WBC: Untangling the Team USA tiebreaker scenario

I’m going to look at the WBC for the rest of your week. To whet your appetite, tomorrow’s post is entitled “Putting the World in World Baseball Classic.” I’ll examine the American struggles in the WBC in the context of the game’s global appeal.

Things are not looking good for Team USA. The favorites to win the tournament, the Americans will once again turn to Roger Clemens – and a little bit of luck first – to advance to the semifinals.

After a disappointing loss to the 5-0 Korean team, the Americans find themselves in the position they were in for the first round of pool play. They are relying on their old horse and another team’s pitching to get them into the next round of tournament play. To make this easy, here are the five scenarios.

Scenario 1 or The Easy Way
Korea beats Japan
USA beats Mexico

This is, as the name suggests, the easiest way for the Americans to advance. Korea already beat Japan once in the WBC, and the team has been downright dominant. Their pitching staff has given up just 7 runs in 5 full games, and their offense has come through with key hits to control the games from the start. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Korea come out on top here.

If Korea wins, all the US has to do is beat Mexico again. With Roger Clemens potentially pitching his last game, you can bet that he’ll be fired up if he is in a position to carry Team USA into the semifinals.

Scenario 2 or The Hard Way
Japan beats Korea but allows 7 runs or more
USA beats Mexico

Now, it starts to get confusing. If Japan beats Korea and the US beats Mexico, the pool will once again have a three-way tie for best record. In this case, the tiebreaker heads to fewest runs allowed per innings played of defense in games against those teams with which you are tied. (Got that? Yeah, well, me neither.) As of now, the US has allowed 10 runs in 17 innings against Japan and Korea or .588 runs per inning.

Japan, if they allow 7 runs, would have allowed 11 runs in 17.6 innings for .625 runs per inning. While you may be tempted to count out Japan at this point, hold on.

Korea, if they lose and score 7 runs, means they allowed more than 7 runs. So the fewest runs allowed by Korea in this scenario is 8. That gives them 11 runs in 17 innings (because Japan is the home team). At .647 runs per inning, Korea would be out. At this point, Japan and the US would advance.

But don’t count on this happening. It would be a slug fest of epic proportions considering the pitching we’ve seen in the WBC.

Scenario 3 or The Nearly Impossible Way
Japan beats Korea but allows 6 runs or fewer

If Japan wins and allows 6 runs or fewer, the US team can disperse back to their training camps. At this point, Japan will win on the fewest innings clause.

What about Korea, you may ask? Here’s the rub.

In this scenario, if Japan wins by scoring 7 runs or fewer, Korea is in. Both Korea and the US would have allowed at most 10 runs in 17 innings. But since Korea beat the US, Korea is in.

If Japan scores more than 7 runs, Team USA would then have to beat Mexico to make. At that point, Korea would have given up at least 11 runs in 17 innings, putting them behind Team USA. Nobody ever said wrapping your head around this was easy.

Scenario 4 or The Impossible Way
Japan beats Korea
Mexico beats USA

The end. Team USA does not advance. In this case, who advances in addition to Korea depends on the outcome of the Korea-Japan game. But that is a calculation for another day never.

Scenario 5 or The Losing Way
Korea beats Japan
Mexico beats USA but scores fewer than 3 runs

In this case, USA advances. Take my word for it. The math works out. Team USA would have allowed 5 runs in 16 (or up to 16.6) innings to Mexico and Japan while Japan has allowed 5 runs in 17.6 innings.

If Mexico scores 3 runs or more AND beats the USA, Japan advances, and the Americans go home.

Now, everyone ready for the quiz?

About these ads

5 Responses to “WBC: Untangling the Team USA tiebreaker scenario”


  1. 1 Bob Timmermann March 15, 2006 at 2:01 pm

    Where is there a provision in the tiebreakers that if one of the three teams has a better runs allowed than the other two, you go back to a 2-team tiebreaker and go head-to-head?

    Your math is right if that is the case, but I don’t see that provision anywhere.

  2. 2 Benjamin Kabak March 15, 2006 at 2:05 pm

    Bob: The WBC FAQs (click here) state, “The team that defeated the other tied team head-to-head in a given Round shall be ranked higher in the pool standings for such Round.” I assumed that since that’s the first tiebreaker, it takes precedence over the second tiebreaker. I could be wrong though. The WBC organizers certainly aren’t making this easy.

  3. 3 Bob Timmermann March 15, 2006 at 2:25 pm

    I thought that was true, but the US beat Mexico, but the US was considered to be the #2 seed instead of Mexico.

    Perhaps we need to get on the phone to Switzerland!

