One City Producing a World Series and Super Bowl Winner

They say you shouldn’t start out an article by insulting your audience’s intelligence, and it’s probably not a great idea to start out by pointing out that you’re about to insult your audience’s intelligence, either, so we’re just breaking rules all over the place. Watch your feet, people, there are rule shards all over the floor!

In any case, this is a baseball website. You know that. I know that. Together we know things! The thing is, this isn’t baseball season. I mean, it is in the sense that it always is — at least in part because of sites like this — but really right now it is football season. They’re having games now and everything. Lots of games and now they’re in the playoffs with only four teams remaining. This gave me thoughts: when was the last time a baseball team and a football team from the same city were both crowned champions in the same year? That depends on how you calculate these things. Oh, before I get into the specifics, figuring out if that can happen this year is what this article is about.

Anyway, as I was saying, it depends on how you calculate these things. The New York Yankees won the World Series in 2008 and the New York Giants won the Super Bowl in 2008 also. Except, the Super Bowl following the 2008 season isn’t played in 2008, it’s played in January of 2009, the following year. That means, in effect, that the 2008 Super Bowl-winning Giants were the champions of the 2007 season, a different year than the 2008 World Series-winning Yankees. Rats. In fact, to find the answer, you have to go further back, to 2004. That year the Red Sox won the World Series and the New England Patriots won the Super Bowl. And just to be certain, the Patriots won the Super Bowl in 2004 following the 2003 season, and in 2005 following the 2004 season. Nice of them. It’s good to be certain. The time before that was 1986 when the Mets won the Series and the Giants won the Super Bowl, though again, that happened in January of 1987. Damn you, complexity! But more to the point: this doesn’t happen often, is what I’m saying

Can that odd confluence of events intertwine again this year? Can baseball’s champion come from the same city (or region) as football’s champion? To figure this out, we first have to know who football’s champion will be. Who is gonna win the Super Bowl? Of course, I have no idea. If I knew that, I’d be a rich, rich man. Or a stupid, stupid man who somehow stumbled upon a bizarre tidbit of the future and then did nothing. What I do know is which teams are still alive and how people who bet actual money are affecting the betting odds. Below are the current lines for Super Bowl 50, according to Bovada. I’ve converted the betting lines into an implied win probability (denoted as aProb%).

Super Bowl Lines and Win Probabilities, 2016
Team Line uProb% aProb%
Patriots 190 34.5% 31.7%
Broncos 400 20.0% 18.4%
Cardinals 375 21.1% 19.3%
Panthers 200 33.3% 30.6%
Total 108.9% 100.0%
SOURCE: Bovada
uProb% denotes unadjusted win probability, including vigorish
aProb% denotes adjusted win probability, adjusted to remove vigorish

You’ll notice the Kansas City Chiefs aren’t on that list. So it looks like another season without dueling winners from the same city. Booo! The end.

But wait! Let’s maybe junk the season idea. What about if we go back to the letter of the law, namely two teams both winning their respective titles during the 2016 calendar year? It’s not like that’s any more common than the other way and we can’t do the other way, so let’s cheat a bit and try this. It is prediction and projection season, after all. And while we don’t know the Super Bowl winner yet, we can get pretty close.

I hope we were all being good little bloggers and wearing pants so we can put those earlier percentages in our back pockets for later. Next, here’s a list of the geographically equivalent baseball teams and what Vegas says about their chances of winning the 2016 World Series.

World Series Lines and Win Probabilities
Team Line uProb% aProb%
Cubs 400 20.0% 15.1%
Giants 600 14.3% 10.8%
Red Sox 900 10.0% 7.5%
Nationals 1400 6.7% 5.0%
Dodgers 1400 6.7% 5.0%
Blue Jays 1600 5.9% 4.4%
Royals 1600 5.9% 4.4%
Mets 1800 5.3% 4.0%
Astros 1800 5.3% 4.0%
Cardinals 1800 5.3% 4.0%
Pirates 2000 4.8% 3.6%
D-backs 2000 4.8% 3.6%
Rangers 2000 4.8% 3.6%
Yankees 2000 4.8% 3.6%
Tigers 2500 3.8% 2.9%
Indians 3300 2.9% 2.2%
Angels 3300 2.9% 2.2%
White Sox 3300 2.9% 2.2%
Mariners 4000 2.4% 1.8%
Orioles 5000 2.0% 1.5%
Twins 5000 2.0% 1.5%
Marlins 7500 1.3% 1.0%
Rays 7500 1.3% 1.0%
Athletics 7500 1.3% 1.0%
Brewers 10000 1.0% 0.7%
Reds 10000 1.0% 0.7%
Padres 10000 1.0% 0.7%
Phillies 10000 1.0% 0.7%
Braves 15000 0.7% 0.5%
Rockies 15000 0.7% 0.5%
Total 132.5% 100.0%
SOURCE: Bovada
uProb% denotes unadjusted win probability, including vigorish
aProb% denotes adjusted win probability, adjusted to remove vigorish

Sadly, there isn’t a team in the Carolinas yet, so the Panthers’ success really isn’t helping us. We don’t even have to do the math here. Clearly, Boston is the winner, in that it is the most likely city to celebrate two championships in the same calendar year. But let’s do it anyway.

Patriots / Red Sox
31.7% x 7.5% = 2.4%

Cardinals / D-backs
19.3% x 3.6% = 0.7%

Broncos / Rockies
18.4% x 0.5% = 0.1%

So the Red Sox/Patriots are the most likely, about three times as likely, to win both championships. That said, even though we’re in this advanced age of the NFL season, the chances that both Boston teams win still remain pretty weak. But the question here wasn’t who will it happen to, but what are the chances that it happens at all. So, to learn that, we have to add it all up! When we do that we get about 3.2%. You might even say it should be slightly higher than that if you really believe in the Diamondbacks and think they have a good shot at making the playoffs. So, in other words, if you are Dave Stewart.

So, in the end, the sun sets on another FanGraphs article and some small portion of your life is gone, never to return. I’m sorry. Perhaps you’ll rest more easily knowing there’s about a 3% chance that something weird and inconsequential will happen. I hope so.

Also, good gosh, Vegas thinks very little of the Rockies. If you put $100 down on the Rockies and they do win the World Series you’ll win $15,000. Of course, if you put $100 down on the Rockies, what will happen is that they won’t win anything and you won’t have $100 any more. But still, $15,000!

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6 years ago

The Yankees won the World Series in 2009, not 2008.