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Top Ten Moments In Rangers Playoff History (Final 2010 Update)

Here's the final update on the list of the biggest swings for the Rangers in the history of the playoffs in terms of Win Probability Added. Sorry I took so long to post it for anyone that wanted to see how it ended up.

Only one moment made the list in the World Series, but it was a big one. Mitch Moreland's three-run home run in the Rangers lone Series victory served as the third biggest (positive) post-season swing in the history of the franchise, increasing the Rangers raw odds of winning the game by 24%, just barely falling short of Juan Gonzalez's home run in game six of the 1996 ALDS. Had the Rangers gone on to win the World Series, I think there was a good chance Moreland's blast would have been remembered as the most significant hit in Texas Rangers history.

Josh Hamilton's home run to start the ALCS and Dean Palmer's padding home run in the Rangers' first ever playoff win were both tied for 10th going in to the World Series, and were bumped off by Moreland. In future playoff appearances, it will take swings of 14% or more just to get on the list. 7/10 of the list now belong to the 2010 team, though 14% isn't an entirely huge number. That tells you a few things (if you didn't actually watch the games). The first is obvious: this was much more successful than previous playoff appearances. The other is that the Rangers' playoff run didn't have a whole lot of dramatic moments. They won games that weren't particularly close or they lost. Pretty good for the nerves.

So, with that in mind, on one hand I look forward to future moments being added to this list. On the other hand, if they'd like to make another run without many close games, I'd like that, too.

Also, it was really, really fun to write "World Series" when putting together this list.

1.       2010, ALCS Game Game 4: Bengie Molina homers down the left field line with two outs in the top of the sixth, scoring three. The Rangers take a 5-3 lead, jumping their win expectancy to 73%, and they go on to win. 40% WPA

2.       1996, ALDS Game 2: Juan Gonzalez homers to left with two outs in the top of the third, scoring three. The Rangers take a 4-1 lead, jumping their win expectancy to 74%, but they go on to lose. 25% WPA

3.       2010, World Series Game 3: Mitch Moreland homers to right with two outs in the bottom of the second, scoring three. The Rangers take a 3-0 lead, jumping their win expectancy to 79%, and they go on to win. 24% WPA

4.       2010, ALCS Game 6: Vladimir Guerrero doubles to center field with two outs in the bottom of the fifth, scoring two. The Rangers take a 3-1 lead, jumping their win expectancy to 79%, and they go on to win. 23% WPA

5.       1996, ALDS Game 1: Juan Gonzalez homers down the left field line with no outs in the top of the fourth, scoring three. The Rangers take a 3-1 lead, jumping their win expectancy to 71%, and they go on to win. 21% WPA

6.       2010, ALDS Game 3: Ian Kinsler homers to left field with no outs in the bottom of the seventh, scoring one. The Rangers take a 2-1 lead, jumping their win expectancy to 78%, but they go on to lose. 19% WPA

7.       2010, ALCS Game 3: Josh Hamilton homers to right field with one out in the top of the first, scoring two. The Rangers take a 2-0 lead, jumping their win expectancy to 76%, and they go on to win. 16% WPA

8.       2010, ALDS Game 2: Michael Young homers to centerfield with one out in the top of the fifth, scoring three. The Rangers take a 5-0 lead, jumping their win expectancy to 92%, and they go on to win. 15% WPA

9.       2010, ALCS Game 1: Mitch Moreland singles to right field on a ground ball with the bases empty and no outs in the bottom of the ninth. The Rangers are down 6-5 and their win expectancy jumps to 36%, but they go on to lose. 14% WPA

10.   1996, ALDS Game 3: Mickey Tettleton works a walk with no outs and the bases empty in the bottom of the ninth. The Rangers are down 2-3 and their win expectancy jumps to 38%, but they go on to lose. 14% WPA

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.