Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Errors in the World Series

There are some World Series statistics that are well-known among baseball fans. That the Yankees have won 27 titles, that the longest drought between titles belongs to the Chicago Cubs (1908 was their last win), and that the series has been played all but two seasons since it began in 1903 (it was not played in 1904 and 90 years later, in 1994).

However, one statistic that is not as well-know is the win-loss record of teams that had committed less errors during the series. In the World Series, teams committing less errors than their opponents are 58-41-10 (W-L-Each team committed the same amount). That amounts to a .586 winning percentage.

This statistic tells several things. First and foremost, committing more errors than your opponent will often lead to a team losing a series.

However, it is telling that committing more errors than an opponent will not always translate into losing. It proves that errors are so situational that a team can make many errors in one game, yet still go on to win the series (the 2004 Boston Red Sox, for example, committed seven more errors than the opposing St. Louis Cardinals, all of which occurred in games one and two). Similarly, if a team commits many errors, but they are scattered out among games, it does not make for an automatic loss of a series win (like the 1997 Florida Marlins, a team that committed eight errors in the series, but no more than three in a single game).

In addition, if a team makes many errors, but has an abundance of offense, that team can afford to have shoddy defense (take the 1993 Toronto Blue Jays, a team that committed five more errors than the Philadelphia Phillies, yet outscored them 45-36).

Errors combined with lack of offense and quality pitching can quickly lead a team to the losing end of history. However, as history has proven, this is not always the case.

This year's World Series featured just three errors, all of which were in different games. A surplus of stellar pitching by both teams forced the series to go to its full length, with the San Francisco Giants ultimately taking the crown over the Kansas City Royals, four games to three.

Tune into The Sports JAMB, this Tuesday at 2p.m. as I discuss this year's World Series and recap the entire season. You also can join the conversation, and give me your thoughts on America's pastime.

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