FanShot

Experience at THT

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When the Cardinals won the WS in 2006 after barely squeaking into the playoffs, I speculated to a friend that maybe their playoff experience in the previous years had been helpful. As we all saw, the Cardinals seemed much more poised than the Tigers (see "pitcher fielding"). The Cardinals had been in the playoffs in 5 of the 6 previous years and had gone to the NLCS 4 of those years. This was much more experience than the Padres, Mets, or Tigers. Of course, it's the kind of anecdotal, "soft," non-sabermetric thought that I usually do not allow myself to entertain. But it seemed plausible. My statistically-minded friend pointed out that "it's testable." Well, David Gassko at THT has done the test. He doesn't report a lot of detail, but does run a logistic regression that includes both pythagorean wins and average team experience to predict playoff outcomes over . Here's the link (or click on the title above): http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/does-experience-matter-in-the-postseason/ My guess is that there was enough roster stability for the Cardinals in the mid 2000s (Pujols, Edmonds, Suppan, plus imports like Eckstein) that it would score pretty high on the average experience score that Gassko calculates.

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