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?

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

  • DotF: Austin and Fowler go deep in wins July 28, 2016
    Got some notes to pass along: The Yankees posted a photo of a bunch of rehabbing players visiting a children’s hospital in Tampa, and the good news is RHP James Kaprielian‘s arm was not in a sling or anything. He went for a second opinion on his elbow a week or two ago and it […] The post DotF: Austin and Fowler go deep in wins appeared first on River Avenue […]
    Mike Axisa
  • Game 101: Suddenly Important July 27, 2016
    The Yankees have gone 11-5 in their last 16 games and suddenly, these games are becoming increasingly important. Both the Red Sox and Blue Jays — the two wildcard teams at the moment — lost earlier today, so a win tonight would bring New York to within three games of the second wildcard spot. They […] The post Game 101: Suddenly Important appeared first on R […]
    Mike Axisa
  • 2016 Trade Deadline Rumors Open Thread: Wednesday July 27, 2016
    The Yankees sure do know how to make things complicated, don’t they? Rather than continue to fade out of the postseason race and into obscurity, the Yankees have gone 11-5 in their last 16 games to climb to within four games of the second wildcard spot. There are still three teams ahead of them, but […] The post 2016 Trade Deadline Rumors Open Thread: Wednes […]
    Mike Axisa
  • The Yankees will soon have to make some decisions about their outfield prospect logjam July 27, 2016
    When the season started, the Yankees were obviously very deep in left-handed hitting outfield prospects at Triple-A and Double-A. That is still the case even after Slade Heathcott was released a few weeks ago. The Yankees not only still have Ben Gamel, Mason Williams, Jake Cave, and Dustin Fowler, they just added another lefty hitting […] The post The Yankee […]
    Mike Axisa
  • As great as he’s been, Yankees shouldn’t consider Beltran a qualifying offer candidate July 27, 2016
    With eleven wins in their last 16 games, the Yankees are a season-high four games over .500 and firmly on the winning side of the ledger. They’ve had a winning record for a grand total of eleven days this season, believe it or not. It would be even fewer than that without Carlos Beltran‘s brilliance. […] The post As great as he’s been, Yankees shouldn’t cons […]
    Mike Axisa
  • Sabathia’s strong start leads Yanks to 6-3 win over Astros July 27, 2016
    Well, if nothing else, at least the Yankees are not going down without a fight this year. They won their third straight game Tuesday night, beat the Astros 6-3 in Houston. I dunno if the Yankees have the talent to climb back into the postseason race, but I’m hoping they at least make things interesting […] The post Sabathia’s strong start leads Yanks to 6-3 […]
    Mike Axisa
  • DotF: Gleyber Torres makes debut with Tampa July 27, 2016
    SS Gleyber Torres has reported to High-A Tampa, the team announced. SS Abi Avelino was promoted to Double-A Trenton to clear a roster spot. Also, OF Jake Skole was released. Triple-A Scranton Game One (3-2 win over Buffalo in eight innings, walk-off style) makeup of yesterday’s rainout CF Ben Gamel: 1-4, 1 K DH Mason […] The post DotF: Gleyber Torres makes d […]
    Mike Axisa
  • Game 100: Can the Yankees get to four games over? July 26, 2016
    Last night the Yankees finally broke through and improved to three games over .500 for the first time this season. Tonight they’re trying to move to four games over .500, which is a bit of a conundrum for #TeamSell. Aroldis Chapman has been dealt and that’s great, but there are others on the roster who […] The post Game 100: Can the Yankees get to four games […]
    Mike Axisa
  • 2016 Trade Deadline Rumors Open Thread: Tuesday July 26, 2016
    Yesterday afternoon the Yankees made their biggest trade in quite some time, sending Aroldis Chapman to the Cubs for Adam Warren and three prospects. One of those prospects, shortstop Gleyber Torres, ranks among the top 25-ish prospects in baseball. It’s a significant haul for a rental reliever, even one as good as Chapman, and it […] The post 2016 Trade Dea […]
    Mike Axisa
  • Guest Post: Adam Warren: The Once and Future Yankee July 26, 2016
    The following is a guest post from longtime reader Tarik Shah, who wrote about new old Yankee Adam Warren. Tarik previously wrote a guest post about the Yankee fandom in his family. Ever since the departure of Robinson Cano to the Pacific Northwest, the Yankees have gotten cute trying to fill the gaping hole in […] The post Guest Post: Adam Warren: The Once […]
    Mike Axisa

Blog Stats

  • 61,858 hits

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: