02 November 2010

Manifest Destiny: San Francisco Giants (100.0%) are World Series Champions

11/02/10 TEX SFO
World Series 0.0% 100.0%

The Giants managed to halt the surging Rangers, disposing of Josh Hamilton & Co. in only five games.

Think about this for a second, since the Giants were nobody's favorite at the start of the postseason. Vegas had them at 7:1 to win it all--ranked fourth out of eight. My simulator had them at 10.3%, fifth of eight. They started the playoffs with the worst regular season WP3 among all teams; teams with a WP3 of .540 should win the series about 8% of the time. Yet here we are, with San Francisco on the top of the world, winning the city's first World Series and the team's first since upsetting the Cleveland Indians in 1954.

While last night's game was undoubtedly exciting, it doesn't even make the top 5 from a win probability standpoint. After the jump, the five biggest games in terms of World Series win probability added.

5. Texas Rangers (+12.1%) over New York Yankees (-14.5%), ALCS Game 6, October 22, 2010

Not the biggest finale in this list, but the victory by the underdog Texas Rangers in the ALCS clincher swung the fortunes of both teams enough to make the list.

4. San Francisco Giants (+14.5%) over Texas Rangers (-14.5%), World Series Game 1, October 27, 2010

3. San Francisco Giants (+14.9%) over Texas Rangers (-14.9%), World Series Game 2, October 28, 2010

Texas dug themselves a big hole early. Coming in as slight underdogs, losing the first two games in San Fran cost them 29.4% of their chances of winning it all.

2. San Francisco Giants (+15.7%) over Philadelphia Phillies (-16.6%), NLCS Game 6, October 23, 2010

The biggest series finale on this list, the Giants' victory in Game 6 ensured that both favorites would be eliminated before they reached the Fall Classic.

1. San Francisco Giants (+20.4%) over Texas Rangers (-20.4%), World Series Game 4, October 31, 2010

We'll all remember Edgar Renteria's homer, Brian Wilson's final strikeout and Tim Lincecum's masterful performance in game 5. However, from a purely statistical standpoint, Game 4 contributed more to the eventual victory.

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