Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Boston's postseason dominance over the California/Anaheim/Los Angeles Angels continued last night, with a 3-2 Red Sox victory to capture the first-round series, three games to one. According to a sidebar note with the above-linked article:

The Red Sox improved to 4-0 all-time against the Angels in postseason series, having beaten them in 1986, 2004, 2007, and 2008. Boston has also won 12 of the last 13 playoff games against Los Angeles.

The story begins, of course, with the 1986 American League Championship Series, in which the Red Sox, trailing three games to one, staged an unlikely comeback to take three straight and win the series, 4-3.

Boston then recorded 3-0 series sweeps against the Halos in 2004 and 2007, before winning 3-1 this year.

As I like to point out from time to time, streaks can arise from some combination of (a) sharp ability differences between the two competitors; (b) momentum and other psychological factors (though most statisticians are skeptical of this); and (c) random chance.

The idea that the Red Sox were substantially superior talentwise over the Angels -- for this year at least -- can be safely ruled out, as the Angels won eight out of the nine regular-season meetings between the teams.

No comments: