The St. Louis Cardinals stunned the Philadelphia Phillies and all of their "Phans" -- but on closer inspection of the statistics, the Cardinals are very strong in one of the key sports psychology categories we study: consistency.
In baseball, one measure of consistency is the batting average. A high team batting average means longer rallies -- and indeed, St. Louis led the National League in runs scored this season. The Cardinals will face the Milwaukee Brewers, led by the dynamic duo of Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder (who defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks).
What do the "quant facts" say about the 2011 NL Championship? Here is a quick look at some of the factors related to sports psychology from our book, "Who Will Win the Big Game?" (A Psychological and Mathematical Method).
- Pitching Leadership: Favors Milwaukee, with aces Gallardo & Greinke.
- Focus, Defense & Fielding: Both teams were equally mediocre on the field this year.
- Consistency: This factor -- based on "batting average rank" points to the Cardinals in a big way. The Cardinals led the NL with a .273 team batting average. The Brewers were a respectable third in the NL, but a distant third at .261.
- Big Game Experience: Neither team reached the World Series over the past three years (so this is neutral based on how we measured this category). We do note, however, that the Cardinals won the World Series in 2006.
Overall, the factors lean to the Cardinals with their big team batting average. This will count for our book's blog's "official" quant fact predictions.
With the baseball playoffs in full force, there has been some interest in my new baseball book. The book is meant to teach math to younger fans, but includes rankings of batters and greatest teams that some may like. Please check it out: