It's common sense that winning the first two games of the College World Series puts you in a tremendously advantageous position, needing just one more game to reach the championship series. But what do the numbers say? How possible is it to bounce back from an opening game loss? What are your chances winning the opening game vs. winning the first two games?
Fortunately for you, if you were wondering, my Sunday afternoon was spent enjoying 2 Chainz new album and staring at numbers on my iPad. Here they are:
Of the 20 finalists in the last 10 College World Series, 14 of them won their first two games.
Only five of those 20 finalists made the championship series after winning their first game but dropping their second game. That means the loser of LSU and Oregon State on Monday, by the numbers over the last 10 years, has a 25 percent shot of making it to next week.
But if you're so unfortunate as to lose the opening game, only one of the 20 finalists went on to run off four-straight and make the championship series. That was South Carolina's 2010 squad that eventually took home the title.
If we're looking specifically at the 10 champions since 2007, seven of them were winners in their first two games. Coastal Carolina's 2016 team, the Virginia Cavaliers of 2015 and the aforementioned 2010 Gamecocks are the exception to that rule.
If you're on the wrong side of these numbers after the first round of games here in Omaha, just know that the trend over the last two years is friendly to you. Of the six teams total over the last decade that dropped one of their first two games and still made the finals, three of them came in the last two seasons. Comeback wins are in these days.
To sum it up, baseball is as unpredictable as it gets at this stage, but winning early helps. Still, nothing is impossible. Enjoy it while it lasts.
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