Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Negative Run Differential Playoff Teams and the Key to Their Success


Much has been made of the Orioles' negative Run Differential this season. But they would hardly be the first team to make the playoffs with a negative Run Differential. In fact, I have discovered a commonality that helps to explain how teams can be outscored but still produce winning results.



1987 Minnesota Twins

The Twins switched from a plain outfit to their signature pinstripes before the '87 season and added "Minnesota" to the away jerseys. As a result, they were able to overcome being outscored by 20 runs to win the AL West and eventually the World Series.
1986 Twins Uniforms
1987 Twins Uniforms

1989 Houston Astros

OK, the Astros didn't actually make the playoffs but they would have in the current Wild Card environment. The subtle changes from a pullover jersey to a button-up and adding a belt to the pants helped Houston finish 10 games over .500 despite being outscored by 22 runs.
1988 Astros Unis
1989 Astros Unis

1991 San Diego Padres

San Diego ditched the brown and brought blue to the forefront on their revamped unis for the 1991 season. The team did not make the postseason but would have in the current Wild Card environment despite being outscored by 10 runs.
1990 Padres Unis
1991 Padres Unis
 2007 Arizona Diamondbacks

The Diamondbacks ditched the weirdness of their purpley and turquoisey pinstripes for a more cohesive anchor of red and embracing the script "D" on their caps. They won 90 and the NL West crown despite being outscored by 20 runs on the season.
2006 D-Backs Unis
2007 D-Backs Unis
2012 Baltimore Orioles

A-ha! AH-HAH!!!
2011 Baltimore Unis
2012 Baltimore Unis

2 comments:

Brendan Burke said...

D-backs are in the NL West, not AL West.

Heath said...

Thanks and fixed.