By PATRICK GORDON | Managing Editor
November 4, 2015, 2:00 PM EST.
Masayoshi Son is the latest official connected to Japanese baseball to question the validity of America's World Series.
"America isn't the world, so how do they have the World Series," Son said last week. "If the Royals win, we want to do a real World Series with the Japanese champions and the American champion."
Son owns the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks, Japan's most recent baseball champion, but he's also the current chairman of Sprint, which is located in a suburb of Kansas City.
He's surrounded by baseball success and wants to see a true champion.
"Let the best teams play each other," Son said. "Have an ultimate world champion."
Unfortunately, for numerous reasons, such a series isn't going to happen. However, we can look at some comparable statistics and make an educated guess about what would happen if the Royals and Hawks were to play a series.
Over the last few years I've argued that OPS, Run Differential per Game, and WHIP are the three biggest indicators of a winning club. These three stats have a strong correlation to winning percentage.
2015 Kansas City Royals:.512 RDpG, .734 OPS, 1.28 WHIP
2015 Fukuoka Softbank Hawks: 1.12 RDpG, .747 OPS, 1.20 WHIP
On the surface, the Hawks appear to be a much stronger club, but there's some additional notes to think about. First, the quality of play is debatable when comparing Japanese baseball to American. Secondly, the league's are setup differently - the American :League has 15 teams whereas the Pacific League only has six.
About a yer or so ago, I compared the 1951 Tokyo Giants to the 1939 New York Yankees using the methods outlined by Rob Neyer and Eddie Epstein in their Baseball Dynasties text [article here]. Essentially, the text talks about using standard deviations as an indicator of comparable team greatness and dominance.
Lets compare the Hawks and Royals using the standard deviation theory - "la" stands for league average and S.D. for Standard Deviation.
The formula to find S.D. Total:
((Scored - la scored) / S.D.S) + (la allowed - Allowed) / S.D.A))
Using the theorem, it's obvious the Hawks put together a more dominant season. Considering we still can't truly quantify the talent difference between the MLB and NPB, this method is arguably the best to compare clubs from the two leagues.