By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — No sport lends itself to an avalanche of meaningless statistics like baseball. There are so many specific splits in statistics that it can often look like white noise.
But, well, head up, pay attention to this one, because it’s no joke. It may just show how great of a chance the Red Sox have of winning the 2018 World Series, after they beat the Dodgers 8-4 in Game 1.
Here it is: The winner of Game 1 of the World Series has gone on to win the championship 61.9 percent of the time.
You may say that 62 percent is hardly overwhelming. I’d agree.
So try this one on for size: In the last 24 World Series, the winner of Game 1 has won the championship 19 times. That’s a run of 79.2 percent for the Game 1 winners.
Stretching it out a bit longer, 24 of the last 30 Game 1 winners have gone on to win the title. That’s 80 percent.
It works if you shorten the span, too. Twelve of the last 15 (80 percent) World Series winners won Game 1, and 17 of the past 21 (80.9 percent) World Series winners won Game 1.
Included in that run, as you surely remember, was a wild 11-9 Boston win over the Cardinals in Game 1 of the 2004 World Series, a blowout 13-1 win over the Rockies in the 2007 World Series, and a dominant 8-1 victory in 2013 over the Cardinals. Those first two World Series this century led to sweeps for the Red Sox, while the 2013 team managed to overcome consecutive losses in Games 2 and 3 to win the series in six games.
Obviously, what happened in the past won’t help the Red Sox automatically win this series. They still have to take the field and deliver.
But 80 percent represents a trend that is no coincidence. Those odds have the Red Sox in a most-enviable position after a Game 1 win.