View Full Version : Conventional Playoff Wisdom

Hoosier Red
09-16-2010, 05:05 PM
I've heard a lot of conventional wisdom about the playoffs thrown out recently and was wondering if Redszone as a whole can throw some Mythbusters treatement on it to see if the wisdom holds true.

CW #1 Good pitching will beat good hitting
-Lots of Cincinnatians pointed to the 1995 series for this truism. But Atlanta which always had tons of starting pitching but wasn't necessarily a great offense was just as often a playoff disappointment as they were successful.
CW #2 You can't advance without 1 dominant ace
-Reds fans are hoping this one isn't true, and it would certainly be hard to prove, because if a team has a true ace, they probably have a whole lot of other advantages too.(Do the Yankees win because they have CC Sabathia or because they have a $100 million infield?)

CW #3 The team with the best bullpen will win
-This one might prove to the Reds advantage if they don't face the Padres or Giants. Still does the team with the best bullpen automatically become favored to win their series?

CW #4 The team's record against others with winning records tells us about their chances
-I looked this up and found that since the 1995 series, the team with the worst record against >.500 teams has advanced to the second round more often than the team with the 2nd best record. Again Reds fans of course hope this one doesn't bear out.

Please feel free to attempt to prove or disprove any of these CW's and provide other bits of conventional wisdom to hold up to scrutiny.

Will M
09-16-2010, 06:36 PM
The 'Ace' issue is really important to get past the first round. A guy like Holladay/CC/Lee/etc gets to go in games 1 & 5 of a four game series (heck maybe even games 1 & 4).

Atlanta didn't win much in October due to two issues:
1. their Aces folded up like a cheap suit
2. their 'closers' folded up like a cheap suit

The season starts anew after 162 games. IMO the Reds regular season record against their opponent doesn't mean much.

I believe there are a few keys for the Reds:
1. we need the 'good' version of Volquez
2. Rolen needs to be rested & healthy
3. Edmonds circa 2010 & Nix will never be confused with Mickey Mantle but the Reds could really use their bats come playoff time. Heisey or Gomes as our left fielder vs a RHP doesn't scream "World Champs".
4. Cordero cannot be the closer. lets say Halladay beats Arroyo in game 1. Cueto outduels Oswalt in game 2 & the Reds take a 3-1 lead into the 9th. Coco blows it & we lose in 11 innings. Redszone goes meltdown.

09-16-2010, 10:31 PM
CW #5 Home field advantage is important in the postseason
They were discussing this on Mike and Mike on ESPN Radio one morning this week, and they said that since MLB went to the current seeding format in 1998, that the team with the home field advantage has won just barely over half the LDS and half the LCS. In the World Series, however, home field advantage has been significant. I don't remember the figures they gave, though. Maybe someone who heard it can better remember what they said and post it.

This article from SI yesterday discusses it, as well...