Monthly Archives: June, 2012

Milwaukee Brewers: History says playoffs not in the cards this year

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published daily that focuses on stats that go beyond the numbers.

Milwaukee Brewers

Milwaukee Brewers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If history has anything to say about the chances of the Brewers making the playoffs this year, there is a slim to zero chance it is going to happen. In the two recent years that the Brewers did make the playoffs (2008 and 2011) both teams were above .500 at the All-Star break.

The Brewers are currently 34-42, eight games under .500. They have nine more games on the schedule until the All-Star break and could run off a streak of nine straight wins to get above .500 before the break. But even then, the chances of a playoff run are not looking good… again, based on history.

Since 1995, the Brewers have been at least one game above .500 at the All-Star break in six seasons and at .500 in one other season. They have been at least one game under .500 in the other ten seasons. Here are the six seasons when they were above .500 at the All-Star break and how they finished that season.

Year, games above .500 at the break, end of season

2007: +10 (finished in second place, did not make playoffs)

2008: +9 (finished in second place, made playoffs as the Wild Card)

2011: +6 (finished in first place, made playoffs)

2004: +4 (finished in sixth place, did not make playoffs)

2009: +2 (finished in third place, did not make playoffs)

1998: +1 (finished in fifth place, did not make playoffs)

In the 10 seasons where the Brewers were under .500 at the All-Star break, the team finished third four times; finished the season in fourth place three times; finished fifth on one occasion; and was sixth at the end of the year twice.

If we look at all of major league baseball since 2000, we discover that of the 96 teams that made the playoffs in the last 12 years, only two teams made the playoffs in a season where they were under .500 at the All-Star break. The two: The Dodgers in 2008, who were three games under .500; and the 2003 Twins, who were five games under .500 that year.

There were six other playoff teams since 2000 that were at .500 at the All-Star break. That means that 88 of the 96 playoff teams (91.7 percent) were above .500 at the All-Star break. Taking it a step further, 56 of those 96 playoff teams (58.3 percent) were at least 10 games above .500 at the break.

Here’s a quick look at the teams since 2000 that were either at or below .500 at the All-Star break yet made the playoffs that year.

Team, Year, All-Star break

Minnesota, 2003: Five games under .500

L.A. Dodgers, 2008: Three games under .500

N.Y. Yankees, 2007: At .500

Colorado, 2007: At .500

Philadelphia, 2007: At .500

Houston, 2004: At .500

Chicago Cubs, 2003: At .500

St. Louis, 2001: At .500

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Milwaukee Bucks: Success and failure of previous drafts

Dirk Nowitzki

Dirk Nowitzki (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published daily that focuses on stats that go beyond the numbers.

Considering that the University of Kentucky and the University of North Carolina had one-sixth of the 60 collegiate players drafted in yesterday’s NBA draft, it’s not surprising that the Bucks decided to select one player from each of those schools for their two 2012 draft choices. North Carolina’s John Henson was the team’s first round selection and Kentucky’s Doron Lamb was the second round choice.

It will be some time before we can determine if these selections were the right choices, or if these players were worthy of being chosen among the 60 picks. Like many NBA teams, the Bucks have had their share of hits and misses with the draft. For some drafts, a player chosen spends a good portion of their career with the team that selected them; for others, a player may be drafted by a team and find success in the league with another team after a trade or after departing via free agency.

In the Bucks 44-year history, they have chosen a handful of college players in the draft who have gone on to have great NBA careers. Some have had long careers in Milwaukee, others had only a short stay with the club, and others were drafted and never put on a Bucks uniform.

Using points scored as a measuring stick, here’s a look at the players who had the most success in the NBA after being drafted by the Bucks. Following are the players drafted by the Bucks who scored 10,000 or more points in their NBA career.

Player, NBA career points (draft year by Bucks)

Lew Alcindor, 38,387 (first round, first overall pick of 1969)

Alex English, 25, 613 (second round, 23rd overall pick of 1976)

Dirk Nowitzki, 24, 134 (first round, ninth overall pick of 1998)

Julius Erving, 18, 364 (first round, 12th overall pick of 1972)

Stephon Marbury, 16,297 (first round, fourth overall pick of 1996)

Bob Dandridge, 15,536 (fourth round, 45th overall pick of 1969)

Glenn Robinson, 14,234 (first round, first overall pick of 1994)

Marques Johnson, 13,892 (first round, third overall pick of 1977)

Michael Redd, 11,972 (second round, 43rd overall pick of 2000)

Sidney Moncrief, 11931 (first round, fifth overall pick of 1979)

Vin Baker, 11839 (first round, eighth overall pick of 1993)

Three of the players above, Nowitzki, Erving and Marbury never put on a Bucks uniform in their career. Nowitzki was a draft day trade to Dallas (with Pat Garrity) in exchange for Robert “Tractor” Traylor. Erving decided to begin his career in the ABA and didn’t enter the NBA until 1976. Marbury was a draft day trade to Minnesota in exchange for Ray Allen and a 1998 first round draft choice.

On the other extreme, there have been players drafted by the Bucks in the first round who have not panned out; not only with the Bucks, but also as NBA players.

