Arthur: Three key variables that affect the Cubs’ playoff hopes

From SABR member Rob Arthur at The Athletic on September 20, 2016:

Oakland A’s president Billy Beane famously said that what happens in the playoffs is mostly luck. That’s not all true, but there’s no secret sauce that can explain postseason performance, either. Still, October baseball is a little different from the rest of the year. Because of when it takes place, the postseason tournament features colder temperatures. And because of the short-series format and the requirements to get in the game, October baseball is home to some of the highest-velocity and most impressive pitching of any time in the season.

So while I can’t say for sure how the Cubs will do when the playoffs start, I can get a hint by looking at how they fare under the slightly different conditions that October brings. I’ll examine three factors on the offensive side: how the Cubs do when the weather cools down, against the highest-velocity fastballs and against the best starting pitchers.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: September 20, 2016. Last Updated: September 20, 2016.