So y'all want to make this a World Series preview?
Wait, you don't?
No, neither do I.
For the Boston series preview story in Tuesday's Inquirer, I wanted to focus on the two opposing characteristics that define these two teams. When I realized the Red Sox were scoring, on average, 1.26 runs per game more than the Phillies, that got me thinking:
How many times has a team won a World Series while overcoming a margin like that?
And yes, it's highly possible that the season ends and the margin is not that great. Boston could suffer more injuries. The Phillies could add a righthanded bat. The world could end. Or -- gasp! -- someone other than the Red Sox and Phillies could play in the Fall Classic. Who knows?
But in doing some research, the run and ERA differentials in past World Series pairings are cool to look at. Some of that research appeared in the story. But I'll dump all of it here for your perusal.
In each year, the World Series winner is listed first. The difference in runs and ERA is WINNER-LOSER. So a negative run differential means the World Series winner scored fewer runs during the regular season. And a negative ERA differential means the World Series winner had a better pitching staff.
We've included the hypothetical 2011 World Series first.
|TEAM||R/G||ERA||DIFF R/G||DIFF ERA|
In the Steroid Era (let's say 1994-2009), a team with fewer runs scored average and lower ERA won just twice (1995 Braves and 1997 Marlins). From 1980 to 1993 it happened four times.
Again, just a fun exercise for three games that have no bearing on the World Series matchup to come in October. What I wonder is if the Giants win from a season ago, in which they scored fewer runs and had a better ERA, is the beginning of a trend. We see scoring down across baseball yet again. Pitching talent outweighs hitting talent.
The Phillies have invested in that theory.
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