Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The Elite Eight

One team will end this tournament with 24 wins. Eight of them are halfway there, and the other 56 are finished.

And what of these eight? One -- the 1987 Twins -- won the World Series. One -- the 1969 Orioles -- is a representative of one of the greatest mult-year dynasties in baseball history. One -- the 1969 Pilots -- was a first-year expansion team that lost 98 games. The San Francisco Giants are represented twice, with the 2009 team and the 1987 team. Two teams, the Pilots and the 2009 Reds, had sub-.500 records in real life, but here they each won three best-of-seven series against teams with superior records.

There are two teams from 1987 and three each from 1969 and 2009. The final four will have a team from each of those seasons; only one of the four series in the fourth round crosses time to match a 1969 team with a 2009 team, and that series pits the two worst records left in the field. There are two DH teams remaining.

In order of real life records:

69 Orioles (109 wins)
09 Angels (97)
87 Giants (90)
09 Giants (88)
87 Twins (85)
69 Dodgers (85)
09 Reds (78)
69 Pilots (64)

That's probably a pretty good approximation of the likelihood of any one of them winning this tournament, with the O's the most likely and the Angels next.

One other thing I will mention here: Before the tournament began, I suggested that I might devise my own closer, wild pitch and passed ball ratings for the 1987 team that reached the final four. I will not do so. The one or two series involving the 1987 team will be played without those ratings.

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