Friday, June 26, 2015

The halfway mark

The first round is complete. I started with 64 teams when I started play in late December; now, in late June, I'm down to 32.

Two teams that won at least 95 games got bounced in the first round (1987 Tigers and 2009 Dodgers). There are three second-round matchups that pit 90-plus win teams (2009 Angels vs. 1969 Mets in the John bracket, 2009 Phillies vs. 1969 Cubs in the George bracket, 1987 Expos vs. 1987 Giants in the Ringo backet), so at least three good teams will be ousted.

But quite a few poor teams remain in the pool; that's the inevitable result of the way I set up the tournament. Five of the 32 survivors lost at least 90 games. Other than the three aforementioned series, only one other pits two above-.500 teams (1987 Royals vs 1987 Twins in the Ringo bracket).

Eight of the 32, of course, are from the 1987 season (Ringo bracket). Ten are from the 1969 season and the other 14 from 2009. The 10-14 split in the 1969-2009 matchups looks wider than it is; it's only a two series difference. Only one sub-.500 club from 1969 advanced (the Pilots). There's a decent chance the 69ers will advance at least as many to the third round as the 09ers do.

A few other notes:

Of the 16 series in the second round:
  • Four pit 1987 teams against each other (Ringo bracket.) 
  • Two are all 1969 (Astros-Tigers, Pilots-Braves). 
  • Four are all 2009 (Pirates-Giants, White Sox-Cardinals, Indians Yankees, Padres-Red Sox). 
  • The other six pit 1969 teams versus 2009 teams, and the 1969 team won more games in five of those pairings.  
So I like the 1969 teams' chances to advance. I say that despite theorizing fairly early in the John-Paul-George play that the 2009 teams have a significant advantage because of lower e-ratings, particularly in the infield.

The 32 survivors are evenly split across leagues: 16 American League, 16 National. (The original 64 was 31 AL, 33 NL, caused by the move of the Brewers from the American League to the National; the Pilots won that first-round series.) The second round has eight cross-league matchups, four AL matchups and four NL matchups. Half the intra league series are, of course, in the Ringo bracket.

There will be three all-DH series in the second round, and two of them are in the Ringo bracket. Five series will be partially DH.  

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