Welcome to the latest episode of Hot Takedown, FiveThirtyEight’s sports podcast. On this week’s show (Oct. 25, 2016), we preview the World Series. First, we take a look at the Cleveland Indians and ask if credit for their success belongs only to their bullpen. Then, we chat about the Cubs and wonder if they are uniquely built for postseason baseball. We also ask Cubs fan Rob Arthur if he thinks the Cubs’ rotten luck is about to come to an end. Then, it’s NBA time again. We break down FiveThirtyEight’s CARMELO projections for the season and debate whether the Golden State Warriors can live up to their historically high expectations. And to close out the show, we share a significant digit about the WNBA finals.
Also, remember to check the Hot Takedown feed on Thursday for the third installment of our documentary series Ahead Of Their Time. The series looks at coaches and players who did something radical for their era and were later proven right by analytics. The third episode, coming on Thursday, is about the stathead who helped ruin English soccer. You can find the previous two episodes here. Links to what we discuss:
- Rob Arthur says even the data thinks the Cubs may have been cursed.
- Neil Paine writes that all it took for the Cubs to win the pennant was great hitting and pitching.
- Ben Lindbergh at The Ringer thinks the only way to beat Andrew Miller is to avoid him.
- Neil Paine writes that superteams like the Warriors usually underperform their numbers.
- Nate Silver explains what’s new in FiveThirtyEight’s NBA projections this year.
- You can find our CARMELO NBA projections here.
- ESPN’s Kevin Pelton gives us the reasons that we won’t see a Warriors-Cavs rematch this year.
- Significant Digit: 528,000. That was the average viewership figure for Game 5 of the WNBA Finals. More people actually watched Game 1 than the deciding game.