But if you like watching great teams play in the World Series then this really isn't for you. The Royals won 89 games this year while the Giants won 88. The two teams caught fire at the right time. Kansas City is a perfect 8-0 so far, while San Francisco is 8-2.
Of course, ever since baseball created two divisions in 1969 and added a third along with a wild card team in 1995 it's become increasingly difficult to win the World Series. Since 1969, the team with the best record in the major leagues went on to win the World Series just 11 times.
In fact, since the wild card was added in 1995, a team that didn't even manage to win its division has won more World Series -- six, soon to be seven -- than the teams that entered the playoffs with baseball's best record -- four.
That's a weird phenomenon. What is true baseball greatness? I spent a couple of hours today creating a quick ranking of all World Series winners since 1969. I gave points for:
* Regular season winning percentage. My 1990 Cincinnati Reds won .562 of their 162 games so they get .562.
* A ranking scale. If the team had the best record in the major leagues it received 1.000 points. If it had the best record in its league it received .800. If it was a division winner it received .600. If it was a wild card team but had a better record than at least one division winner it received .400. If it was a wild card team with a record worse than all division winners in its league it received .200.
* Playoff points based on wins times opponent winning percentage divided by total games played. My 1990 Reds beat the Pittsburgh Pirates in six games in the NLCS that year. The Pirates had a .586 winning percentage that year. So the formula reads (4*.586)/6 for .391 points.
* World Series points based the same way. The 1990 Reds swept the mighty Oakland A's that year. Oakland had a .636 winning percentage in 1990 so the formula reads (4*.636)/4 for .636.
Obviously, sweeps against teams with great records scores more points.
I added one more column, bonus points for wins. It is undoubtedly more difficult to get through the playoffs now. In 1976, the Reds swept the Phillies and Yankees to go a perfect 7-0. The Phillies won 101 games in 1976 and the Yankees won 97 during the regular season so it was an impressive pair of sweeps.
This year though, the Royals have won all eight and they are just now getting to the series. If they lose to the Giants then that impressive run is just a footnote. They'll only really be remembered in Kansas City. To balance things out for teams in the wild card era, I added .01 for each total win, regular season and playoffs. So the 1990 Reds, who had to win eight games to win the playoffs and World Series, received .990 points. In 2013, the Boston Red Sox won 108 games between the regular season and the playoffs so Boston received 1.08 points.
Got it? Good. Here's my list:
|Win Pct.||Scale||Playoffs||World Series||Win bonus||Total|