World Series Weirdness

October 30, 2017 – 6:00 pm

What a wacky World Series this has evolved into. Game 1 started with a great pitchers’ duel between Kershaw and Keuchel, and it looked like we were going to be treated to a great match up of LA’s top-rated pitching versus the Astro’s power hitting. But then the LA bullpen had a meltdown in Game 2, Darvish had a disastrous start in Game 3, and the series gradually became a glorified round of batting practice, culminating in the 13-12 donnybrook in Game 5. Where it goes from here, who knows?

But one of the things that irritates me is how the announcers keep talking about what a great team Houston had this year and how they dominated the league. What a load of crap. Sure, the Astros started out like a house on fire, but by the All-Star break they were just one of several teams that were playing very good ball. If you look at the team stats over the last half of the season, their offense ranked third in R/G behind the Twins (5.57) and the Indians (5.29). And they were pretty much even with the Yankees (5.05 vs 5.01). And in terms of pitching, their RA/G was close to league average, ranking 7th. It was the Indians (2.89) and Yankees (3.70) who led the league. And if you look at the all important runs differential, they were FIFTH in the league over the last half of the year. The Indians were by far and away the best with a 2.40 run differential, and following them in order were the Yankees (1.31), Twins (1.18), and Red Sox (0.71). The Astros run differential over the last half was only 0.46.

So can we stop it with how great the Astros are this year? Yeah, they won the ALCS and there IS something to be said for that, but you have to remember that post-season baseball is much different than the regular season, and five- and seven-game series are pretty much crap shoots.

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