Oct 172002

Before you watch, read John Perricone’s Series preview. He likes the Giants, which can be discounted, since he is enough of a Giants’ fan to outfit his blog in the nasty reddish browns that pass as the team colors; but his reasoning is sound, he agrees with me, and besides, he asked.

Well, as can be seen elsewhere on this site, I’m a big Giants fan, and I’d love to see them win this Series, but I don’t see why Aaron takes this guy’s analysis so seriously. Is an at-most 7 game series really a large enough sample to merit crunching all those numbers? Great, the Angels have been a .320 team in the playoffs. Does that predict anything whatsoever about what they’ll do in their next series? I think not.

My analysis is a lot simpler, cruder and, I would argue, just as reliable: the two teams staffs are fairly similar in terms of talent; their bullpens are fairly similar; even their lineups are fairly similar (I’d say the Angels lineup is deeper, but the Giants have the Greatest Hitter Ever).

So, how will this Series be decided? Here’s my theory: Game One. If Schmidt stays hot and shuts down the Angels at home, the Angel spell will be broken and the Giants will win it all. If the Angels torch Schmidt (who, right now, is by far the Giants’ best starter), I think they could win the Series quite handily.

If you don’t like my analysis either, then flip a coin.

John, unlike you, took a good deal of trouble to analyze which team is better, and concluded that the Giants were for several excellent reasons, none of which you trouble to dispute.

The best team does not always win over 162 games, let alone 7. But it is odds-on to win in both cases, for the sufficient reason that it’s — how shall I put this? —

better.Michael thinks, in short, that whoever wins the first game will win the Series. This is a very reliable prediction — historically better than 60%, far more reliable than doing actual work and trying to distinguish between two excellent and well-matched teams. It is also useless. Come back when you’re ready to pick a winner

beforeGame 1.Sorry, that’s a load of hooey. John spends most of his post analyzing the two teams’ respective numbers during the playoffs, which is clearly an insufficient sample to draw any conclusions. In fact, if there’s a single striking number in the two teams’ playoff stats, it’s the Giants’ inability to hit RHers. The two teams’ regular season numbers, as I said above, are quite similar; the Angels have slightly higher batting average and OBA, the Giants somewhat more power. I see nothing persuasive in his post that argues for a Giant victory in this series.

You want a prediction? Fine. I think Jason Schmidt is the best, and hottest, starter in the series, and he could get 3 starts. I’ll give the Giants the series win, with Schmidt on the mound for the third time in Game Seven.

Um, haven’t you forgotten a couple things? Like, Pac Bell is a wretched hitter’s park and the National League has no DH? As John pointed out, the Giants, even with their pitchers hitting, had a significantly higher OBP and SLG on the road this year than the Angels. He analyzed the playoff series numbers to point out that they

arean insufficient sample, and that the Angels cannot be expected to continue to perform at that level.Right — so we’re left with regular season numbers, which, as you’ve spent the last 10 years pointing out in our discussions of statistics, indicate precisely nothing about any given series. I stand by my original call: that Jason Schmidt will beat Anaheim because (at least right now) he’s the best starter on either team. So far, so good.

mk

You have abandoned your previous position that the Giants aren’t better than the Angels without acknowledging it, which is irritating. It is good manners to make some passing reference to the fact that you were wrong.

Ten years is ample time to explain, as I have done many times, that which team is better does not mean "precisely nothing" in a short series. Even unaided common sense ought to make that clear. Apparently not.

The better team will win more than 50% of the time. That’s what "better"

means. It will therefore win a short series more than 50% of the time. Where is the difficulty?First of all, thank you Aaron for both plugging my preview and also for arguing my case.

Michael, you (And I, by the way) were prescient to suggest that on Schmidt the Giants fates rest. In my World Series preview, I assumed that a reader would take a moment to read my earlier postseason preview, which would have addressed some of the statistical shortcomings my WS preview presented (Mostly because of an increased workload at my real job).

That said, the sample size of the playoff statistics I used to analyze the respective teams’

offenseshave proven to be amazingly accurate predictors, both teams have been just slightly more effective offensively so far, while pitching-wise, well, they’ve both been pounded.I too am wishing and hoping that Dusty will change his mind and go to Schmidt three times, because I can’t see Rueter making it out of the third inning against the Angels.