Playoff Question: Do Teams With More Recent Experience Win?
I thought I'd take a quick look at this question since it's the best argument against the Tigers going deeper.
In the 2005 World Series, the matchup was between the Chicago White Sox, who had not been to the playoffs since 2000 (corrected), and the Houston Astros, who had taken the Cardinals to Game Seven in the NLCS the year before. But the White Sox, the team with less recent playoff history, swept. In the 2005 ALCS, the White Sox defeated the Angels, who had won the World Series in 2002 and who made the playoffs in 2004. In the 2005 NLCS, the Astros managed to defeat the Cardinals, who had beaten them the year before. In the 2005 ALDS, the White Sox knocked off the defending champs, the Red Sox. In the other ALDS, the Yankees were kayoed by the Angels, despite having gone deeper into the playoffs in 2004 than the Anaheim team. In the NLDS, the teams with more recent playoff success did actually win (St. Louis and Houston).
So at least in 2005 there is little evidence that having been to the playoffs, or even having beaten your playoff opponent, gives one a leg up on this season's playoffs.