Forced to make a prediction for the Japan Series this past weekend, I went with the SoftBank Hawks over the Yomiuri Giants in five. Both teams dominated their leagues, although the Hawks were better at doing that than the Giants were.
Sorry, but this isn’t going to be one of those, “The Hawks match up well against the Giants” stories,
Then there is the other matter of league quality.
We don’t know how much better the Pacific League is than the Central League, but over the history of interleague play, the PL teams have a .532 winning percentage. Over the previous five seasons, the PL winning percentage was .555, and the PL’s Pythagorean winning percentage is .559.
Let’s make a conservative estimate and say that if we threw the two leagues into a balanced 12-team schedule, that total winning percentage of the six PL teams would be .530, and the total winning percentage of the six CL teams would be .470. But because the Hawks were quite a bit better against a league that has been demonstrably better, then I’m going to estimate their chances of winning any game against the Giants at 59 percent.
Based on that, we get the following chances, were a Hawks sweep is slightly more likely than a Giants win in seven. Anything is possible, but I wouldn’t take even odds on it.
|Series result||Estimated likelihood|