 PM (#5723287)
Saber types here have always treated extra-innings games like 1-run games, i.e. you would expect a regression to the mean from the team's overall record. In one run games, a .700 team (like the Sox!!) might be .580, because of the high element of randomness in those games.

However, the element of randomness in extra-innings games is less; they are just very short games, played on a sudden-death basis. So a .700 team should go .700 in extra-innings games, shouldn't it?

Grateful for thoughts on this one from better sabermetricians than me.
   2. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: August 08, 2018 at 03:37 PM (#5723380)
It really is amazing how good they are. Forget about the extra inning aspect of it, just day to day. This team is so much fun right now. The extra inning games over the last two years has been as remarkable as it has been inexplicable.
   3. villageidiom Posted: August 08, 2018 at 11:03 PM (#5723758)
One of the other things about extra-inning games is that they tend to wear out the bullpen. I remember times in the past where they got a couple of back-to-back extra inning games plus a short outing from a starter, and it took weeks to get the bullpen right again. After the late ending last night in which they used 6 relievers, they got 7 innings from Brian Johnson tonight, which might be enough to reset the pen.
   4. Silas Wegg Posted: August 09, 2018 at 12:29 AM (#5723780)
I'm sure the best way to look at is to look at all teams league-wide, over the past decade or two, but its definitely more fun to look at Sox teams only, over many decades. So: here are the 9 Sox teams since 1940 with pythagorean records of .600 or better, along with their actual records and records in extra innings:


Year    W    L    PCT     PythW  PythL Pyth   ExtW ExtL ExtPCT
1949   97   57   .630        96   58   .623      7   6   .538
1946   97   57   .630       104   50   .675      7   6   .538
2007  101   61   .623        96   66   .593      2   5   .286
2013  100   62   .617        97   65   .599     10   6   .625
2002  100   62   .617        93   69   .574      3   5   .375
1942   93   59   .612        93   59   .612     10   6   .625
1950   94   60   .610        94   60   .610      4   5   .444
2016   98   64   .605        93   69   .574      7   4   .636
1948   94   61   .606        96   59   .619      6   7   .462
         
Avg   874  543   .617       862  555   .608     56  50   .528 


Going by this, we should probably have expected the 2018 Sox to go about 6-5 in extra innings.



   5. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: August 09, 2018 at 07:47 AM (#5723806)
Just a thought but the Sox have had a very strong rotation the last couple of years. The CW has always been that a strong bullpen is key to extra inning performances but I wonder if a good rotation is key. Having guys go deep into games means you are still using your top of the line relievers in the 10th and 11th innings rather than the guys at the back ends of games.

This is the list of losing pitchers in Red Sox extra inning wins the last two years. A few wins against guys like Chapman, Givens, Brach, who are key relievers but I feel like as I look at that list there are a lot of guys I remember thinking "oh we can get this guy."
   6. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: August 09, 2018 at 09:19 AM (#5723852)
With Trout's hand injury now causing him to sit for 7 games and counting, what are the chances that Betts (or Ramirez) can catch him for the WAR lead and/or the MVP?

7.8 for Trout, 7.2 for Ramirez, 7.1 for Betts.

A hot streak for Betts with the Sox chasing 117 wins and I think he has a shot at the MVP, as long as JD Martinez doesn't split the vote. Think he needs to get his HR rate back up a bit though to have any real shot.
   7. Golfing Great Mitch Cumstein Posted: August 09, 2018 at 01:50 PM (#5724150)
Isn't actual and PythW/PythL flipped?
   8. karlmagnus Posted: August 09, 2018 at 02:03 PM (#5724163)
Thank you, Silas Wegg. That answers my question -- looks like a large enough sample to be significant. Overall record .608, Pythagorean .617, yet extra innings record .528, presumably similar to record in 1-run games. Thus the regression to the mean is very heavy indeed, not as I had postulated.
   9. TomH Posted: August 09, 2018 at 02:07 PM (#5724167)
1 Yes. actual and Pyth are flipped
2 Amazing where we are in 2018; people using WAR in MVP debates (not who *we* think the MVP should be, but discerning for whom the writers would vote). If this were the 1980s, J D Martinez would be the MVP hands-down with the BBWAA. RBI leader (40 more than Betts), for a winning team, with a bonus for being the new guy on the team who obviously helped them win. And it has hardly been mentioned this year that he has a chance to win the Triple Crown. Has anyone ever missed the TC because a teammate beat him out in one of the three categories?

