World Series WPA Leaderboard

I tracked the Win Probability of each World Series game, and we plan to include in-depth coverage of the Series in the Hardball Times Annual. I’d encourage you to support the site and buy a copy, but you’ve probably done that already.

Last year, the media guys chose Manny Ramirez as the World Series MVP, which was an outrageously bad choice compared to his Series win probability added. This year, they did much better. Jermaine Dye did indeed lead the Sox in win probability added, though the award could have also gone to several other Sox, most notably Joe Crede.

However, that’s assuming you want to give the award to someone from the winning team. If not, the real Series MVP was an Astro: Lance Berkman, of course.

Here’s the entire WPA leaderboard for each team in the four World Series games. Remember that 0.5 win probability added essentially equals a win.

Houston Astros               Chicago White Sox
Player           WPA         Player         WPA
========         ====        ========       ====
Berkman          0.70        Dye            0.44
Backe            0.36        Blum           0.41
Jose Vizcaino    0.29        Crede          0.41
Pettitte         0.21        Konerko        0.34
Springer         0.03        Garcia         0.32
Gallo            0.03        Cotts          0.27
Taveras          0.01        Podsednik      0.24
Rodriguez        0.01        Luis Vizcai    0.21
Bruntlett        0.00        Marte          0.18
Lane            -0.01        Widger         0.13
Wheeler         -0.02        Politte        0.09
Burke           -0.09        Harris         0.09
Palmeiro        -0.12        Hernandez      0.08
Ausmus          -0.14        Uribe          0.07
Bagwell         -0.16        Pierzynski     0.02
Qualls          -0.18        Jenks          0.02
Lamb            -0.22        Backe         -0.02
Clemens         -0.25        Garland       -0.02
Lidge           -0.30        Timo          -0.12
Oswalt          -0.33        Carl Everet   -0.13
Biggio          -0.46        Contreras     -0.13
Adam Everett    -0.51        Buerhle       -0.13
Ensberg         -0.53        Hermanson     -0.21
Astacio         -0.61        Rowand        -0.25
                             Iguchi        -0.29

The White Sox received solid contributions from a number of players other than Dye. That was obviously one of the keys to their success.

On the other hand, the Astros had Berkman, two good starts from Brandon Backe and Andy Pettitte and a huge clutch single from Jose Vizcaino. And that was it.

Geoff Blum‘s WPA came from one hit in one game, his 14th inning home run in Game 3. But the single biggest play of the World Series was Paul Konerko‘s grand slam off Ezequiel Astacio in the seventh inning of Game 2, which changed the score from 4-2 Astros to 6-4 White Sox. That blast added .61 WPA points to his total, a huge hit. For comparison, Vizcaino’s game-tying single added .36 WPA for the Astros, and Podsednik‘s game-winning home run was worth .42 WPA. Those three plays, and Blum’s home run in the 3rd Game, were the biggest plays in the Series.

Since you asked, the Hardball Times Annual is on schedule to ship in mid-November. It will feature all-new content —no reprinted web articles—and contributions by many writers outside of THT, such as Bill James, John Dewan and Rob Neyer. We’ll include the same stats as last year, including Net Win Shares Value and loads of batted ball stats, plus baserunning runs from Dan Fox and Fielding Range from David Gassko. I’ll even kick it off with an article called “Ten Things I Learned This Year.”

Which reminds me; I’ve got to get back to work.

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