Why Are the Giants and Jets Still Considered Underdogs?
It’s become quite a tradition for late-season favorites to enter the postseason with a sub-.500 record.
But as we inch closer to the October 31 deadline for this season’s playoff field, we’re still seeing a handful of teams make an impressive run in the postseason and enter the season with a number of wins well under.500 despite having the better record.
These include the Los Angeles Dodgers, who entered the 2017 postseason as the second-best team in the National League, but ended up winning the AL pennant with a three-game sweep of the Yankees in the World Series.
While the New York Mets have come into the 2017 postseason with a much-improved pitching staff, the New York Giants and New York Jets are also underdogs entering the postseason.
But why are two of the best teams in the National League and one of the best in the American League both entering the playoffs with a number of wins below.500?
As ESPN Stats & Information’s season review notes, five of the seven teams that won the World Series last season had winning percentages of at least.450, and six of those teams won at least 90 games.
The Giants and Jets have a combined.512 winning percentage, meaning they’ve lost more games than they’ve won. Their combined 8-15 record is tied for the seventh-worst in the National League.
The Giants have the better record, but the Jets have a better record for the second consecutive season. In fact, the Jets’ win total for 2016, including the postseason, is the second-best in the NFL, behind only Seattle.
For that reason, the Giants have an excellent chance of reaching October with a winning record, which would be the first time they’ve gotten that lucky since winning the World Series in 2010.
The Giants have the better pitching staff, and the New York Jets have good weapons on offense. If they can avoid the injuries that have plagued them all season, they have a chance to advance to the playoffs.
The Jets and Giants’ road to October
The Giants made it into the playoffs last year with a 5-18 record. They’ve been a playoff team in every year since the turn of this century, and it’s possible that their recent success is a sign that a team that had been in the cellar for so long is finally taking a step forward.