Following are the 10 players who were drafted by the Bucks in the first round that played less than 200 career games in the NBA.

Draft Year: Player, College, NBA games

1968: Charlie Paulk, Northeastern State University, 120

1970: Gary Freeman, Oregon State, 52

1971: Collis Jones, Notre Dame, o

1972: Russ Lee, Marshall, 97

1984: Kenny Fields, UCLA, 184

1991: Kevin Brooks, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, 126

1994: Eric Mobley, Pittsburgh, 113

2000: Jason Colllier, Georgia Tech, 151

2002: Marcus Haislip, Tennessee, 89

2008: Joe Alexander, West Virginia, 67

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NBA Draft: First overall pick doesn’t always stay entire career with that team

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published daily that focuses on stats that go beyond the numbers.

Los Angeles Lakers home court in Staples Center

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It appears that Kentucky’s Anthony Davis will be the first overall pick in tonight’s NBA draft, taken by the New Orleans Hornets. Before Hornets fans get too excited and think that they will have a front-row seat to watching Davis develop into an NBA star and then retire as a Hornet, the reality is that not all number one overall picks stay with the team that drafted them.

From 1950-99, there were 50 NBA drafts and 50 different overall first picks in the draft. Of those 50, only eight players (16%) who were the number one pick in the draft stayed with the team that drafted them their entire career. Of the 12 players who were the number one overall pick from 2000-2011, four of those players (Kenyon Martin, Kwame Brown, LeBron James and Andrew Bogut) are already with different teams than the team that drafted them.

Following are the eight overall number one draft picks (1950-99) who played their entire careers with the team that drafted them.

1958: Elgin Baylor, Minnesota/L.A. Lakers

1972: LaRue Martin, Portland

1973: Doug Collins, Philadelphia

1979: Magic Johnson, Los Angeles Lakers

1982: James Worthy, Los Angeles Lakers

1986: Brad Daugherty, Cleveland

1987: David Robinson, San Antonio

1997: Tim Duncan, San Antonio*

* Active

It looks like a player drafted number one in the 2000’s will join the above list. Houston’s Yao Ming, citing foot and ankle injuries, retired from the NBA on July 20, 2011 after eight seasons in the league, all with the Rockets.

Greg Oden, selected first overall in the 2007 draft by Portland, was waived by the Trailblazers in March 2012 after playing only 82 games in the NBA, all with Portland. He has already announced his intention to sit out the 2012-13 season due to injuries. Whether or not he ever plays again in the league is still up in the air.

Of the 12 players drafted number one overall since 2000, six are still with the team that drafted them: Dwight Howard (2004 by Orlando), Andrea Bargnani (2006 by Toronto), Derrick Rose (2008 by Chicago), Blake Griffin (2009 by the L.A. Clippers), John Wall (2010 by Washington) and Kyrie Irving (2011 by Cleveland).

Looking at the overall number ones drafted since 1994 who are no longer with the team that drafted them, Elton Brand spent the shortest time with the team that drafted him. Brand was drafted number by the Bulls in 1999 and played only 155 games with the Bulls. The number one overall picks (since 1994) who have left the team that drafted them (and the number of games they played with that team):

Player, Year, Team, Career Games with that Team

Elton Brand, 1999, Chicago, 155

Joe Smith, 1995, Golden State Warriors, 211

Kame Brown, 2001, Washington, 253

Kenyon Martin, 2000, N.J. Nets, 283

Michael Olowokandi, 1998, L.A. Clippers, 323

Andrew Bogut, 2005, Milwaukee, 408

LeBron James, 2003, Cleveland, 548

Glenn Robinson, 1994, Milwaukee, 568

Allen Iverson, 1996, Philadelphia, 697

So the question: Will Anthony Davis become Elgin Baylor or Elton Brand? Stay tuned!

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NFL Secret Revealed: It’s a passing league!

The NFL Green Bay Packers in the shotgun forma...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published daily that focuses on stats that go beyond the numbers.

It doesn’t take an expert to figure out that the NFL is a passing league. Most of the stars are the quarterbacks, the highest draft choices seem to be the QBs and receivers, and even defenses are loading up on players who can put pressure on the QB and those who can cover the bigger, faster receivers. While we constantly hear that teams need to establish the run and have a solid running game to win in the NFL, the passing game seems to be the preferred way to get in the end zone these days.

Last season there were 745 passing TDs and 400 rushing TDs in NFL regular-season games. This was the fifth time in league history that there were 300+ more passing TDs than rushing TDs in a season. The 2010 season saw 751 passing TDs and 399 rushing TDs, a difference of 352. That was the largest difference between the two modes of offensive scoring in NFL history.

In 2011, the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers had the largest difference between passing TDs and rushing TDs in the league. The Packers had 51 TDs via the air and only 12 on the ground, a difference of 39.

Here’s a look at the teams that had the biggest difference in passing TDs and rushing TDs in 2011.

Team, Pass TDs/Rush TDs, Diff.

