After a long series of trivia articles and quizzes that spanned the MLB Playoffs (you can see a decent summary of them all in my last article, the Best Active Players Without a World Series write-up, or just by browsing the site’s Sporcle tag), I have my final big trivia piece, one tying together all of this year’s big games and my new collection of Win Probability Data: Can you name the Most Clutch Players of the 2022 MLB Playoffs?
I wanted to do something unique as a sort of wrap up to the playoffs, something that took at the last month of games with a wide-angle lens, covering every series and team involved. I thought about just taking the top however-many players over the entire postseason at first, but was worried it might bias a little too heavily towards teams that played more games.
In truth, the effect wasn’t as overwhelming as I thought it might be, but it was still definitely present; both the top twenty hitters and pitchers list were about half Astros and Phillies, with another quarter or more coming from the Padres and either the Yankees (hitters) or Guardians (pitchers). So I decided to try a few other formats.
What I ended up settling on instead was a method that looked at the top performing hitter and pitcher for each team across every single round they played in (as well as an overall leader, for teams that played in more than one). There actually wound up being some decent overlap with the other method anyway, with the biggest change generally being a wider breadth of teams represented at the cost of losing lower-performing answers from teams with a lot of representatives (for example, the Astros and Phillies losing their fourth and fifth options). That didn’t seem like too big of a deal, to me.
And on top of that, I think there’s something to be said for the way this method separates each individual series out, giving you an almost chronological approach to the month and serving as a better reminder of everything that happened. Sure, there are a few weirder answers (for example, the Mariners’ ALDS hitter wound up leading the team with exactly 0.0 WPA; or I would bet the Cardinals’ position player answer trips up most people), but even in the shorter, earlier rounds where you might have forgotten the highlights, guessing a team’s stars is generally a strong fallback strategy. And hey, you might even know some of the answers here already, if you played the updated version (or read the update notes last time) of my Best Postseasons by Hitters or Best Postseason by Pitchers quizzes!
I suppose this is a type of quiz that I could also make for past playoffs, at least throughout the Wild Card Era. I still have all the data, after all. And maybe I will, if this new quiz really takes off among Sporcle users. But for now, it’s probably just going to be a one-off, a sort of memento to remember the 2022 postseason. I’m not sure how well they’ll hold up years down the line (although maybe I’ll be surprised). But for now, this will probably be the end of my 2022 Postseason Trivia Quizzes. Thank you for sticking with me throughout it all!