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

  • Game 100: How About An Easy Win? July 23, 2014
    I could totally go for a blowout win tonight. Like nine or tens run in the first two or three innings, then go into cruise control and let the just called up Chris Leroux get one of those silly three-out saves. It’s been a long time since the Yankees had a laugher like that — […]Post from: River Ave. Blues A New York Yankees blogGame 100: How About An Easy W […]
    Michael Axisa
  • 2015 Draft: MLB announces competitive balance lottery results July 23, 2014
    MLB announced the results of the competitive balance lottery today, awarding a total of 12 picks to small market, low revenue clubs. Obviously the Yankees did not get one. The full results are right here. It’s hard to understand a system in which the Cardinals are awarded competitive balance picks but not the Rays or […]Post from: River Ave. Blues A New York […]
    Michael Axisa
  • Scouting The Trade Market: Minnesota Twins July 23, 2014
    The non-waiver trade deadline is now one week and one day away, and we’ve got a pretty good idea of which teams will be sellers and which will be buyers. The Yankees, like or not, will be buying. Yesterday’s Chase Headley trade confirmed that. They’re 1.5 games out of a playoff spot in Derek Jeter‘s […]Post from: River Ave. Blues A New York Yankees blogScout […]
    Michael Axisa
  • Yankees place Kelly Johnson on 15-day DL, recall Chris Leroux July 23, 2014
    The Yankees have placed Kelly Johnson on the 15-day disabled list with a left groin strain, the team announced. Right-hander Chris Leroux was called up from Triple-A Scranton to replace him on the roster. Bruce Billings was designated for assignment to clear a 40-man spot for Leroux. Johnson left last night’s game with what was […]Post from: River Ave. Blues […]
    Michael Axisa
  • Carlos Beltran resumes throwing program July 23, 2014
    Carlos Beltran started a new throwing program yesterday, Joe Girardi told Chad Jennings. Once he is able to throw without discomfort due to the bone spur in his elbow, the Yankees can resume playing him in right field rather than at DH everyday. Beltran, 37, started a throwing program a few weeks ago but had […]Post from: River Ave. Blues A New York Yankees […]
    Michael Axisa
  • Scouting The Trade Market: Phillies’ Position Players July 23, 2014
    Yesterday we looked at the pitchers the Phillies could offer at the trade deadline, and they have two gems in Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee. Now let’s look at the position players. Philadelphia doesn’t have any impact position players to trade — Chase Utley has already said he would use his no-trade clause to remain […]Post from: River Ave. Blues A New York Yank […]
    Michael Axisa
  • Update: Kelly Johnson heading for MRI on groin injury July 23, 2014
    12:37am: Johnson felt something in his groin and is heading for an MRI. That’s never good. Sounds like he’ll be out a few days at the very least. 10:20pm: Kelly Johnson exited tonight’s game with some sort of injury. He took the field in the top of the 11th before Joe Girardi and the trainer […]Post from: River Ave. Blues A New York Yankees blogUpdate: Kelly […]
    Michael Axisa
  • Headley walks off in 14th, Yanks beat Texas 2-1 July 23, 2014
    Just when I thought these Yankees couldn’t get any worse, they go and do something like this … AND TOTALLY REDEEM THEMSELVES! Seriously, that was the worst best game of the year. I loved it and hated it at the same time. The Yankees won but really, we all still lost in a way. The […]Post from: River Ave. Blues A New York Yankees blogHeadley walks off in 14th […]
    Michael Axisa
  • DotF: Banuelos throws five scoreless innings in Trenton’s loss July 23, 2014
    Two quick notes: IF Scott Sizemore has been transferred from the temporary inactive list to the Triple-A Scranton disabled list, reports Donnie Collins. I’m not sure what’s going on there, but the temporary inactive list usually means the player had to attend to some personal stuff. The Yankees have signed West Virginia 2B Billy Fleming […]Post from: River A […]
    Michael Axisa
  • Game 99: Forget About Last Night July 22, 2014
    The Yankees threw the ball all over the field and looked generally helpless at the plate last night, so they responded today by swinging a trade for third baseman Chase Headley. He might not hit, there’s a chance he just stinks now, but at the very least he will be a huge upgrade at the […]Post from: River Ave. Blues A New York Yankees blogGame 99: Forget Ab […]
    Michael Axisa

Blog Stats

  • 60,276 hits

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: