Saturday, October 11, 2014


The Giants take on the Cardinals in the LCS for the fourth time. In 1987 St. Louis prevailed in seven to claim the pennant but lost to the Minnesota Twins in the World Series. San Francisco, the Wild Card team in 2002, grabbed the flag in six games but lost to the Anaheim Angels in the Series. The Cards and Giants squared off just two seasons ago, the Giants overcoming a 3-1 deficit on their way to their World Series sweep over the Detroit Tigers. The Redbirds won the whole enchilada in 2011, in between the Giants two titles, and again claimed the NL pennant last season but lost to the Boston Red Sox in the Series. These two clubs are among the oldest in the majors and have played over 20,000 games apiece and fielded over 3700 different players. The NY/SF franchise claims 25 playoff appearances, 23 pennants, and seven championships. The St. Louis franchise has been in 27 playoffs, grabbed 25 pennants, and 11 titles.

The 88-74 Giants scored 665 runs and allowed 614. They batted .255/.311/.388 as a team with 2144 total bases. The 90-72 Cardinals scored 619 runs and allowed 603. They batted .253/.320/.369 as a team with 2003 total bases. The Cards get on base more often (471 to 427 BB) but the Giants have more power (431 to 401 XBH). Otherwise the teams are pretty close. In terms of wOBA the teams have an identical .308 mark.

On the pitching side both clubs are among the stingiest in allowing hits, the Giants giving up 8.1 per 9 and the Cardinals 8.2 per 9 for the second and fourth best spots in the NL. Both allow 0.8 HR per 9 but the Giants are a little better with walks, 2.4 to 2.9 per 9 innings. Both teams strike out 7.6 batters per 9 innings, rates which are near the bottom of the league standings. The Cardinals struck out 36 Dodgers, however, in 35 innings, and the Giants struck out 49 Nationals and Pirates in 54 innings, so both teams have elevated their games in the post-season. The Giants have the 10th-best FIP in the majors (3.58) and the Cardinals are 13th (3.65).

On the fielding side, the Cardinals and Giants are again very close. The Giants made more errors (100 to 88) but turned more double plays (154 to 146) and had more assists (1699 to 1617). Giants had one more putout (4347 to 4346) but the Cards take the edge on fielding percentage (.985 to .984). Baseball-Reference has a stat called "defensive efficiency" which estimates the ability of a team to convert balls in play to outs. The Giants are second best at .703 and the Cardinals third at a .701 rate.

For what it's worth here are the "experts" on the NLCS re-match:

Should be fun. That is if you consider torture to be fun.




M.C. O'Connor said...

Pitching, pitching, pitching! And some good fielding, too. And some patient approaches at the plate up and down the lineup. Another big win--three more to go!

Zo said...

Haven't we already established that these "experts" are a bunch of hacks?

ESPN - half-right, half-assed when they are.