The sabermetrics community, and the analytics community at large, rejoiced yesterday evening when the San Francisco Giants clinched the National League pennant and booked a date with the Kansas City Royals in the World Series. “We suspected it with Kansas City, and now the Giants have confirmed it: Wild Card teams are statistically more likely to make the World Series than division winners.
Looking at multiple observations in a year’s worth of data, there’s really no other conclusion to draw.” Those were the words of University of Phoenix Professor of Economics Bob Dolby, and they sent shockwaves through those who spent less than five seconds thinking about them.
“What we’re seeing is a fundamentally unfair system being exposed,” added Hoyt Peabody, a professor of English who specializes in Marxist theory. “The Wild Card games give their winners incredible momentum throughout the playoffs. The impressive institution that is the MLB denied teams like the Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Angels the chance to even play in these contests.” Peabody proceeded to advocate for a new thirty-team playoff format with participation medals for every team. “Until Major League Baseball addresses the inequality that arises from its practices, it will have the blood of many innocent shortstops on its batting gloves.”
Protesters in Baltimore took to the streets following the revelation. “If it was our team, if we won the Wild Card game, we would feel the same way, no question,” said Orioles fan Matt McDermott. He added that he would like to see a grace period of several years before the rules are changed, because “the O’s probably won’t win the division next year.”
Many MLB players weighed in on the uproar. When questioned by reporters, Minnesota Twins second baseman Brian Dozier had plenty to say. “Playoffs? What are those? October is my fishing month.”