One thing to remember here is that, like Bean says in the book and the movie, his thing doesn't help in the post-season. The number of games is too small and the teams too well matched for any kind of metric to work except bum luck. The whole Moneyball thing is using metrics to get to the playoffs with a low payroll. There it has proven its worth, over and again.The Oakland Athletics in the postseason since 2001. Oakland's payroll in 2022 was $32MM. The Dodgers were $277MM. Oakland had the second lowest payroll in MLB. In 2020, when they went to the League Division Series, they had the fifth lowest payroll in MLB. They're regularly in the bottom 5 payrolls. But they make the playoffs.
How many teams would kill to make the playoffs this often?
SEASON ROUND OPPONENT SERIES RESULT 2020 League Divisional Series Houston Astros L 1-3 2019 Wild Card Game Tampa Bay Rays L 0-1 2018 Wild Card Game New York Yankees L 0-1 2014 Wild Card Game Kansas City Royals L 0-1 2013 League Divisional Series Detroit Tigers L 2-3 2012 League Divisional Series Detroit Tigers L 2-3 2006 League Championship Series Detroit Tigers L 0-4 2006 League Divisional Series Minnesota Twins W 3-0 2003 League Divisional Series Boston Red Sox L 2-3 2002 League Divisional Series Minnesota Twins L 2-3 2001 League Divisional Series New York Yankees L 2-3
Teams with high payrolls tend not to look as carefully at the metrics during the season; they figure that they have the players and that should be enough. The Braves in 2021 are a good example. When the lineup went South, Snitker began to finally pay attention to what his analysts were telling him. The results were, shall we say, inspiring and apparently convinced the whole clubhouse.
Tech has played Moneyball for decades: Dodd's razzle-dazzle, Fridge's multiple O, Tenuta's aggressive D, Paul's spread option. All had their "gimmicks" that allowed Tech to win with players other teams weren't looking at carefully. Let's hope Key has similar ideas.