By Jeff Merron and David Schoenfield
Page 2

7. YOU NEED TO PLAY WELL IN ONE-RUN GAMES

THE THEORIES
1. Pitching wins championships
2. You gotta play small ball
3. You have to be hot entering postseason
4. You need playoff experience
5. You need to have a true No. 1 ace
6. You need a strong bullpen
7. You need to play well in one-run games
8. You have to be a good defensive team
9. Anything can happen

Theory popularized by: Conventional wisdom.

The numbers (Examining the postseason since 1995)
In 70 playoff series since 1995, teams with the better winning percentage in one-run games during the regular season went 38-31 (one series had teams with the same one-run record) -- a series winning percentage of .551.

All of that advantage came during the division series, during which teams with the superior one-run record went 23-16 (.590).

So, the ability to win one-run games appears to be a slight indicator for playoff success, especially in the first round.

Theory applied to 2005 playoff teams
The White Sox played 54 one-run games and played .648 ball in those games. The Red Sox, despite their shaky bullpen, actually had a very good record in one-run games. The Cardinals had a losing record in one-run games.

Yankees: 27-16
Red Sox: 27-15
White Sox: 35-19
Angels: 33-26
Braves: 23-19
Cardinals: 21-25
Astros: 25-21
Padres: 29-20

Verdict: SPLIT

Click here for Theory No. 8




Jeff
Merron
and
David
Schoenfield
PLAYOFF THEORIES