Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Does the best team win the World Series?

Congratulations to the World Champion San Francisco Giants! Here at Kobe, Tell Me How My Stats Taste we've been following the Giants all year, and while we're disappointed that our game 7 tickets now have no value (joining game 5 against the Braves) we're still excited by the outcome.
Some people though (Philllies fans) have expressed doubt that the Giants really were the best team. How often does the best team in baseball win the world series? Let's check it out.
Let's assume that the best team gets to the playoffs (a pretty good assumption).
Next let's assume that there's no home field advantage, because it'd be a pretty even chance that the best team would have the advantage (world series determined by all star game).
As a result, I've created a table, based off the likelihood that the better team wins (calculated similar to the Random Chance in the NFL article).

Chance of Better Winning Best as Champs
0.55 0.212
0.57 0.257
0.59 0.306
0.61 0.359
0.63 0.415
0.65 0.473
Just a small change makes a big difference, but from the past we've learned that the better team usually wins 60% of the time. That means that the best team wins the world series about 1/3 of the time. So are the Giants really the best team in baseball? Maybe not, but they are World Champions.

Can someone also explain why Renteria and not Lincecum was World Series MVP?

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