Green Bay: 51/12     +39

Detroit: 41/9     +32

New Orleans: 46/16     +30

Dallas: 33/5     +28

New England: 39/18     +21

Atlanta:29/14     +15

Tennessee: 22/8     +14

New York Giants: 29/17     +12

Buffalo: 24/12     +12

Cleveland: 16/4     +12

New York Jets: 26/14     +12

Note: The Carolina Panthers were the only team last season to have more rushing touchdowns that passing TDs. The Panthers had 26 TDs rushing and 21 passing. The Seattle Seahawks had 15 rushing TDs and 15 passing TDs.

As mentioned above, the NFL has had more passing TDs than rushing TDs in a season every year since 1956. There are currently nine NFL teams that have had more passing TDs than rushing TDs each season for ten or more years. Leading the way are the Saints and the Packers. The Saints have the longest current streak of scoring more touchdowns by passing than by running in a season for 25 straight seasons. The Packers have done it for 23 consecutive years.

Here are the teams with the current longest streaks of more passing TDs than rushing TDs.

Team, Consecutive seasons with more pass TDs than rush TDs

New Orleans……….25

Green Bay……….23

Indianapolis……….17

Washington……….15

St. Louis……….13

Cincinnati……….11

Dallas……….11

Detroit……….11

Tampa Bay……….10

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Milwaukee Brewers: Their worst Opening Day pitchers

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published daily that focuses on stats that go beyond the numbers.

English: Ben Sheets

Ben Sheets (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When teams break Spring Training and get ready to start the season on Opening Day, there’s an expectation that the players they send out on that Opening Day line-up are the best the team has to offer that season. The same goes for the Opening Day pitcher.

Over the course of the Brewers history, Ben Sheets has had the most Opening Day starts with six. This year’s Opening Day starter, Yovani Gallardo, started his third Opening Day game, tying him with Jim Slaton and Teddy Higuera for most Opening Game starts by a pitcher.

Some seasons, however, have seen the Brewers send out an Opening Day pitcher who had less-than-a-stellar season with the club. In some cases, that Opening Day pitcher was not with the club later that season because of a trade, or that Opening Day starter was eventually relegated to the bullpen because of poor performance.

While it may be a little harsh to call the following pitchers the “worst” Opening Day starting pitchers in Brewers history, the bottom line is that these Opening Day starters did not fit the bill as the “best” the Brewers had to offer that season.

Following are the Brewers Opening Day pitchers who compiled the lowest winning percentage that same year.

Pitcher, Year, W-L, Win Pct. (Opening Day performance)

Steve Woodard, 2000: 1-7 .125 (Game ended in a 3-3 tie due to rain, Woodard no-decision; 5IP, five hits, 3ER, four strikeouts, one walk)

Rafael Roque, 1999: 1-6 .143 (Brewers won 10-8, Roque no-decision; 2IP, one hit, 1ER, one strikeout, five walks)

Bill Wegman, 1993: 4-14 .222 (Brewers lost 3-1, Wegman got the loss; 8IP, 10 hits, 3ER, six strikeouts, one walk)

Bill Travers, 1977: 4-12 .250 (Brewers lost 3-0; Travers got the loss; 7.2IP, 11 hits, 3ER, one strikeout, one walk)

Mark Knudson, 1991: 1-3 .250 (Brewers won 5-4, Knudson got the win; 5.1IP, 5 hits, 3ER, three strikeouts, no walks)

Chris Bosio, 1990: 4-9 .308 (Brewers lost 2-1, Bosio no-decision; 5IP, five hits, 1ER, one strikeout, one walk)

Ricky Bones, 1996: 7-14 .333 (Brewers won 15-9, Bones no-decision; 4.2IP, 12 hits, 4ER, one strikeout, no walks)

Cal Eldred, 1998: 4-8 .333 (Brewers lost 2-1, Eldred no-decision; 6IP, five hits, 1ER, four strikeouts, two walks)

Jeff Suppan, 2009: 7-12 .368 (Brewers lost 10-6, Suppan got the loss; 4IP, 6 hits, 6ER, one strikeout, one walk)

Jim Slaton, 1975: 11-18 .379 (Brewers lost 5-2, Slaton got the loss; 2.2IP, seven hits, 5ER, four strikeouts, two walks)

Don Sutton, 1983: 8-13 .381 (Brewers lost 3-2, Sutton got the loss; 8IP, six hits, 2ER, four strikeouts, three walks)

Note: Woodard’s only win with the Brewers in 2000 was a 14-8 victory over the Cubs where he gave up six earned runs and 13 hits in five innings of work. He was later traded that season to the Cleveland Indians. Roque made his Major League debut in 1998 on August 1 and compiled a 4-2 record that season. One of the interesting facts about Roque that year was he gave up both Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa’s 64th home runs that year. Roque was named Brewers Opening Day starter for 1999 and did not win a game in his first eight starts that season.

Here’s a look at the five Brewers Opening Day pitchers who had the worst ERAs that season.

Pitcher, Year, ERA

Steve Woodard, 2000: 5.96

Ricky Bones, 1996: 5.83

Rafael Roque, 1999: 5.34

Don August, 1989: 5.31

Jeff Suppan, 2009: 5.29

Bill Travers, 1977: 5.25

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