Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a biweekly blog published every Wednesday and Sunday with a bonus “SIX STATS…” posting every Friday.
Here’s a look at some stats that may determine who wins the National League Championship Series between division rivals the Milwaukee Brewers and the St. Louis Cardinals. The seven-game League Championship Series format was first instituted in 1985 in both leagues. The stats below reflect only those seven-game series between 1985-2010 (a total of 25 N.L. LCS; there was no playoffs in 1994 due to the player strike).
* Will the homefield advantage help the Brewers, who had the best home record in all of baseball in 2011? The home team has won 82 and lost 66 in the NL LCS. In 2004 LCS between the Cardinals and Astros, the home team won every game, the only time that has happened in the past 25 years.
* Teams that have scored four or more runs in a N.L. LCS since 1985 have a record of 110-39, a .738 winning percentage.
* The team that has won the series has won the first game 18 of the 25 times. The eventual N.L. LCS winner is 15-10 in Game Two… 16-9 in Game Three… 15-10 in Game Four… 14-9 in Game Five… and 14-3 in Game Six. They are undefeated in seven Game Sevens, but you knew that.
* The team that scores first in the game is 87-61, a .588 winning percentage.
WE INTERRUPT THIS BLOG FOR A TRIVIA QUESTION: The last time the Cardinals won a N.L. LCS was in 2006. Who was the MVP of that series? Answer at end of the blog.
* In the 10 series where one of the teams wins the first two games and takes a 2-0 lead in the series, the team with the 2-0 lead has won the series nine of those 10 times. The only time a team down 0-2 in a N.L. LCS won the series was in 1985 when the Dodgers won the first two games but then lost four in a row to the Cardinals.
* In the 15 series where the two teams were tied at 1-1 after the first two games, the team that won Game Three has won the series 11 times and lost the series four times.
* There have been 15 extra-inning games in the N.L. LCS since 1985. The home team is only 5-10 in those games. The team that eventually wins the series, however, is 12-3 in those extra inning games.
* There have been three times when a team has lost three LCS games in a series and still won the series. It happened in 1996 (Atlanta), 2003 (Florida) and 2004 (St. Louis).
* The Milwaukee are making their National League LCS debut this year. The Cardinals have played in nine N.L. LCS since 1969 compiling a record of 26-27.
TRIVIA ANSWER: Former Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Jeff Suppan was the MVP of the 2006 N.L. LCS.