The so-called “experts” at Sports on Earth deliver their playoff predictions. And here’s the ESPN think tank.
Over at SI.com, Jay Jaffe tackles the question: Does momentum matter going into the playoffs?
I think momentum matters to us as fans. We create and apply narratives to fit the trajectory of the season. And even what appears to be a perfect fit, like when a team gets hot in September and carries it through to the playoffs and then the World Series, that makes perfect sense, but it doesn't mean that there's real correlation other than good teams tend to win a lot of games.
As a player, I've been on teams that have won tournaments and championships and teams that have sucked. More important to us as a team than the result of the last several games was the identity and perception we had of ourselves.
If we knew we sucked, we wouldn't have confidence unless we perceived the team we were playing to suck worse than us (I can still remember the few soccer games of my high school career against the one team we had a chance to beat. The excitement was electric on those days.) If we knew we were good, we could overlook a stumble and still have confidence in the next game. I think that is what happens with most MLB playoff teams.
A's over Yanks in the ALCS, Mr. Belth?!? Blasphemy.
Well... if you donsider 'momentum' to be the cumulative effort of players, when some are hot.... then yes, there may be such a thing.
Wouldn't we all prefer that the Yankee games started today before Cano's bat goes cold? While the adrenaline is still pumping?
The brain controls the body... even muscle 'memory'. And our emotions effect how our brain operates. It is not mere coincidence that the A'd were unstoppable after a certain point.
By the by, just heard some stats on Texas
... The had a 13 game lead over Oakland on June 30th.
... They lost 7 of their last 9, including 5 to Oakland
... They had a 6 game lead on Aug 15th, when the Yankees also had a 6 game lead on Baltimore.
... on 9/21, they lost 2 of 3 to Seattle (Seattle!!!)
... on 9/15, they were 4 games ahead of the Yankees.
Heart breaking story.
Oakland A's pitcher Pat Neshek's wife gave birth to a son on Oct. 3rd, the day the A's won the division. A day later, for unknown reasons, the baby died.
 There may be such a thing... but in fact, there isn't. (This is what Jay Jaffe shows.)
But, , yeah, it matters to the narrative, exactly.
Alex's picture is worth at least a thousand words!
 Picking the Yankees would jinx them. Oh crap by saying that it's a jinx too.
Yankees lose to the Orioles in the ALDS.
 And just how does one show this?
If the team can be patient and selective, we go ALL THE WAY!
 THAT'S RIGHT! You read it here!
American League Division Series, Game 1
Yankees at Wild Card winner
6:15 p.m., TBS
 Jaffe's article: read it!
Here is the Baseball Prospectus piece.
Short version: there is no correlation between team performance in the final stretches of regular season play and team performance in the playoffs.
Mon: ERA.IP. BB SO BAA
Aug: 8.59, 7.1, 4, 5, 0.444
Sep: 2.19, 12.1, 2, 16, 0.196
Oct: 0.00, 1.0, 0, 1, .250
Trend? Or Coincidence?
 The October numbers are obviously particularly significant, since that is now the only month that matters.
Alright, this is possibly unrelated (it's a little related...)
I'm headed to the wild card game tonight in Arlington. Who do I root for? I can't decide who I'd rather the Yanks face in the division series...
Root for the Rangers. Fuck the O's. Divisional rival and all. Fuck Cinderella.
LOL. Very succinct Alex. This will also be my very first baseball playoff experience, so I guess it will be nice to root for the home team. And I already have a Kinsler t-shirt, so...
14) eff Cinderella, indeed, like so:
Balt wins tonight but loses to the Yanks in the DS
Atl wins tonight but loses to Washington in the DS
Oakland beats Detroit but loses to the Yanks in the CS
Washington beats SF in the CS, but loses the WS to the Yanks.
Well, Alex, you are still in it in the AL, unlike most of the other prognosticators. I hope the rest doesn't come true.
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