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Why Winning Game One is So Important in the MLB Playoffs

The Philadelphia Phillies face the St Louis Cardinals in game one of the NLDS today. Every game is a must win in the playoffs but game one truly can be the make or break it game in the MLB playoffs. Don't believe me? Just look at the statistics since 1995 when the wild card playoff format began. Overall in the playoffs just better then 72% of teams that won game one went on to win the series. Teams that won game one and had a better record then their opponent won 79% of the series. Teams that won game one at home won 74.6% of the series. Breaking it down by series, in the division series teams that won game one won 73.4% of the series. When the team had a better regular season record and won game one they won 84.8% of the series. In the League Championship series the team that won game one won 65.6% of the series. Again the team with the better regular season record faired even better as they won 70.6% of the series. The World Series also favors game one winners. 81.3% of game one winners went on to win the fall classic. There was a decline though for the team with the better record as 71.4% went on to win the series. Interestingly enough 88.9% of teams with the inferior record that won game one went on to win the series. 100% of game one winners at home won the series. The morale of the story? Winning game one sets the tone in the MLB playoffs and gives the victorious team a huge statistical advantage. Game one is a must win!

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