   10. TomH Posted: August 09, 2018 at 02:15 PM (#5724178)
By normal statistics, randomness varies with square root of N. Extra innings are basically one-inning games; instead of who wins after 9, it's who win after 1. Extra inning "game" variation then should be 1/3rd of full-game variation. So a team with a pythag win pct of .680 in a season should have a win pct of .560 (+.060 is 1/3rd of +.180) in extra innings.

I can show a fuller proof if anyone really cares.
   11. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: August 09, 2018 at 04:13 PM (#5724293)
If this were the 1980s, J D Martinez would be the MVP hands-down with the BBWAA. RBI leader (40 more than Betts), for a winning team, with a bonus for being the new guy on the team who obviously helped them win. And it has hardly been mentioned this year that he has a chance to win the Triple Crown. Has anyone ever missed the TC because a teammate beat him out in one of the three categories?


Agree with you on the Martinez for MVP in the '80s. I think Betts has established himself enough though that everyone realizes how much he does for the team. Couple with the slowly dawning realization that RBI are very heavily team-dependent and that 40 RBI lead isn't thought of so highly. Plus, for the old school statters, Betts is still leading the league in BA.

The Red Sox broadcasts at least talk about Martinez's triple crown standings a fair bit, that plus 'greatest free agent signing ever'.

I am just amazed the Betts/Martinez duo still has the HR lead over Judge/Stanton - and it's not because Martinez is going crazy, Betts is tied with Judge and only one behind Giancarlo.

EDIT:
And to answer your TC question - Boggs did it to Rice in 1983.
   12. TomH Posted: August 09, 2018 at 09:23 PM (#5724471)
11, thanks, but Boggs/Rice 83 deosn't qualify for I meant; Rice finished out of the top 10 in AVG that year, so MANY people beat him out of the TC: where JDM may finish 2nd in AVG only to Mookie this season.
   13. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: August 09, 2018 at 10:15 PM (#5724500)
#######, even when they lose something amazing happens. This Mookie cat, he’s a keeper.
   14. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: August 10, 2018 at 09:06 AM (#5724572)

7.8 for Trout, 7.2 for Ramirez, 7.1 for Betts.



CLOSING THE GAP! 7.8 Trout, 7.5 Mookie, 7.2 Ramirez.
   15. Darren Posted: August 10, 2018 at 03:21 PM (#5724822)
Fangraphs has it:

7.6 Trout, 7.5 Ramirez, 7.5 Mookie.
   16. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: August 10, 2018 at 04:24 PM (#5724861)
This team would be truly great if only they didn't have to suffer the bleeding ulcer that is Rick Porcello. Man I hate that guy.

Mookie, on the other hand, is already one of my favorite players ever.
   17. karlmagnus Posted: August 10, 2018 at 04:59 PM (#5724881)
Porcello is going into the Hall of Fame if he keeps his career going well. 132 wins at the age of 29 is damn impressive, and he's already been CYA once and could get it again if he has another 20-win season in a quiet year for pitching. His peripheral stats are very unimpressive, especially the ERA+ and WaR doesn't like him (which may be WaR's problem, not his.) However, the guy knows how to win, baby, and if next year is like this one will get a 5/100 contract or thereabouts next winter. It's an extraordinary career, it really is. Could be the last 300-win pitcher, although he'd have to carry on until 40 at the current level to do it.
   18. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: August 10, 2018 at 05:01 PM (#5724886)
It's possible we have a small difference of opinion between Scott and Karl.
   19. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: August 10, 2018 at 05:17 PM (#5724899)
Just a minor one. If I hate him much more I might loop right around into fanatic devotion.
   20. Chip Posted: August 11, 2018 at 10:58 PM (#5725279)
An unexpected TINSTAAPP moment just now: flipping to the Pirates-Giants game and seeing a shovel-bearded Casey Kelly on the mound in relief for SF. His first MLB appearance since 7/1/16 with Atlanta.
   21. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: August 12, 2018 at 01:00 AM (#5725294)
7.8 Trout, 7.5 Mookie, 7.2 Ramirez.


As of today(BREF)...after the cycle and a couple of other days of pummelling the Orioles.

Mookie 7.7
Trout 7.5
Ramirez 6.8

Is that normal for a guy who's injured to lose WAR?? (Trout)
   22. John DiFool2 Posted: August 12, 2018 at 09:04 AM (#5725307)
A man who pays attention to just one algorithm always knows exactly how much WAR a player has.

