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.
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
Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp