Close World Series Score


If you note any errors or have constructive comments, please e-mail me
World Series         League Championship Series         Division Series         Wild-card play-in         Tiebreakers

I've computed to "closeness" of a World Series or Playoff by looking at the lead at the end of each inning, and adding these up for each game.
For example, if the runs scored during the game were

000 010 200
000 000 011
The the leads were 0,0,0,   0,1,1,   3,2,1. These add to 8.
Extra innings are ignored, they are automatically deemed "close", and the runs scored at the end are assumed to be canceled out by the tension of the entry into extra innings. The scores for each game are added to provide a score for the series.

I was going to call this the NailBiting Count (NBC), but realized that the current network broadcasting the World Series might not like that, so I randomly settled on Figure Of eXcitement (FOX) over other random choices such as Close Baseball Score and Anxious Baseball Count.

Through the 2002 World Series:
The average score was 19.32.
In 4 game series, the average was 19.38
In 5 game series, the average was 16.03
In 6 game series, the average was 19.27
In 7 game series, the average was 20.80
In 8 game series, the average was 19.00
In the 4 game series the averages scores for games 1,2,3,4 were 20.5, 22.7, 18.7, 15.7
In the 5 game series: 12.0, 16.5, 19.7, 14.3, 17.7
In 6 game series: 20.1, 19.9, 13.2, 18.9, 23.0, 20.5
In 7 game series: 21.1, 20.4, 20.9, 21.5, 19.3, 22.5, 20.0.

The 2011 World Series was the fourth to start with two games under ten (6 and 3). The other series were 1915, 1949, and 1950. The 2011 Series had 4 games below 10, matching 1915, 1995, 2001 for second place behin 1952 (6 games).
2005 World Series games: 11 10 12 2, total 35.
The closest four game sweep ever.
2004 World Series games: 22 30 24 23, total 99.
The last five sweeps have been five of the seven least close sweeps. 2003 World Series games: 8 46 9 17 28 9, Total 117.
2002 World Series games: 8 16 36 9 60 11 21, Total 161.
The last time the first two games were this close was 1995, the "closest" six game series ever.
2001 World Series games: 52 17 6 3 8 99 3
This was the only series with two games >= 50 and four games <10.

The scores are arranged by number of games in the series, and then sorted by the total score.

World Series


      4 GAMES                          5 GAMES
Year  G1 G2 G3 G4  Total       Year  G1 G2 G3 G4 G5  Total
2005  11 10 12  2    35        1915   8  5  2  9 12    36
1914  27  1  1 11    40        1941  10  9  2 11 14    46
1950   6  3  5 28    42        1943  11 17 14  5  8    55
1939   2 27 24  3    56        1922   5 10 17 15  9    56
1966  25 23  5  6    59        2000   4 31  7 10  6    58
1938  13 11 13 26    63        1942  15 17  8 20  7    67
2012  41  5 16  4    66        1949   1  8  2 17 39    67
1976  18 13 25 14    70        1974   9 14 17 15 12    67
1927  12 20 34  5    71        1929   4 28  9 17 11    69
1963  35 25  9  5    74        1983   7 14 11  8 32    72
1954   4 12 34 25    75        1907   6 12 27 16 17    78
1998  18 59  6  8    91        1905  11 11 45  6  7    80
1932  33 21 15 24    93        1969  24  4 31  7 14    80
1999  10 50 15 21    96        1908  20 11 23 15 14    83
1928  20 42 20 16    98        1933  25 23 29  3  8    88
2004  22 30 24 23    99        1913  10  0 43 23 18    94
1990  47  8 36  9   100        1988  14 41  3 12 25    95
1989  37 26 38 34   135        2006  33 22 20  9 11    95 
2007  84  8 32 12   136        1984   9 17 29 23 20    98
                               2010  28 22 24 19  6    99
                               2008  13 29 10 36 12   100
                               1970   9 19 35 11 32   106
                               1910  24 28 43  7 14   116
                               1961  10 13  6 28 60   117
                               1937  27 31 30 36 11   135


         6 GAMES                           7 GAMES
Year  G1 G2 G3 G4 G5 G6  Total   Year  G1 G2 G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 Total
1995   6  7 15  9 15  4   56     1952   9 26  7  8  5  4  7   66
1918   6 23  7 10 11  8   65     1972   7 14  3  5 11 25 10   75
1992  10 12  3  8 26  7   66     1962  11 12  7 20  7 21  5   83
1948   2 15 13 13 27  7   77     1991  20  7 10  3 38 10  0   88
1980  16  9  3 31  7 21   87     1925  14  5  7 28 12  8 20   94
1917   8 30 12 18 19  9   96     1975  18  7 14 12 21 11 11   94
1944  11  7 26 34  6 14   98     1924   9 19 20 23 15  9  6  101
1911   5  9  6 17 16 50  103     1964  18 12  4 20  8 19 22  103
1981  31  9 11 14  8 30  103     2011   6  3 37 21  9  7 20  103
1935  19 46 15  5 16  5  106     1926   4 12 23 27  4 39  9  118
2003   8 46  9 17 28  9  117     1979  29  5 28 20 17 10  9  118
1906   5 34 12  3 18 46  118     1947  17 34 24 10  7 17 15  124
2009  16  9 21 11 33 30  120     1973   8 14 12 39 12 16 28  129
1916  13  2 12 24 51 19  121     1957  10 12 50 18  4  9 30  133
1930  11 36 19 14  2 45  127     1971  14 54 19  5 28  8  6  134
1936  14 57  5 23  8 20  127     1986   3 25 37 22 22  8 21  138
1953  30 10  4 33 34 21  132     1956  23 27  7 24 10  0 50  141
1993  14 20 41 21 17 21  134     1958   4 65 16  9 31  4 13  142
1977   6 35 17 14 46 26  144     1955  10 13 33 20 19 39 10  144
1978  45  9 16  5 48 24  147     1946   5 17 29 47 20 20  9  147
1923   9 13  3 54 57 13  149     1967   3 19 24 50  8 20 29  153
1959  79 14  6 18  6 33  156     1931  24 11 27 17 17 28 30  154
1951  22 16 30 22 62 14  166     1997  25 23 13 45 15 23 10  154
1996  80 25 15 26  6 14  166     1920  19 21 12 30 58  4 14  158
                                 1985   8 12 24 20 27  2 67  160
                                 2002   8 16 36  9 60 11 21  161
                                 1934  31  8 26 15 13  7 63  163
                                 1919  39 16 22 10  9 22 48  166
                                 1987  51 36  7 31 11 26  9  171
                                 1965  45 12 21 27 44 21 12  182
                                 1945  63 16 15 20 14 14 43  185
                                 1982  41  7 18 28 16 67  9  186
                                 1940  52 18 15 22 49 24  7  187
				 2001  52 17  6  3  8 99  3  188
                                 1909  17 33 41 34 19 14 42  200
                                 1968  21 28 18 46 18 90  9  230
                                 1960  26 60 78  8 17 61 22  272

             8 GAMES
Year  G1 G2 G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8  Total 
1921  18 10 24  7 14 23  5  9   110
1912  12 14 12 12 11 29 58  4   152
1903  45 14 16 15 34 25 29 16   194

Only three series have had two or more games scoring 50 or above: 1960 had 3, and 1923 and 2001 had 2 such games.
Series with 3 games below 10:
6: 1952
4: 1915 (5 game series), 1995(6 game series), 2001, 2011
3: 7 Game series: 1924, 1925, 1926, 1958, 1962, 1991
6 Game series: 1911, 1918, 1980, 1992, 2000, 2003
5 Game series: 1949
4 Game series: 1950

Series games with FOX >=50:
2001  G6  99
1968  G6  90
2007  G1  84
1996  G1  80
1959  G1  79
1960  G3  78
1982  G6  67
1985  G7  67
1958  G2  65
1934  G7  63
1945  G1  63
1951  G5  62
1960  G6  61
1960  G2  60
1961  G5  60
2002  G5  60  Giants 16 Angels 4
1998  G2  59
1920  G5  58
1936  G2  57
1923  G5  57
1923  G4  54
1971  G2  54
1940  G1  52
2001  G1  52
1916  G5  51
1987  G1  51
1911  G6  50
1967  G4  50
1999  G2  50

League Championship Series

                Best of Five
          3 games                   4 games
Year      G1 G2 G3 Total  Year      G1 G2 G3 G4 Total
1970 NLCS  0 10  6  16    1974 ALCS 22 16  6  7  51
1976 NLCS 14 19  6  39    1971 NLCS 11 25  6 17  59
1969 ALCS  5  0 35  40    1977 NLCS 17 31  5 20  73
1980 ALCS 21 11  8  40    1978 NLCS 28 19 24  3  74
1971 ALCS 16 16 12  44    1983 ALCS 10 22 43  0  75
1979 NLCS  2  6 41  49    1978 ALCS 27 39  7  5  78
1984 ALCS 34 14  8  56    1983 NLCS  9 13 30 37  89
1975 ALCS 31 15 15  61    1979 ALCS  4 51  8 35  98
1982 NLCS 29  9 32  70    1974 NLCS  9 15 59 51 134
1969 NLCS 12 39 20  71
1975 NLCS 34 31  7  72
1981 ALCS 22 48  7  77
1970 ALCS 26 18 36  80


          5 games
Year      G1 G2 G3 G4 G5 Total
1980 NLCS 10  4  0  8  8  30
1972 ALCS  1 29 14  4  7  55
1981 NLCS 21 20 14  9  5  69
1976 ALCS 18 16 19 22 11  86
1973 ALCS 41  7  6 18 19  91
1972 NLCS 28 23  8 32 10 101
1973 NLCS  7 10 54  4 29 104
1977 ALCS 36 17 25 13 17 108
1982 ALCS 33 19 18 38  7 115
1984 NLCS 77 19 29  7 24 156

                  Best of Seven
      4 games                      5 games
Year  G1 G2 G3 G4  Total      Year  G1 G2 G3 G4 G5  Total
1988 ALCS  5  3 20 16  44     2002 NLCS 33 18  8 13  2  74 
1995 NLCS  5  5 15 22  47     1987 ALCS 13 23 15  9 19  79
1990 ALCS 12  6 16 23  57     1996 ALCS  7  9 16 16 34  82
2012 ALCS  8  7 10 41  66     2005 ALCS  9  5 31 35  7  87
2007 NLCS 25  5 15 25  70     2002 ALCS  6 29  7 15 31  88
2006 ALCS 30 18 23 13  84     1989 ALCS 17 18 19 17 18  89
                              1991 ALCS 23 18  9 29 16  95
                              2001 NLCS 14 21 23 30  7  95
                              1989 NLCS 39 49  6 14  7 115
                              2001 ALCS 15 12 44  2 47 120
                              1999 ALCS  7  6 72 13 24 122
                              2008 NLCS 11 27 48 13 25 124
                              2009 NLCS 10  6 68 11 36 131
                              2000 NLCS 24  8 38 35 48 153

          6 games                            7 games
Year      G1 G2 G3 G4 G5 G6 Total  Year      G1 G2 G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 Total
1997 ALCS 23  8  2 12 14  0  59                                  2004 NLCS  21 11 14 12  3  9 15  85
1990 NLCS 11  9 18  8 13  7  66    2003 ALCS 19 22 12  8 18 15 18 112
2010 NLCS  5 21 17 10 11  6  70    1985 ALCS 42  7  9  5 17  9 29 113
1999 NLCS 13 11  9  4  6 29  72    1991 NLCS 28  4 42  5  5  1 32 117
1998 NLCS  3  6 11 20 16 20  76    2006 NLCS  8 11 42 30  9 19  3 122
2005 NLCS 29 13 10  3 10 22  87    1987 NLCS 12 26 22 12 18  8 40 138
1986 NLCS  8 24 21 19  0 24  96    2008 ALCS  7  7 40 56 28 11 11 160
1995 ALCS  9 15  7 53  7 11 102    1988 NLCS 11 33 16 14 17 25 49 165
2000 ALCS  9 17 19 19 24 18 106    1986 ALCS 37 26 11  5 12 41 49 181
2009 ALCS 21  5  8 30 27 15 106    2003 NLCS 11 72  7 47 15 20 19 191
1993 ALCS 17 12 34 13 26  9 111    2004 ALCS 39 15 52  8 10 19 52 195
2011 ALCS 12  8 17  7 17 62 123    2012 NLCS 16 29 10 32 26 39 57 209
1997 NLCS 21 45 12 26  4 22 130    2007 ALCS 45  6 20 23 19 71 31 215
1993 NLCS  5 61 23  8 13 21 131    1992 NLCS 26 53  5 12 48 77 12 233
1992 ALCS 16 12  8 25 31 49 141    1996 NLCS  9 20 11  9 88 13 96 246
1998 ALCS 50  3 29 22 19 34 157
2011 NLCS 20 47 13 12 33 40 165
2010 ALCS 30 39 24 19 36 27 175 
1985 NLCS 15 38 25 80  7 14 179 




Division Series

NLDW and ALDW are the series involving wild-card teams.
NLDS and ALDS are the series involving division winners.
          3 games                     4 games
Year      G1 G2 G3 Total    Year      G1 G2 G3 G4 Total
1997 NLDW  1  8 14  23      2008 ALDW  9 19  3  7  38
2000 ALDW  7 14  3  24      1998 NLDS  5 16  4 14  39
2009 ALDS 24  2  6  32      2010 NLDW  6 25  8  7  46
1996 NLDW  1  7 28  36      2003 NLDW  8 17 10 13  48
1996 NLDS 23  9 13  45      2009 NLDW 21 15  6 10  52
1998 NLDW 30  3 13  46      1996 ALDS 25 10  8 11  54
1981 ALDW 20  6 22  48      1995 NLDW  6 14  9 32  61
2001 NLDS 13  8 27  48      1999 NLDS 11 14 11 25  61
2007 NLDW 16 30  4  50      2004 ALDS 11  6 33 15  65
2009 ALDW 21  9 20  50      2006 NLDS 23 12 16 16  67
1998 ALDS 16 15 20  51      2000 NLDW 30  7  6 28  71
2006 ALDS 13  9 30  52      1996 ALDW 31 14 19  8  72
2009 NLDS 18  5 30  53      2002 ALDW 11 14 19 28  72
2006 NLDW 12 18 25  55      2003 ALDS 14 13 16 33  76
1995 ALDS  8 14 35  57      2008 ALDS 17 16 17 26  76
2010 ALDW 17 10 34  61      1997 ALDW 33 21 12 15  81
2007 ALDS 30  8 25  63      1999 NLDW 12 30 36  3  81
2007 NLDS  8 34 23  65      2011 ALDW 56 16  7 11  90
2004 ALDW 41  9 16  66      1998 ALDW 47 31  7  6  91
2010 NLDS 33 19 14  66      2005 NLDW 18 37 19 21  95
1999 ALDS 36  6 27  69      2008 NLDW 20 30 22 34 106 
1997 NLDS 12 42 22  76      2006 ALDW 27  8 35 38 108
2002 NLDW 27 38 12  77      2007 ALDW 49  5 27 30 111
1995 NLDS 42  5 39  86      2004 NLDS 43 24 24 22 113
2008 NLDS 22 48 21  91      
2005 ALDW 72 17  7  96      
2005 NLDS 42 27 36 105      
2000 NLDS 31 46 31 108      

          5 games
Year      G1 G2 G3 G4 G5 Total
2012 ALDW  8 10  4  2 10  34
1981 NLDW  3  0 26  7 15  51
1981 ALDE 11  7  7  8 19  52
1995 ALDW 18  3 18 18  5  62
2003 ALDW 10 33  4  8  8  63
2012 ALDS 12  2 14 10 26  64
2001 NLDW  5 24 11 22  5  67
2001 ALDW 13  7  5 36 13  74
2003 NLDS 13  9 18 13 22  75
2011 NLDW 35 16  5 15  9  80 
1981 NLDE 14 20 20 14 14  82
2005 ALDS 31 11 25  4 19  90
2012 NLDS 17 36  2 24 15  94
2000 ALDS 13 13 11 41 25 103
2011 ALDS 29 23 10 30 15 107
2010 ALDS 31 33  8 22 14 108
1997 ALDS 28 28 32  9 13 110
2004 NLDW 33 11 21 13 35 113
2012 NLDW  8 42 44  2 29 125
2011 NLDS 14 28 43 37  5 127
2002 NLDS 42  6 22 47 13 130
2002 ALDS 20 58 18 48  8 152
2001 ALDS 24 38 77 12 12 163
1999 ALDW  7 65 21 99 15 207

2009 had the lowest average closeness scores of any set of division series.
2011 404/19G -> 21.3     2010 281/15G -> 18.7
2009 187/13G -> 14.4     2008 311/15G -> 20.7
2007 289/13G -> 22.2     2006 282/14G -> 20.1
2005 386/15G -> 25.7     2004 357/16G -> 22.3
2003 262/18G -> 14.6     2002 431/17G -> 25.4
2001 352/18G -> 19.6     2000 306/15G -> 20.4
1999 418/16G -> 26.1     1998 227/14G -> 16.2
1997 290/15G -> 29.3     1996 207/14G -> 14.8
1995 266/15G -> 17.7

Wild Card play-in

2012 AL Orioles at Rangers     9
2012 NL Cardinals at Braves   17

Tiebreakers

1946 Cardinals and Dodgers  16  28
1948 Indians at Red Sox     24
1951 Giants and Dodgers     10  45  10
1959 Dodgers and Braves      6  15
1962 Giants and Dodgers     40   9  11
1978 Yankees at Red Sox     10
1980 Astros at Dodgers      44
1995 Angels at Mariners     24
1998 Giants at Cubs         17
1999 Mets at Reds           34
2007 Padres at Rockies       9
2008 Twins at WhiteSox       3
2009 Tigers at Twins         8
If you note any errors or have constructive comments, please e-mail me