A man who pays attention to more than one WAR algorithm never knows.
   23. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: August 12, 2018 at 05:40 PM (#5725437)

Is that normal for a guy who's injured to lose WAR?? (Trout)


Maybe Mookie single-handedly raised the average OPS of the league, thus dropping Trout's OPS+?
   24. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: August 12, 2018 at 09:40 PM (#5725495)
Maybe Mookie single-handedly raised the average OPS of the league, thus dropping Trout's OPS+?


Yet today..1 day later

Mookie at 8WAR
Trout 7.8WAR
Ramirez 7.3WAR

So Trout didn't play but picked up .3 WAR, Ramirez must have had the game of the century as he picked up .5 WAR.(even though he sat today's game out)

In all these years, I'd never look at WAR on a daily basis and now that I have done, I'm surprised by these swings, are they normal?
   25. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: August 13, 2018 at 08:38 AM (#5725576)
6. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: August 09, 2018 at 09:19 AM (#5723852)
With Trout's hand injury now causing him to sit for 7 games and counting, what are the chances that Betts (or Ramirez) can catch him for the WAR lead and/or the MVP?

7.8 for Trout, 7.2 for Ramirez, 7.1 for Betts.



24. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: August 12, 2018 at 09:40 PM (#5725495)

Yet today..1 day later

Mookie at 8WAR

Trout 7.8WAR
Ramirez 7.3WAR


And a day later, Betts is now at 8.1. 1 WAR in 5 games. I like that pace.
   26. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: August 13, 2018 at 09:49 AM (#5725600)
So Trout didn't play but picked up .3 WAR, Ramirez must have had the game of the century as he picked up .5 WAR.(even though he sat today's game out)

In all these years, I'd never look at WAR on a daily basis and now that I have done, I'm surprised by these swings, are they normal?


There may have been an issue with park ratings over the weekend that would have impacted OPS+ numbers enough to explain the temporary drop in WAR for Ramirez and Trout.
   27. SoSH U at work Posted: August 13, 2018 at 10:45 AM (#5725637)
However, the guy knows how to win, baby, and if next year is like this one will get a 5/100 contract or thereabouts next winter.


What he really knows is how to get a decision. Of the Top 15 active pitchers under 40, all average more than 8 IP per decision (ranging from a low of 1 per 8.26 for Adam Wainwright to a high of 1 per 9.42 for Cole Hamels).

An older active gent, Bartolo Colon, averages 1 per 7.98 IP.

And then there's Porcello, who averages 1 per 7.69. It's really nuts how much more frequently he gets a W or L than his peers.
   28. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: August 13, 2018 at 11:11 AM (#5725670)
And then there's Porcello, who averages 1 per 7.69. It's really nuts how much more frequently he gets a W or L than his peers.


Something Porcello and Colon have in common is that they both throw strikes but are not big strikeout pitchers. This keeps them at pretty manageable pitch counts and makes them more likely to go deeper into games and thus be more likely to get a decision.
   29. SoSH U at work Posted: August 13, 2018 at 11:49 AM (#5725704)
Something Porcello and Colon have in common is that they both throw strikes but are not big strikeout pitchers. This keeps them at pretty manageable pitch counts and makes them more likely to go deeper into games and thus be more likely to get a decision.


If that were true, that should be reflected in the IP totals. But if you compare Porcello with Kershaw, for example, you see that Porcello has just nine fewer starts than Kershaw*, but he's thrown 220 fewer innings, so Kershaw is going deeper into games, on average, but he's only averaging 1 decision per 9.34 IP.
   30. karlmagnus Posted: August 13, 2018 at 01:00 PM (#5725767)
The thing I notice about Porcello is that he is either superb or utterly useless -- very few 5IP for 4ER outings. Much higher variability than most pitchers. That gets him lots of decisions, wins when he pitches 7-8 shutout innings; it also raises his ERA artificially, because by the time the manager yanks Porcello from the game in the third, he's given up 8 earned runs. This leptokurtosis of outcome makes him very impressive in some respects, very unimpressive in others, such as ERA+. Overall, I think he's damn useful, but his career will probably be overrated by old-school types and underrated by statheads.
   31. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: August 13, 2018 at 01:16 PM (#5725789)
29 - Yeah I don't know, it's just a theory. I think karl's point in 30 is a good one and that Porcello has those games that Kershaw frankly doesn't have where he is out in 3 1/3. But I'll freely admit I have no idea why it all happens.
   32. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: August 17, 2018 at 04:04 PM (#5728917)
Humbug, Devers back to the DL for the hamstring. Kinsler's back though so that's good.
   33. Textbook Editor Posted: August 17, 2018 at 10:22 PM (#5729065)
So... Having attended the 2nd Red Sox game in Philly, I can tell you Pomeranz has absolutely nothing. I want him nowhere near a playoff roster.

