Red Sox World Series Win Was Statistically Improbable
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By Alexander Rader and
The Fiscal Times
October 31, 2013

The Red Sox are World Series winners for the third time in 10 seasons. The 2004 Red Sox may have famously ended an 86-year streak of October disappointments, but in some ways, this year’s win might be more surprising and preposterous than that historic championship. True, the 2013 Sox didn’t mount an unprecedented comeback from a 3-0 deficit to the rivals Yankees. They did, however, become only the second team ever, after the 1991 Minnesota Twins, to win the World Series one season after finishing in last place. No Major League team had ever climbed so high after having been so low. 

These stats help tell the story of how the Red Sox went from a cellar-dwelling soap opera to World Series champs: 

69: Number of Red Sox wins in 2012, good for last place in the American League East and the team’s lowest total since 1965 

97: Number of Red Sox wins in 2013, tied with the St. Louis Cardinals for the most in Major League Baseball 

108: Number of Red Sox wins in 2013 including the postseason 

.426: Winning percentage of the 2012 Red Sox. No team had ever won a World Series one year after posting a winning percentage that low 

$264 Million: Salaries taken on by the Dodgers in a 2012 trade that saw the Red Sox dump four players 

12: Players from the 2012 roster who were still on the team this season 

1: Players from the 2004 roster, Big Papi himself, David Ortiz 

0.66: Closer Koji Uehara’s postseason ERA 

.688/.760/1.188: Ortiz’s ridiculous World Series slash line. Ortiz was named the World Series MVP.

.168/.231/.253: The slash line for the rest of the Red Sox 

.454: Ortiz’s career World Series batting average, the best among all players with at least 50 World Series plate appearances 

38,447: Attendance at Game 6 

384,470: Number of people who will claim to have been at Game 6 by next June 

15,238: Attendance at Game 6 in 1918 

95: Number of years since the Red Sox clinched a World Series at home 

105: Number of years since the Cubs have won the World Series 

0.43: Jon Lester’s career World Series ERA 

$110 Million: Total value of second baseman Dustin Pedroia’s 8-year contract extension, signed in July 

$300 Million: Total value of the 10-year contract reportedly being sought by Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano 

5: The estimated length of Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli’s beard, in inches 

8: World Series titles the Red Sox have won, behind only the Yankees (27), Cardinals (11) and Philadelphia/Oakland Athletics (9)