Today’s unpopular opinion is in regards to what things truly help get a team to the World Series.
“In addition to a great amount of luck, I think one of the more overlooked aspects of getting to the World Series is getting much better than expected production out of at least one source.”
For a local slant, Jim Thome did exactly this for the Twins last season. This season, Lance Berkman was a huge factor for the Cardinals when his career was basically left for dead after his stint with the Yankees. For the Rangers, it was bringing in Mike Napoli, who was basically dumped by the Angels for not being Jeff Mathis, and spent just a few days as a member of the Blue Jays. There are countless other examples on each team, like Alexi Ogando’s career path, or basically the entire bullpen of the Cardinals.
I guess my overriding point is that as a team, you have to make a bold move or a number of moves, and have most of them pay off. I can’t remember the last time this wasn’t a case with the World Series champion, if not each of the league champions.
So why is this an unpopular opinion? I think in large part to the notion – and it’s a correct one – that once a team makes the playoffs, it’s largely a crapshoot as to who makes the Series and wins it. I think this notion is almost as important, which I think would be unpopular in the statistical community.