Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals fans, your teams had great seasons this year. The Sox and the Cardinals each finished with 97 wins, tops in MLB. And while it seems like these one of these two clubs has the best shot to win the World Series, odds are they won't.

According to a study completed by researchers at Harvard, baseball fans looking forward to this year's MLB playoffs should be expecting one thing -- the unexpected.

Julian Ryan and Barrett Hansen of the Harvard Sports Analysts Collective write that, of the four major North American sports, the MLB champ is the "least deserving postseason winner."

They came to that conclusion after studying every MLB, NHL, NBA and NFL champion since 1995. In that timeframe, only three times has the MLB team with the best regular-season record gone on to win the World Series (the 1998 New York Yankees, the 2007 Boston Red Sox and the 2009 New York Yankees). In fact, more wild-card teams (five) have gone on to win the World Series. They are the Marlins (1997 and 2003), Angels (2002), Red Sox (2004) and Cardinals (2011).

Here's an excerpt from the study. The full report can be seen here:

"As we expected, the NBA seems to produce postseason champions most aligned with regular season performance. The long format of the seven-game series and reduced likelihood of upsets on account of the high number of possessions have resulted in the best regular season team winning eight of the nineteen possible championships."

"Vividly remembering the LA Kings' and Baltimore Ravens' unlikely triumphs, we naively assumed that the NFL and the NHL would battle it out for last spot. However, our analysis revealed that the MLB most consistently produces champions most disparate from their regular season performance. What is remarkable is just how bad the MLB playoffs really are. Owing to the length of its 162 game season, one might think that regular season performance would actually be a fairly good indicator – better, for example, than in the NFL where strength of schedule can have a huge impact – of the overall quality of a team. Given this fairly reasonable assumption, if you chose the eight best regular season teams, or even eight of the top ten because you require four from each league, and then just asked each team to draw straws to determine the World Series, the average winning team would be better determined than by the current system. Only three times has the best team from the regular season ended up winning the World Series."

Look on the bright side, baseball fans, at least that means there's a little more intrigue in October. Meanwhile almost any casual basketball observer could have predicted that the Miami Heat would make the NBA Finals last season.

(H/T to For The Win)

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It's well-established that Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are the best two quarterbacks of their generation. And when it comes to how the future Hall of Famers stack up against each other, by most measures Brady wins out.

And now a new metric suggests that Brady is the best quarterback of this era, and perhaps any era.

With the Patriots' win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, Brady notched his 139th win. That makes him the first quarterback in NFL history to have 100 more wins than losses:

Brady's regular-season winning percentage (.780) was already the highest among any quarterback ever. He is followed by Roger Staubach (.746), Joe Montana (.713) and Manning (.692).

Brady can attribute his superb winning percentage to a few factors: Longevity (he has started at least 14 games in all but one of the past 12 years) and an incredible run of success (the Patriots have won double-digit games ever year since 2003).

Manning has 157 wins and 70 losses, so to catch Brady he would have to rack up 13 more victories than defeats over the duration of his career. Not impossible by any means, but it would require the Broncos to maintain their high level of play this year and the next.

Other than Manning, no active quarterback is even close to Brady's mark. Here's a look at the top six:

1. Tom Brady, 139-39
2. Peyton Manning, 157-70
3. Ben Roethlisberger, 87-42
4. Philip Rivers, 71-44
5. Drew Brees, 102-70
6. Eli Manning, 78-60

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New York Giants fans know that they should not be fooled by their team's slow starts under coach Tom Coughlin. Big Blue has lost its first game each of the past three years, and in 2007, when the Giants went on to upset the Patriots in the Super Bowl, New York started 0-2.

But this year is different.

At 0-3, the Giants are off to their worst start since 1996. The defense has surrendered at least 36 points in each of the team's first three games, and the offense has struggled to match its high-scoring opponents. On Sunday, New York put in one of its worst performances in recent memory, getting shut out by the Carolina Panthers, 38-0. It was the worst loss in Coughlin's 10-year tenure with the team.

