Why the World Series is close in 5 graphs

Five games in, and the scoreboard says the San Francisco Giants are beating the Kansas City Royals three games to two. The games have been tight, with great pitching and timely hitting being the difference.

And, in spite being down 3-2, the stats and the history say the winner will still most likely be the Kansas City Royals.

How?

In an analysis of the past five Major League Baseball champions, including this year’s two participants, the Royals come out ahead on some major statistical categories.

The Royals drove in fewer runs than the Giants during the regular season, but have driven more runs in during the playoffs:

Runs batted in during the regular season and playoffs by recent World Series champions.

Runs batted in during the regular season and playoffs by recent World Series champions.

The Royals have hit more during the regular season than the Giants, but San Francisco hit better heading into the World Series:

Total hits during the regular season and playoffs by recent World Series champions.

Total hits during the regular season and playoffs by recent World Series champions.

The Royals also have a higher team batting average during the regular season and during the playoffs (though, whoever wins will have one of the lowest team batting averages during the regular season of recent champions):

Team batting average during the regular season and playoffs by recent World Series champions.

Team batting average during the regular season and playoffs by recent World Series champions.

The stat that could decide a game during the series is base stealing, and Kansas City led the league during 2014:

Stolen bases over the regular season and playoffs by recent World Series champions.

Stolen bases over the regular season and playoffs by recent World Series champions.

As for pitching, the Royals and Giants both have had tremendous pitching throughout the 2014 season, with the Giants really turning up the heat in the playoffs with a 2.1 earned run average:

Team ERA by recent World Series champions.

Team ERA by recent World Series champions.

One last number: 8 out of the last 10 World Series Champions going home for game 6 down 3-2 ended up winning the series.

Games 6 and 7 are in Kansas City.

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