Am I wrong here?

The World Series winner is not always the best team in baseball that season. Am I wrong?

The regular season is 162 games long. The postseason for any given team can be as short as 11 games or as long as 19 games. Simple logic says the 162 games sample size is more concrete in terms of drawing conclusions about teams. Yet people continually ignore that logic and proclaim the World Series winner the best team in baseball. Is that right though?

To, the answer is no. For a quick example, look at the 2006 Cardinals. They went 83-78 in the regular season, and their pythag was 82-79. They beat the 95-67 Detroit Tigers in just five games in the World Series that season.  Because of a 16 game sample size in the postseason, are you still going to say St. Louis was the best team baseball?

No, you shouldn’t. They beat Detroit in five games. But Detroit was clearly the better team. They had a much higher Team WAR, despite playing in the superior American League. If you had them play a 162 game series, Detroit will almost always win that series.

The 2006 season is just one example. There are others out there (2001 Mariners for instance). Deciding the best team in baseball should not be based off just the playoffs or just the regular season. It should be a combination, with more weight being thrown towards the regular season because it is a larger sample size.

However, there are times when the team with the best record or WAR may not be the best team in baseball. Imagine Team A has a WAR of 45 and a record 100-62 and Team B has a WAR of 43 with a record of 97-65. Both teams sweep the DS and CS, but Team A gets swept by Team B in the World Series. Since both teams were so similar over the course of 162 games, it would be fair to say Team B is better, since their regular season record and WAR was only slightly worse than Team A.

Essentially, the World Series winner should not be automatically considered the best team in baseball. Sometimes the best team wins it all, and sometimes they don’t. But if they lose, they don’t get their names in the history books and they don’t get to put World Series champs on their resume. In the end, that history book is what the game is played for and it’s all that matters.

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