Originally Posted by RED VAN HOT
To me, there seems to be a cyclical nature to favoring offense or defense. It starts with a team having spectacular success by building a certain type of team. Others begin to copy the approach. At some point the strategy becomes so pervasive that it is open to a counter strategy. Baseball went through an era of offense when steroids were prevalent. I think we are in the middle innings of a swing back to emphasizing defense.
I posted this about two months ago or so, but defense has already been rather important toward postseason success. In the last 10 years, of the 20 teams that made the World Series, 18 of them had a defense that ranked in the top 10 in baseball that year in Defense Efficiency Ratio (simply a percentage of batted balls in play that are converted to outs). On the other hand, only 9 teams had an above average OPS that year.
The correlation to win percentage in that same about of time slightly favored OPS to FIP or DER, though Run Scoring / Run Prevention was a 40/60 split.