Tag Archives: LCS

Cards, Red Sox fortunate their LCS didn’t go to a deciding 7th game

NLCS

(Photo credit: rocor)

Boston and St. Louis will begin play in the 2013 World Series on Wednesday. For the Cardinals, this will be their fourth World Series appearance since 2000; the Red Sox are playing in their third World Series this century.

Both teams won their respective LCS by winning the sixth game in the series. It was probably a good thing those LCS series didn’t go to a deciding seventh game… since 1985 when MLB went to a seven-game series in the league championship series, the Cardinals and Red Sox have lost the most LCS or World Series seventh games.

The Cards have lost four Game Sevens since 1985: the 1985 World Series, 1987 World Series, 1996 NLCS and 2012 NLCS. The Red Sox have lost three Game Sevens since ’85: 1986 World Series, 2003 ALCS and 2008 ALCS.

There have been 23 Game Sevens played in the World Series, ALCS and NLCS since 1985. Following are the teams that have lost one or more Game Sevens since that year.

Game seven losses, team, series
4: St. Louis (1985 World Series, 1987 World Series, 1996 NLCS and 2012 NLCS)

3: Boston (1986 World Series, 2003 ALCS and 2008 ALCS)

2: Cleveland (1997 World Series, 2007 ALCS)
2: New York Mets (1988 NLCS, 2006 NLCS)
2: New York Yankees (2001 World Series, 2004 ALCS)
2: Pittsburgh (1991 NLCS, 1992 NLCS)
2: San Francisco (1987 NLCS, 2002 World Series)

1: Atlanta (1991 World Series)
1: Chicago Cubs (2003 NLCS)
1: Houston (2004 NLCS)
1: Los Angeles Angels (1986 ALCS)
1: Texas (2011 World Series)
1: Toronto (1985 ALCS)

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LCS: First team to win three games goes to the World Series?

2006 American League Championship Series Game ...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

The Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals each have a 3-2 lead in their respective league championship series. So what are the chances that being the first team to win three games “assures” each of these teams a trip to the World Series?

Since 1985 when MLB went to a seven-game LCS in each league, there have been 54 LCS series. In 44 of those 54 series (81.5%) the first team to win three games in the series went on to win the series and advance to the World Series.

Just last season, the Cardinals held a 3-1 lead in the NLCS over the Giants. San Francisco then went on to win games 5, 6 and 7 to topple the Cards, advance to the World Series, and eventually win the World Series.

Here’s a look at the 10 LCS series since 1985 where the first team to win three games in the ALCS or NLCS did not win that all-important fourth game to make it to the World Series.

League, year, result
ALCS, 1985: Kansas City over Toronto (the Royals won games 5, 6 and 7)
ALCS, 1986: Boston over California (the Red Sox won games 5, 6 and 7)
NLCS, 1987: St. Louis over San Francisco (the Cardinals won games 6 and 7)
NLCS, 1991: Atlanta over Pittsburgh (the Braves own games 6 and 7)
NLCS, 1996: Atlanta over St. Louis (the Braves won games 5, 6 and 7)
NLCS, 2003: Florida over Chicago Cubs (the Marlins won games 5, 6 and 7)
ALCS, 2004: Boston over NY Yankees (the Red Sox won games 4, 5, 6 and 7) *
NLCS, 2004: St. Louis over Houston (the Cardinals won games 6 and 7)
ALCS, 2007: Boston over Cleveland (the Red Sox won games 5, 6 and 7)
NLCS, 2012: San Francisco over St. Louis (the Giants won games 5, 6 and 7)

* Only time in LCS history that a team has been down 3-0 and won an LCS.

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St. Louis Cardinals hope 2013 NLCS is repeat of 2004 NLCS scenario

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published with a focus on stats that go beyond the numbers.

The current "birds on the bat" logo ...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The St. Louis Cardinals won Games One and Two of their 2013 NLCS at home versus the Los Angeles Dodgers. The series now shifts to Los Angeles for games three and four.

The Cardinals, in winning the first two games of the LCS as the home team, became the 13th team since 1985 (when MLB went to a seven-game LCS series format) to win the first two games of an LCS as the home team. The last time it happened was in 2011 when the Texas Rangers won Games One and Two of the ALCS at home. The Rangers went on to win the ALCS that year in six games.

The Cardinals in 2004 won the first two games of the NLCS as the home team against the Houston Astros. The Cards went on to win that series in seven games.

Of the 12 previous times since 1985 that a home team won the first two games of either an ALCS or NLCS, that team went on to win the LCS series nine times and lost three times. Ironically, two of the three losses occurred in 1985 as both home teams won the first two games of their respective LCS that season but then lost the series. The last time this happened was in 2004 when the Yankees won the first two games of the ALCS at home against the Red Sox but then lost the series in seven games to Boston.

Following are the 12 times when the home team won the first two games of an LCS.

