The Bernstein Brief: Cubs Cashed In On A 2.5% Chance

By Dan Bernstein– senior columnist

(CBS) All year long, the advanced numbers have been overwhelming in favor of the Cubs, for good reason — they were easily the best team in baseball. They made a mockery of any playoff race, jumping out to such high probability so early that we stopped even clicking on the PECOTA-adjusted playoff odds at Baseball Prospectus by mid-summer.

We’d go to throughout the year and see them leading the game in position-player WAR, xFIP and UZR and see that metric picture of dominance, even understanding that it wouldn’t matter when the short series of the postseason began.

And that’s where we were Tuesday night, noting the win expectancy matrix — the percent chance a team will win based on score, inning, outs, runners on base and the run environment, as Fangraphs explains — kept there in real time. At the start of the ninth inning in San Francisco, the Cubs were trailing 5-2, the line on the graph was scraping the top toward the home team, showing a 97.5 percent chance that the Giants were going to win.

It was a 2.5 percent chance for the Cubs, then. That’s what was left.

And then the Giants were pushed off that cliff, and we won’t forget it.

pastedimage The Bernstein Brief: Cubs Cashed In On A 2.5% Chance

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