Based on research with Dr. Jay Granat from our book, "Who Will Win the Big Game? A Mathematical Approach," we quantified championship traits related to sports psychology to study the importance of certain characteristics such as consistency, focus on fundamentals, minimizing errors, defense, leadership, and big game experience. All of the factors mentioned in this article are related to winning about 65% of the time, across all sports, historically.
Big game experience is an important factor in predicting success - across all major sports. This factor goes to the Royals, who appeared in last year's World Series. The Mets last appeared in a World Series in 2000. Edge: Royals.
In a short series, anything can happen, but leadership at the top of your team's pitching staff is a great indication of baseball success in the playoffs. This edge goes to the Mets with their young guns on the mound. Edge: Mets.
The importance of consistency cannot be overlooked in sports. Teams and athletes get into a certain rhythm and execute successfully. In baseball, we found that team batting average, as measured by league rank, is a great indicator of success in the World Series. Interestingly, batting average is a much greater predictor of success than home run power. The Royals were one of the top-rated teams in the American League in terms of batting average, while the Mets were below average. Edge: Royals.
Fielding and the ability to minimize errors is another factor that shows a surprisingly stronger relationship to winning than expected. Both the Royals and Mets were near the top of their respective leagues in terms of fielding during the regular season, but the Royals edge the Mets in this category. Edge: Royals.
The Royals edge the Mets in the sports psychology factors 3-1, so the official quant fact prediction will be on the Kansas City Royals. However, as a long-time Mets fan, my heart will be with the Mets -- as I continue to update my "Mets Meter" - World Series Odds! As a side note, the sports books are calling the 2015 World Series "even" with some making the Mets a very slight favorite.
Carlton Chin, CFA, is a fund manager, MIT-trained quantitative analyst, and co-author of “Who Will Win the Big Game?" He has been quoted by the Wall St. Journal, New York Times, and ESPN -- and worked with the Sacramento Kings on the NBA Draft. Dr. Jay Granat is the owner of StayInTheZone.com and has been named one of America's top mental gurus by Golf Digest.