American League Championship Series
Year, Home team wins first two games of series, series result
1985, Toronto (Kansas City won series in seven games)
1987, Minnesota (Minnesota won series in five games)
1989, Oakland (Oakland won the series in five games)
1999, New York Yankees (Yankees won series in five games)
2004, New York Yankees (Boston won series in seven games)
2009, New York Yankees (Yankees won series in six games)
2011, Texas (Texas won series in six games)

National League Championship Series
Year, Home team wins first two games of series, series result
1985, Los Angeles Dodgers (St. Louis won series in six games)
1992, Atlanta (Atlanta won series in seven games)
1999, Atlanta (Atlanta won series in six games)
2004, St. Louis (St. Louis won series in seven games)
2008, Philadelphia (Philadelphia won series in five games)
2013, St. Louis (?????)

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Baseball’s LCS games: Nine stats that may indicate which team wins

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published with a focus on stats that go beyond the numbers.

English: 2009 National League Championship Ser...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The St. Louis Cardinals took the first step in reserving a spot in this year’s World Series with a 13-inning win over the Los Angeles Dodgers last night in the first game of their National League Championship Series. The Tigers and Red Sox face off in Game One tonight in the ALCS.

Predicting which team will win an LCS series is a not an easy task. It may, however, be a little easier to predict which team will win a game in the ALCS and NLCS. Here’s a look at nine different “box score” stats and how often teams won an LCS game when those stats ended up in their favor. For the sake of this article, I’ve looked at the last three years of ALCS and NLCS games (from 2010-2012). That’s 35 games.

Score first: The team that scored first in an LCS game from 2010-12 was 24-11 (.686 winning percentage).

Home field advantage: Home teams were 21-14 (.600 winning percentage) in the last three years of ALCS and NLCS play.

Score three-plus runs in an inning: Teams that scored three or more runs in an inning won 22 and lost seven (.759 winning percentage).

Hold opponents scoreless through three innings: Teams that held their opponents scoreless through the first three innings were 18-9 (.667 winning percentage).

Leading after six innings: Here’s an eye-opening stat… teams that were leading at the end of six innings in LCS games in the last three years were 31-2-2 (.914 winning percentage). In fact, in the NLCS, in the 19 games played since 2010, the winning team was ahead at the end of the sixth inning in 18 of those 19 games (one game was tied at the end of the sixth).

Starting pitcher last six-plus innings: Teams that had their starters last six-plus innings were 18-14 (.563 winning percentage)

Hit a home run: Teams that hit one or more home runs in an LCS game were 26-18 (.591 winning percentage).

Outhit the opposition: Teams that had more hits than their opponents in the game were 29-5-1 (.843 winning percentage).

Errorless game: Teams that did not commit an error in an LCS game from 2010-12 were 26-10 (.722 winning percentage). This stat was especially highlighted in the NLCS where teams were 16-2 in games where they did not commit an error.

So what’s the takeaway from these stats? Make sure you have the lead after six innings; outhit your opponents; don’t commit any errors; and have a big inning (three or more runs). That gives LCS teams the highest probability of winning. Keep an eye on the LCS games this week and see if some of these stats come into play.

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SIX STATS you might not know about… Baseball’s League Championship Series

New York Yankees celebrate after 2009 American...

Image via Wikipedia

“SIX STATS…” is a bonus feature of Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ and is published every Friday.

1. In the 25 years of the seven-game League Championship Series (50 different series; 25 in the A.L. and 25 in the N.L.), there has been a four-game sweep only five times. The series has gone five games 14 times; six games 17 times; and the full seven-game series 14 times.

2. The last team to win back-to-back LCS was the Philadelphia Phillies in 2008 and 2009. The last A.L. team to win back-to-back LCS? The New York Yankees who won four straight LCS from 1998 to 2001. (The Texas Rangers have a chance to repeat if they win this year’s A.L. LCS.) The last team to lose back-to-back LCS were the L.A. Dodgers, who lost to the Phils in 2008 and 2009. The last A.L. team to lose back-to-back LCS? The Seattle Mariners who lost to the Yanks in 2000 and 2001.

3. The Wild Card has been a part of postseason baseball since 1995. In those 16 playoffs, the Wild Card team has made it to the LCS nine times in the American League and eight times in the National League.

4. The Washington Nationals have the longest drought to the LCS. The last time the Nationals franchise played in an LCS was the National League LCS in 1981 when they were the Montreal Expos. Seven other teams have not played in an LCS in this century: Milwaukee (last appearance 1982), Kansas City (1985), Pittsburgh (1992), Toronto (1993), Cincinnati (1995), Baltimore (1997), San Diego (1998).

5. The Yankees have played in the most LCS (since it was instituted in 1969) with 14. Oakland and Atlanta have each played in 11; Baltimore, Boston, L.A. Dodgers, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and St. Louis have played in nine.

6. Not surprisingly the Yankees have also won the most LCS with 11. Pittsburgh has lost the most LCS, 7.