After the game star receiver Victor Cruz said "everything went wrong" for the Giants, and in an interview Tuesday he spoke passionately about the team's struggles.

"We play this game to win, and nothing else," Cruz told ThePostGame. "That's what we want to do, and now being 0-3 there's nothing fun about that. We have to come into this practice, come into this work week ready to go and be focused on getting this victory."

There are significant problems on both sides of the ball for New York, most notably a porous offensive line and a weak front seven. The Giants have surrendered 11 sacks through three games, with seven of those coming to the Panthers. The defense is allowing 129.3 rushing yards per game and giving up a league-worst average of 38.3.

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ThePostGame recently caught up with the Brooklyn Nets star and two-time Olympic gold medalist as he gears up for his charity dodgeball game, Dodge Barrage.


ThePostGame: I know you have the Dodge Barrage this week and Skylanders Giants is involved. How are they helping out, and how did you and your kids get into the game?
DERON WILLIAMS: [Skylanders Giants] is one of the sponsors of the event. It’s funny because I went into my agency and they had a box of what I thought were little action figures. I was like, "Can I have this for my kids?"

So I took it home and opened it up and there was a game in there as well. My kids saw it and wanted to play it. You plug in the USB to the portal and you set the little action figures on the portal. My kids thought it was the coolest thing ever and they were playing it for hours. It’s just a game they really enjoy playing.

TPG: This has been a really exciting summer for you. Over the offseason the Nets added two future Hall of Fame players as well as a new coach, Jason Kidd. What was your reaction when you heard that Jason Kidd would be your new coach?
WILLIAMS: I was excited. I think that he’s a young guy who didn’t have a lot of experience, but what he lacks in experience he makes up for in IQ and just understanding of the basketball game.

He went out and got a great staff behind him and I’m definitely excited about playing for him and getting to learn from him. He’s one of the best point guards to ever play the game, a guy I grew up emulating and trying to watch. So now I get to learn from him day in and day out. It’s going to be great for me.

TPG: What are you most looking forward to about working with Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry?
WILLIAMS: Everything. I’m looking forward to playing with them, getting to know them and just learning from them. They’re three guys that all have a championship.

I’m excited to learn about leadership about just being a professional.

TPG: You recently got together some of your teammates in L.A. for workouts. What was your takeaway from those sessions?

WILLIAMS: It was great. We had a great four days out there. We were able to work out together. More importantly we got to know each other and build some chemistry.

Training camp in the NBA is so short, it’s five, six days and then you're playing preaseason games. So I think any extra time you can be around each other and get to know each other is great.

TPG: The Hall of Fame induction was Sept. 8 and Gary Payton said he enjoys watching you play because you have the same mentality as him. What's that like to hear coming from a Hall of Famer?
WILLIAMS: It means a lot. Jason Kidd and Gary Payton were my two favorite point guards growing up. Two different styles, two big point guards. For Gary to say that about me, it means a lot.

I respect him a lot as a player and as a person.

TPG: The league has become stacked with stellar point guards. Can you remember another time in your career when there have been this many superstar point guards?
WILLIAMS: I feel they’ve said that to me every year since I’ve gotten into the NBA (laughs). Since I’ve been in the NBA there have been great point guards. There are definitely a lot of young ones right now, around that 22-25 age.

TPG: Last year you got to be a centerpiece of a team in transition. New city, new stadium, new uniforms, etc. Looking back on the past season, how did that experience compare to what you thought it would be?
WILLIAMS: It was great. It was one of those things where you go in blind. When I re-signed I bought into the Brooklyn idea, but at the same time I didn’t know what it was really going to be like. And it was a great experience, starting a franchise, opening a new area. There’s a lot of excitement around the building and the team. I’m enjoying the ride and hopefully it continues to get better this year.

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In June, we introduced you to Brandon Todd, a former college basketball player who has developed a special workout system designed to turn non-dunkers into dunkers.

Todd's personal story is the greatest testimonial for the effectiveness of the regimen: He is 5-foot-5, and he can jam.

Here is a trailer from the film titled Five/Five:

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