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Jim Furtado
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Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Nationals haven’t played in a week. Is that a problem?

You’ll hear the question posed in the headline a lot in early going of tonight’s Game 1. If the Astros jump out to a lead and/or go on to win the game, it’ll likely transform from a question to an assertion. The “[Team] had too many days off between games” thing is often cited by commentators and fans as a reason for the team with a lot of time off after the LCS woofin’ it in the World Series.

Does more rest hurt a World Series team compared to a team that played more recently? Yes, at least in recent years.

The team with less time off before Game 1 of the World Series has won nine of the past ten World Series, with last year’s Red Sox team — which had four days off to the Dodgers’ three before Game 1 — being the exception. In the three years before that — 2006 through 2008 — the team with less time off won two of three. Ah ha! it’s settled then.

Or not. Because before that — from the advent of the Wild Card round, which was first played in 1995, through 2005 — the team with more rest won the World Series ten of eleven times.

Clearly it didn’t matter tonight- but still of interest as a consideration both of this myth and why it might have come to be.

 

QLE Posted: October 23, 2019 at 12:49 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: jim leyland, nationals, time off, world series

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Waiting game: Nationals get 6 days off before World Series

WASHINGTON (AP) — Doing a little research ahead of the World Series, Washington Nationals second baseman Brian Dozier came across some numbers that made him feel OK about his team’s long layoff.

“I saw a stat today where there’s been 12 times where teams have had five or more days off going into the World Series. And you know what the record was? 6-6,” Dozier said. “So it’s not that big a deal.”

Baseball is a sport that is more of a daily grind than any other, with game followed by game followed by game for six months, so this stretch is rather unusual for the Nationals: They haven’t played since finishing off a sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Championship Series at home last Tuesday — and they won’t play until Game 1 of the Fall Classic on the road next Tuesday.

Washington’s next opponent gets much less of a respite: The Houston Astros and New York Yankees were getting set to play Game 6 of the AL Championship Series on Saturday night.

My assumption is that most of the commentary involving the performance of World Series teams in association with their time off beforehand (as with certain related points, such as the performance of teams who sweep the LCS) are examples of Small Sample Size Theatre at work- anyone here interested in contesting that, and, if so, how?

 

QLE Posted: October 20, 2019 at 12:07 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, time off, world series

 

 

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