Monday, October 4, 2010

Magic Number: 92

Want to know how to make sure your team makes the baseball playoffs? Don't get too caught up in how many runs they score or how strong the bullpen is or how many double plays they turn.

Just make sure they win 92 games. Especially in the National League.

Over the last 10 years, just about every team that's won 92 games has made the playoffs. We're talking about a total of 80 playoff teams over that span (4 in each league each year). Only 5 teams have won 92 games and failed to make the playoffs, and only one of those was a National League team (the 2002 Dodgers).

2002 was a bad year for the "Rule of 92". Not only did the Dodgers get left out, but in the American League, both the Yankees and Mariners sat out the playoffs despite 93-win regular seasons. By the way--Seattle is the only team over the last 10 years to be denied twice with 92 or more wins--they also missed the playoffs in 2003 with 93 wins. The other exception to the rule is the 93-win 2005 Cleveland Indians.

Getting to 92 requires winning about 57% of your games. You don't even need to win every series. Split the 4-gamers, win most of the 3-gamers and you're in.

Just like the 2010 Giants, who made it into the playoffs on the season's final day with their...wait for it...92nd win.

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