  4. 4 Benjamin Kabak March 15, 2006 at 2:30 pm

    Hmmm. That is a good point. I remember reading someone express surprise that Mexico was ranked ahead of the US, but no one ever explained why. Switzerland it is then!

  5. 5 Bob Timmermann March 15, 2006 at 2:41 pm

    (41-21) 318 82 40


Comments are currently closed.



RSS River Ave. Blues

  • 9/18-9/21 Series Preview: Toronto Blue Jays September 18, 2014
    The final homestand of the 2014 season and Derek Jeter‘s career is about to begin. The Yankees open the eight-game homestand with four games against the Blue Jays, starting tonight. I swear, it feels like I’ve had to write a Blue Jays series preview every other week this season. Anyway, the Yankees are 8-7 against […]Post from: River Ave. Blues A New York Ya […]
    Michael Axisa
  • King: Yankees will attend Yasmany Tomas showcase this weekend September 18, 2014
    Via George King: The Yankees will be among the teams in attendance when soon-to-be free agent Cuban outfielder Yasmany Tomas works out for scouts in the Dominican Republic. The early front-runners to sign him are the Giants, Padres, Rangers, and Tigers, according to Peter Gammons. Jim Salisbury says the Phillies also have “legitimate interest.” Tomas, 23, [… […]
    Michael Axisa
  • Still plenty left for the Yankees to do in 2014 September 18, 2014
    Although they mathematically still have a chance, the Yankees are not going to the postseason this year. They’re six games back of the second wildcard spot with three teams ahead of them and only eleven games to play, so it would take a historic comeback to make the playoffs. I don’t see this team doing […]Post from: River Ave. Blues A New York Yankees blogS […]
    Michael Axisa
  • Yankees break out for three runs, beat Rays 3-2 September 18, 2014
    The Yankees scored three runs! And they won too! Games like Wednesday night’s have become way too rare for this team. Those three runs stood up thanks to the pitching staff and the Yankees were able to salvage the series finale against the Rays with a 3-2 victory. Three Runs! In the span of two […]Post from: River Ave. Blues A New York Yankees blogYankees br […]
    Michael Axisa
  • Update: Carlos Beltran leaves Yankees to attend to family matter September 18, 2014
    10:10pm: Awful news. Beltran announced on Facebook that he and his wife lost their son. A newspaper report out of Puerto Rico says his wife had a miscarriage. “Everything happens according to God’s perfect timing, and my wife and I accept it that way. Thank you for all the messages of love,” said Beltran. Our […]Post from: River Ave. Blues A New York Yankees […]
    Michael Axisa
  • Game 151: Retaliation? September 17, 2014
    Things got a little heated between the Yankees and Rays last night after Derek Jeter was hit by a pitch up high. Tampa has plunked several Yankees hitters in their last few meetings. Following the game, Joe Girardi and some players said they weren’t necessarily upset with getting hit, but where they were getting hit, […]Post from: River Ave. Blues A New York […]
    Michael Axisa
  • Yankees’ current 2015 rotation options full of uncertainty September 17, 2014
    On Sunday, Masahiro Tanaka will get back on the mound and pitch in the big league game for the first time since the week before the All-Star break. It will be the biggest step in his rehab from a partially torn elbow ligament, and, really, the best case scenario is seeing that the ligament won’t […]Post from: River Ave. Blues A New York Yankees blogYankees’ […]
    Michael Axisa
  • One way or another, Yanks will learn something about Tanaka’s elbow on Sunday September 17, 2014
    Yesterday afternoon the Yankees announced Masahiro Tanaka will make his (hopefully) triumphant return to the rotation on Sunday after more than two months on the shelf with a partially torn elbow ligament. Unfortunately the team is out of the postseason race, so there won’t be a fun “Tanaka comes back from his injury and leads […]Post from: River Ave. Blues […]
    Michael Axisa
  • Yankees lose 6-1 to Rays after benches clear September 17, 2014
    It looks like we’re in for an ugly end to the season, doesn’t it? The Yankees are out of the postseason race and another weak game by the offense led to some frustration boiling over in the late innings on Tuesday. The Rays won the game 6-1. The Yankees have lost five of their last […]Post from: River Ave. Blues A New York Yankees blogYankees lose 6-1 to Ray […]
    Michael Axisa
  • Game 150: Big Mike in Tampa September 16, 2014
    Michael Pineda is very familiar with the Tampa area. Big Mike spent the better part of the 2012-13 seasons at the team’s Spring Training complex while rehabbing from his shoulder surgery, so pitching in Tropicana Field — which is really across the bridge in St. Petersburg, not Tampa — should feel like a homecoming. Will […]Post from: River Ave. Blues A New Y […]
    Michael Axisa

Blog Stats

  • 60,422 hits

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: