More homers equal more wins in '16 postseason

Teams that go deep more than opponents 24-1 in this year's playoffs

More homers equal more wins in '16 postseason

On a cold, damp Wednesday night in Cleveland, not a single ball cleared the outfield wall at Progressive Field as the Cubs beat the Indians, 5-1, in Game 2 of the World Series. In a homer-happy year, it was the first time in 30 postseason games that neither team went deep.

For the most part, however, homers have helped determine success this postseason to an astonishing degree. When one team outhomers the other in these playoffs, it has won 24 of 25 times.

Of course, it's no surprise that hitting more balls out of the ballpark than one's opponent corresponds with victories. That's common sense. But the degree to which that's been true in 2016 stands out in comparison to years past, especially when looking at recent history.

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The Wild Card Era began in 1995, when the postseason expanded to include the Division Series. From then through 2015, the team with more homers in a postseason game came out on top a little less than three-quarters of the time, going 351-125 (.737). That's awfully good, but a step below this year.

Game Date Matchup Highlights
Gm 1 Oct. 25 CLE 6, CHC 0 video
Gm 2 Oct. 26 CHC 5, CLE 1 video
Gm 3 Oct. 28 CLE 1, CHC 0 video
Gm 4 Oct. 29 CLE 7, CHC 2 video
Gm 5 Oct. 30 CHC 3, CLE 2 video
Gm 6 Nov. 1 CHC 9, CLE 3 video
Gm 7 Nov. 2 CHC 8 CLE, 7 (10) video

During that time, the closest comparison to 2016 came in '01. That year, teams with more homers were 16-1 going into the World Series and finished 20-3 after the D-backs took down to the Yankees in seven games.

In just the previous 10 postseasons (2006-15), the club that won the homer competition posted a record of 155-69 (.692), with the best mark 14-3 in 2010. Meanwhile, those teams went a mere 12-10 in '14 and 19-9 last postseason, including 2-2 as the Royals bested the Mets in the World Series.

This postseason began, fittingly, with both the Blue Jays and Giants winning their respective Wild Card Games on home runs that gave them the edge in the long-ball battle. Since then, the Indians and Cubs advanced to the Fall Classic by going a combined 13-0 in the Division Series and Championship Series rounds when outhomering their opponents.

The only exception during these playoffs came in Game 3 of the National League Division Series between the Cubs and Giants at AT&T Park. Jake Arrieta and Kris Bryant went deep for Chicago, but homerless San Francisco won, 6-5, in 13 innings.

These extreme postseason results fit with a regular season in which homers surged upward in dramatic fashion for the second year in a row. When the dust settled, big leaguers had launched 5,610 big flies, the second most in history behind only 2000 (5,693), and a 34 percent increase over '14.

That's something to keep in mind as the World Series shifts to Chicago for tonight's Game 3 and both teams take aim at the Wrigley Field bleachers.

Andrew Simon is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.