Tuesday, November 5, 2013

1985 World Series Win Probability Added

Dane Iorg had two plate appearances in the '85 World Series, and they were both game enders. In the second game, he pinch-hit with two outs in the ninth and the Royals trailing 1-3. Their win probability was just 5% when he strode to the plate, and 0% after he flew out to right field. His second PA was a little more eventful. As you may have heard, Don Denkinger called Jorge Orta safe at first to lead off the bottom of the ninth inning in game six with the Royals trailing 0-1. Then Denkinger failed to catch an easy foul pop-up, then Denkinger gave up a single to Steve Balboni, and then Denkinger allowed a passed ball to allow the runners to move up to second and third. The win probability now actually stood slightly in KC's favor at 54%. Denkinger gave up a single to Iorg, two runs scored, and Iorg's hit was worth a swing in win probability of 46%. You can see what a monumental moment it was by the big red spike in the graph above.

Series MVP Bret Saberhagen comes out looking great thanks to his game three and game seven starts. WPA also gives Denny Jackson plenty of credit. Jackson pitched a good game one in a losing effort, and shut down St. Louis in an overlooked but crucial game five win to keep the series alive. Onix Concepcion got exactly zero plate appearances in the series, but gets a big WPA credit for his pinch-running in that game six ninth inning. He ran for Balboni, moved to second on a bunt, to third on a passed ball, and scored on Iorg's single.

Monday, November 4, 2013

1980 World Series Win Probability Added

I don't know why I do these things, but here is a look at the game-by-game accumulation of win probability added for all the Royals to have a PA or throw a pitch in the 1980 World Serious. Willie Aikens had one of the greatest World Series performances ever seen. (Compare David Ortiz's 0.94 WPA in this year's series.) Amos Otis was fantastic for KC too, but the rest of the team either stayed right around zero or struggled. The highest WPA in the series for Philadelphia was Del Unser's 0.59, well behind Aikens and Otis. But Aikens and Otis couldn't do it alone, and Bob Boone, Mike Schmidt, Bake McBride, and Tug McGraw all joined Unser in having pretty good series for the Phillies. Dan Quisenberry appeared in all six games, and was very up and down throughout, but ended up with the second worst WPA on the team thanks to rough outings in games two and five.