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Jim Furtado
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Pennant Race Newsbeat

Thursday, September 22, 2022

The 2022 Regular Season Has Lacked Intensity

To quantify what’s at stake in the regular season, we can look to Championship Leverage Index (cLI), a metric developed by Dave Studeman and Sky Andrecheck a little over 10 years ago and now hosted on Baseball Reference. cLI aims to measure the impact of a particular game on a team’s chances of winning the World Series by simulating season outcomes for each game outcome, with the baseline of 1.00 calibrated to represent an Opening Day game in the two Wild Card playoff format.

The more critical the game is to a team’s chances of winning the World Series, the higher the cLI value. When the Blue Jays hosted the Yankees in the final week of a Wild Card race last year, the September 30 series finale had a 2.74 cLI for Toronto and a 2.18 for the Yankees. The Yankees’ win that day raised their playoff chances from 84.2% to 97.0%, while Toronto’s loss dropped their odds from 22.9% to 13.5%; their World Series chances were impacted accordingly.

On the other hand, teams that know they won’t make the playoffs – as well as teams that are relatively certain of their playoff position – have less at stake on any given regular-season day. With extremely comfortable playoff positions, neither this year’s Dodgers nor Astros have played a game with a cLI higher than 1.00 since before the All-Star Break.

Between the new playoff format, which has drawn criticism for a number of reasons, and the way wins have been distributed this season, 2022 is shaping up to have featured the lowest-leverage average regular season game since the playoff format switched to a two Wild Card format in 2012. The average team-game this year has had a cLI of .68 (including games played on or before September 19), down almost 20% from the same point in last year’s season (.81). In the nine full seasons of the two Wild Card era, the average regular-season cLI through this point in the season ranged from .78 in 2019 to .93 in ’14.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 22, 2022 at 09:50 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: pennant race



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