There's gonna be some interesting decisions to make about the P staff for the playoffs. It could well be they only have Barnes, Workman, Thornburg, Hembree, Braiser, and Kimbrel from the regular pen, Sale, Price, and Porcello from the SP... which leaves 2-3 slots for "other" SP to fill--guys who could go multiple innings. Eovaldi seems like he's on track to be one of them. Barring injury, Johnson might be another. Then you get into the EdRod/Wright/Pomeranz nexus...

I like the idea of leaving out a strictly 1 IP guy for a guy who might be able to go multiple IP (even 3-4); the Astros certainly leveraged that last year.

Side Note: The WC matchup rules are really weird. Should the A's manage to claw their way to the AL West title, the Red Sox "advantage" to winning the AL East could well be facing a NYY-HOU WC winner, while the A's & Indians square off on the other side. That's... a bit lopsided. If (hypothetically) a division winner wins 82 games and the WC winner wins 100, should the team with the best record in the league face the 82 win team or the 100 win team? A 1-game homefield advantage in the DS and CS is not really a great benefit for best record in the league. A guarantee that the team with the best record *always* plays the team with the worst record--WC or not--would be a better way of advantaging the team with the best record in the league. Still won't amount to much, I would suspect--but it's at least a more significant "advantage" to having best record, and making it something I think teams would fight hard for.

[sigh] I know... it'll never ever happen.

   34. SoSH U at work Posted: August 17, 2018 at 11:21 PM (#5729111)
Side Note: The WC matchup rules are really weird. Should the A's manage to claw their way to the AL West title, the Red Sox "advantage" to winning the AL East could well be facing a NYY-HOU WC winner, while the A's & Indians square off on the other side. That's... a bit lopsided. If (hypothetically) a division winner wins 82 games and the WC winner wins 100, should the team with the best record in the league face the 82 win team or the 100 win team? A 1-game homefield advantage in the DS and CS is not really a great benefit for best record in the league. A guarantee that the team with the best record *always* plays the team with the worst record--WC or not--would be a better way of advantaging the team with the best record in the league. Still won't amount to much, I would suspect--but it's at least a more significant "advantage" to having best record, and making it something I think teams would fight hard for.


The problem is you'd be forcing a division champion into not knowing where they're going two days before their playoff series starts. Say the Blue Jays win the East with a league-leading 106 wins, while the Rays win 100, and must play the 85-win Tigers in the wild card game. The 92-win Twins and 93-win Mariners were the other league champions.

If the Rays win the WC game, they'll be sent off to Seattle for a game two days later. If the Tigers win, they'd visit Toronto. However, this wouldn't just affect the WC participants, but the Twins wouldn't know whether they'd be flying to Toronto or Seattle until after the WC game ended. I don't imagine anyone would want that.

   35. Textbook Editor Posted: August 18, 2018 at 12:26 AM (#5729137)
If the Rays win the WC game, they'll be sent off to Seattle for a game two days later. If the Tigers win, they'd visit Toronto. However, this wouldn't just affect the WC participants, but the Twins wouldn't know whether they'd be flying to Toronto or Seattle until after the WC game ended. I don't imagine anyone would want that.


All true.

That said, looking at other sports for a moment...

NFL: if you have the best record in the NFC/AFC, you get a bye, HFA, *and* you play the weakest team left (by seed) after the WC round
NBA: best conference record gets you HFA and a matchup with the 8th-best team in the conference
NHL: I think it's same as NBA (don't follow NHL)

The *advantage* for finishing with the best record in the league is nowhere near as good as it is in the NFL (where it is incredibly valuable) or, I'd argue, in the NBA/NHL.

I get the travel would be a thing. But it's 2 days' notice, not 2 hours' notice. They're big boys, they can deal with it. I suspect this has more to do with the press complaining about how *they'd* be inconvenienced...

But, again, if MLB/fans want the best regular season teams winding up in the WS more often than not, then re-shuffling the seeds after the WC game based on regular-season record is the way to go. MOST of the time, I suspect the WC winner would face the team with the best record (thus, no issue), so it's not like the travel issue would even enter into more than maybe 1 time out of 4 or 6 (so maybe 1 time every 2-3 years). Again, if fans complain about the best teams not making it to the WS, then this would be one way to help rectify it.

