... if the Rangers win the rest of their home games, history says they have a sixty percent chance of winning it all, because six of the ten times the home team won all of the first five games saw the squad in the Rangers position win it all. Flipping it around, if they lose just one of the two remaining games, their chances become much bleaker: nine of the ten times the first road win came in Games Four and Five, the squad in SF's position claimed the title. Basically, the numbers above say Games Four and Five matter the most. That make sense - the Rangers are the team most needing wins and they're the home team, so a loss would be especially bad for them.
Beyond the obvious (game 4 is the first game in which a team could technically win the Series, so of course it's a pivotal game), Jaffe makes two interesting conclusions:
- If Texas wins both of the next two games (both at home), they have a 60% chance of winning it all.
- If Texas loses even ONE of the next two games, teams in their position (the team with the 3 home game stretch in the middle) lose the Series 9/10 times. Read: the time is now.
Is it me or is that Cliff Lee Game 1 dud casting a longer and longer shadow? While you're digesting that little Sunday food for thought, realize it's not too early to be thinking about game seven. Assuming the home team wins every game:
Putting it another way, 13 of these 20 games had the home team win Game Four. And of the remaining all-homer Series, the home team won 10 out of 13 times in Game Five, and then seven out of 10 times in Game Six. Oddly, the home team lost a majority of Game Sevens: four out of seven.