Originally Posted by RedsManRick
Or it's possible that it hasn't worked out because 4 teams make the playoffs each year. Even with even odds, that's 4 playoff appearances for every WS appearance. With a little "bad luck" you could easily have a 25% chance of making the WS each time and have a Braves like run. Heck, if anybody had shut-down pitching it was the Braves and they only got to the WS once.
Nate Silver did a study
of this and found just 3 factors which had predictive value for making the WS, assuming you make the playoffs:
We can cite anecdotes supporting any argument we want, but people have tried to tease this out. You can give yourself a slight edge above & beyond what your won/loss record would suggest your chances are, but only a slight one.
- A power pitching staff, as measured by normalized strikeout rate.
- A good closer, as measured by WXRL.
- A good defense, as measured by FRAA.
Bottom line is your chances of making the WS if you don't make the playoffs is zero. If you can build and sustain a playoff caliber team, then you can start worrying about tweaking the composition of that team to better your odds in the playoffs. But you have to get there first.
Yes, the goal is to win championships. But worrying about tweaking the composition of your team to up your WS odds slightly before you even have a playoff caliber team is like debating what color to paint your house before you have a blueprint.
There are some teams that are built for the playoffs and some that are not. It is not about regular season winning percentage, it's not just about what WMR talks about, deep starting pitching. It's more about having a dominant bullpen and closer.
You can pick which teams will go deep in the playoffs by looking at their bullpen. It's what killed the Braves for so many years. So many stories of teams struggling in the playoffs, then they get strong pen, and then viola, they make the Series. If you can turn a game into a 6 or 7 inning affair, you stand a great chance of winning a 5 or 7 game series.
Just look at the teams that made the Series over the last 20 years, that is what unites them all. Not TOR pitching, but a dominant pen. With a dominant pen, teams have been able to toss the 25% theory out the window and make the World Series more often. And likewise, teams with an average pen (maybe a good closer but nothing else) never make it past the first or second round.