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    Friday, October 28, 2022

    World Series Predictions and Yet More Postseason Trivia!

    You probably guessed there would be another Sporcle quiz today, but I’ll get to that in a second. First up, The Crawfish Boxes ran a staff-wide World Series Prediction article, which includes insight from yours truly!

    At first, I tried to approach this from a more analytical standpoint. Sure, playoff series can be pretty random, but you might as well try and work with what you know, right? Of course, we’ve seen how the Astros going up against a theoretically-weaker NL East team has played out multiple times recently. Even stuff like this, which I still think was a very reasonable series preview, ends up feeling kind of embarrassing in retrospect.

    Of course, the 2022 Phillies may share similarities with the 2021 Braves or the 2019 Nationals, but they aren’t them, and even the 2022 Astros look different than their iterations from those two years. In the end, I just approached it almost like a creative writing exercise; what do the Astros need to do to win, is that particularly likely, and how would it all play out? Maybe less logical than years past, but we see where that’s led me, so why not go with my gut for a change?

    Okay, now for the Sporcle quiz: Can you name the pitchers of the Wild Card Era with the most career Win Probability Added? This is the other half of yesterday’s quiz looking at position players, and these two serve as natural follow-ups to last week’s quizzes looking at single-season records for hitters and pitchers (for any who still haven’t tried them out).

    This one is longer than the position player one, with nearly twice as many entries and a top of the list far above the heights of the hitters. I was also kind of shocked at how many closers appeared here? Like, there were a lot on the single-season list as well, but the ratio feels a lot closer here. I also bet that makes the average on this one a little lower, since you have your famous, obvious names like Mariano Rivera and Kenley Jansen, but also some more surprising ones.

    I’m not sure if there will be another quiz published during the World Series, but I still have all of this WPA data sitting around, so I won’t rule anything out. At the very least, I might do something like a “2022 Playoffs in Review” quiz once things wrap up, and of course there will be the yearly “Best Players Without a World Series” quiz once we know who can be removed. So keep your eyes on this space, and here’s to an exciting World Series!

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