The Hardball Times Annual 2011 will be shipped later this week, but we’ve got a little preview for you in the meantime. Our postseason coverage was a highlight of last year’s Annual (it wasn’t in the book, but purchasers could download it for free), in which Sky Andrecheck presented an extension of his Championship Index into the postseason.
The key information in Sky’s article was a table of the Championship Leverage Index of each game. Championship Leverage Index (or Champ LI, if you will) measures the relative importance of each game in contributing to each team’s championship. An average regular-season game has a Champ LI of 1, so you can think of the following Champ LI figures as a “criticality multiple” compared to the regular season. Does that make any sense? No? Well, let’s look at the numbers:
So, the seventh game of the World Series is 167 times more important than a regular season game when it comes to determining whether a team will win it all. Said differently, a player’s contribution in the seventh game of the World Series is 167 times more important than his contribution in an average regular season game.
That’s why they call it pressure.
I wanted to present this table because I think it’s pretty interesting, not to mention important. It can help us answer questions, such as how important Mariano Rivera’s postseason success has been relative to his regular season success. Stuff like that.
Sky has moved on to work for the Cleveland Indians, but he was kind enough to lend us his calculations for Championship Leverage Index. And Fangraphs’ David Golebiewski was kind enough to cover the postseason for us this year. David included Sky’s work in his detailed coverage of the postseason drama, and I think it really adds perspective to each game’s events.
As a public service, we’ve decided to make David’s article free for everyone. You can download a PDF copy of David’s postseason article with this link. We hope you’ll enjoy it.
And if you like David’s work, remember that there’s a lot more of that in this year’s Hardball Times Annual. You help the Hardball Times the most (and you receive it much more quickly) by purchasing the Annual through this link, but if that’s too expensive for you, this Amazon link helps us a bit, too.