(Aside: MLB claimed for *years* they *had* to designate way before the start of the season--and then after the All-Star Game result was in--whether the AL or the NL had home field advantage for the WS... and that figuring it out on the fly in the playoffs based on who had the better record of the 2 WS teams was *impossible* logistically... and then all of a sudden it wasn't a problem. The same would be true--I strongly suspect--about this re-seeding idea, should they ever decide to do it.)
   36. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: August 18, 2018 at 12:43 AM (#5729141)
TE your points are valid but I think you are leaving out a big advantage of playing the Wild Card winner, the absence of the Ace. I think that is a significant benefit to the #1 seed. Would you rather face the Yankees in a 5 games series but Severino only once or Oakland with Manaea twice? I would think as a general rule even an 86 win division champion is likely to have a #1 that they are hoping to ride.

As an example from years gone by would the 1990 A's have preferred to face 94 win Chicago with one start of Jack McDowell or 88 win Boston with two starts of Roger Clemens?
   37. SoSH U at work Posted: August 18, 2018 at 12:56 AM (#5729143)
NFL: if you have the best record in the NFC/AFC, you get a bye, HFA, *and* you play the weakest team left (by seed) after the WC round
NBA: best conference record gets you HFA and a matchup with the 8th-best team in the conference
NHL: I think it's same as NBA (don't follow NHL)


Only the NFL reseeds during the tournament, and they have a full week between rounds of the playoffs. If the No. 7 seed beats the No. 2 in the NBA or NHL playoffs, the No. 7 plays the No. 3 seed in the second round, not the 1 seed.

Additionally, while you wouldn't necessarily want to face a really good wild card team (which, obviously, is only a little more than 50-50 shot of happening), you almost always would face that team with its No. 1 starter not available to start until Game 3 of the CS, and then for only one of the five (barring some serious short-resting). The other division winner, even if it's a weaker club, will have its staff pretty much lined up in order.

Edit: Partial Coke to Jose
   38. SandyRiver Posted: August 20, 2018 at 12:14 PM (#5730191)
(Aside: MLB claimed for *years* they *had* to designate way before the start of the season--and then after the All-Star Game result was in--whether the AL or the NL had home field advantage for the WS... and that figuring it out on the fly in the playoffs based on who had the better record of the 2 WS teams was *impossible* logistically... and then all of a sudden it wasn't a problem. The same would be true--I strongly suspect--about this re-seeding idea, should they ever decide to do it.)

From when I first got interested in baseball 60+ years back, G1 HFA alternated between NL and AL. That practice may extend all the way back to 1903, though I've not done the research. That basic arrangement was unchanged until Bud's ASG "Now it counts!" decision. IIRC, the first few WS after the AL added the DH had one league's rules apply throughout, I think those the HFA league, giving that league's team a double advantage. Soon after, the fairer home field rules were instituted. I'd be okay with this version and alternating years, but think the best-record rule is better.
   39. Nasty Nate Posted: August 20, 2018 at 12:22 PM (#5730202)
Aside: MLB claimed for *years* they *had* to designate way before the start of the season--and then after the All-Star Game result was in--whether the AL or the NL had home field advantage for the WS... and that figuring it out on the fly in the playoffs based on who had the better record of the 2 WS teams was *impossible* logistically... and then all of a sudden it wasn't a problem.
That always bugged me a little. And IIRC, it was also like that for the ALCS and NLCS.

Although it really wasn't about knowing before the season or at the all-star break, because of course the actual city would still be unknown until much later.
   40. TomH Posted: August 20, 2018 at 12:36 PM (#5730214)
hey, be thankful the current system is 10x better than when it started; recall the Sox winning the 1995 new AL East (86-58), and facing the 100-44 (!) Indians in round 1 while the sad-sack AL West winners got to play the wild card team?
   41. TomH Posted: August 20, 2018 at 12:39 PM (#5730219)
hey, be thankful the current system is 10x better than when it started; recall the Sox winning the 1995 new AL East (86-58), and facing the 100-44 (!) Indians in round 1 while the sad-sack AL West winners got to play the wild card team?
   42. SoSH U at work Posted: August 20, 2018 at 12:42 PM (#5730225)
hey, be thankful the current system is 10x better than when it started; recall the Sox winning the 1995 new AL East (86-58), and facing the 100-44 (!) Indians in round 1 while the sad-sack AL West winners got to play the wild card team?


Not only that, the 100-win Indians did not have HFA against the 86-win Sox in the ALDS, the 79-win Mariners in the ALCS or the 90-win Braves in the World Series. But at least Tribe fans in Columbus Ohio didn't get to see a lot of the games.
   43. villageidiom Posted: August 20, 2018 at 01:01 PM (#5730239)
This leptokurtosis of outcome
I didn't realize you were loaning out your user account to MCoA.

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