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Insider

Odds favor the Red Sox

Here's the bad news for Cardinals fans: Teams that lose the first two games of the World Series generally don't fare too well in the rest of the games. Prior to this season, there were 95 World Series played in the best-of-seven format. In 50 of them, the opponents split the first two games. That leaves 45 World Series in which one team beat the other team twice (and I'm simply ignoring ties, which happened to a few teams back in the Dead Ball Era).

So you've got 45 teams that won the first two games of a World Series. Anybody want to guess how many of them wound up winning the World Series?

Thirty-five of them. Which is roughly 78 percent.

Looking at just the teams that won the first two games at home (as the Red Sox did), it's 24 wins in 31 World Series. Which is roughly 78 percent.

OK, it's actually 77 percent, but I'm trying to make a point: Slightly more than three-fourths of the teams that win the first two games of the World Series eventually win the World Series, and it really doesn't matter if it's the home team or the visiting team that's doing the early winning.