Though usually waxing nostalgic in anniversary increments or trying to make the case that esoteric concepts like “team chemistry” really matter, for some reason I’ve been on a statistics kick as of late. Last week, I looked at whether a large divisional lead correlates with playoff or World Series success. In doing that article, I was reminded—both philosophically and literally—that the manipulation of numbers is not my strong suit in life. I’m as intrigued by the numbers as much (if not perhaps more) than anyone, but correctly interpreting what they are telling me? Ehhhhhhhh.
So this time around, I’m going to try a different approach: presenting my stat-obsession of the week without any editorial comment. Think of it like a “Choose Your Own Adventure” book—I provide the numbers and you determine for yourself what they mean!
Anyway, what fascinated me this week (probably due to that barn-burner of a series against the Yankees) was whether or not home runs—bombas in these parts—correlate at all with making the playoffs or obtaining World Series berths.
In order to examine this, I once again went back to the 1998 season and collected the top six teams (or the top 1/5th) in MLB in terms of total home runs hit each season. I then looked at how many of those teams made the playoffs and how many advanced to the Fall Classic.
-Out of the 126 top-six HR teams from 1998-2018, 56 (or 44%) made the playoffs.
-Out of those 56 postseason squads, 12 (21%) advanced to the Fall Classic.
Alright, folks, there you go. That is my simple, raw data. Now it’s your turn. It’s up to you, it’s up to you, it’s strictly up to you to figure out what it all means.
Do bombas really matter in terms of playoff success? Unless/until this crowd-sourcing experiment is a success, the world may never know. In the meantime, I’ll continue to enjoy them unless told otherwise ☺.