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Sweeping LCS not a historical advantage

Postseason ponderings:

Detroit took the New York Yankees by storm, sweeping them in the ALCS. Now, the Tigers get five days to put their roster in place for the World Series that starts on Wednesday in either St. Louis or San Francisco.

Good news? Maybe, maybe not.

Since the advent of the LCS in 1969, there have been 19 sweeps, including the Tigers this year, and also both the NLCS and ALCS in '69, 1970 and '75.

The 12 others times, a team that swept an LCS wound up winning the World Series only five times.

Past history indicates the quicker the NLCS ends, the better off the Tigers will be. Teams with an excessive edge in time between the end of the LCS and start of the World Series have suffered. The five teams that swept an LCS and won a World Series had three or fewer additional days off between the series than the team that lost the World Series.

On only one occasion did both World Series teams have the same amount of time off, and St. Louis, which swept Atlanta in the NLCS, beat Milwaukee in seven games in the 1982 Fall Classic.

Pittsburgh had one more day off after sweeping Cincinnati in 1979, and then beat Baltimore in seven games in the World Series, and Atlanta had an additional day off before it beat Cleveland in 1995.

Twice, the team that swept the LCS had two additional days off -- Detroit knocking off San Diego in five games in 1984, and Cincinnati sweeping the Yankees in the 1976 World Series.

Detroit, which lost to St. Louis in five games in the 2006 World Series, and the Yankees, which lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers in six games in 1981, both had four additional days off. Baltimore had three more days off than Pittsburgh, but the Orioles lost to the Pirates in 1971, and Kansas City had two additional days off before losing in six games to Philadelphia in 1980.

Excluding 1969, 1970 and '75 when both World Series teams swept the LCS, the five teams to win the World Series after sweeping the LCS did so with homefield advantage three times -- the 1976 Reds, '82 Cardinals and '95 Braves. The '79 Pirates and '84 Tigers won without homefield advantage.

Other than '69, '70 and '75, the team that swept the LCS and lost the World Series had the homefield edge only twice -- Baltimore in '71 and the Yankees in '81.

Tracy Ringolsby is a columnist for