With the World Series getting started tonight in Boston, here are a couple of interesting stats to ponder before the first pitch. Depending on your team allegiance in the series, you may be happy (or sad) to read these facts.
Same record. The World Series this year features two teams that had the same regular season record, 97-65. This is the first World Series in over a half-century where the opposing teams had the same regular season record. Last time it happened was in 1958 when the 92-62 New York Yankees faced the 92-62 Milwaukee Braves. This is also only the fifth time it has happened in the 108-year history of the Fall Classic. It also happened in 1951, 1949 and 1903. Think about this: In the previous four times it occurred, the American League won the World Series. Good omen for the Red Sox?
Question: Does it really matter which World Series team had a better record in the regular season? The World Series team with the better record has won 24 of the 52 World Series dating back to 1960.
Best record in league. Back in 1995 MLB went to the current format of three divisions in each league. Since 1995, this is only the third time that the team with the best record in the American League will face the team with the best record in the National League in the World Series. Both St. Louis and Boston had the best regular season records in their respective league. The other times it happened: 1999 World Series (Atlanta versus the New York Yankees) and 1995 (Cleveland versus Atlanta). In 2007, World Series foes Boston and Colorado tied for the best record in their leagues.
From last to the World Series: The Red Sox this year become the sixth team in MLB history to go from last place to the World Series in the following season. In 2012, Boston finished fifth in the five-team A.L. East, 26 games out of first place. Here’s a look at the teams that went from last place to the World Series in consecutive years.
Atlanta, 1990: Finished sixth in six-team division, 26 games out of first. Lost the World Series in 1991.
Minnesota, 1990: Finished fifth in five-team division, 29 games out of first. Won the World Series in 1991.
Philadelphia, 1992: Finished sixth in six-team division, 26 games out of first. Lost the World Series in 1993.
San Diego, 1997: Finished fourth in four-team division, 14 games out of first. Lost World Series in 1998.
Tampa Bay, 2007: Finished fifth in five-team division, 30 games out of first. Lost World Series in 2008.
Boston, 2012: Finished fifth in five-team division, 26 games out of first. ????????????????????????
You noticed that only one team (of the five) above won the World Series after being in last place the previous year, right? Bad omen for the Red Sox?
Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp.
New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick had to be feeling pretty good. Logan Ryan had just intercepted a pass and returned it 79 yards for a touchdown putting the Pats ahead 14-7 in the first quarter of their game last Sunday against the Jets. Considering that in the past 22 games where the Patriots had scored 14 or more points in the first quarter they had eventually won 21 of those games, you would assume Belichick and his team were well on their way to their sixth victory against one loss for the season.
Unfortunately, the end result was not a win. The Jets got back in the game, it went into overtime and the Patriots lost on a field goal.
Scoring 14 or more points in the first quarter of an NFL game has for the most part been a good omen for teams. Since 2000, there have been 491 times when a team has scored 14-plus points in the first quarter. Those teams have won 400, lost 90 and there was one tie. That’s a winning percentage of .816. Do that in every game of a 16-game season and that will get you 13 or 14 wins, enough probably to host all of your playoff games.
The Green Bay Packers have had the most games since 2000 where they scored 14 or more points in the first quarter with 27. The Baltimore Ravens are the only team since 2000 to not lose a game when they scored 14-plus in the first quarter. They are 9-0.
Following is a look at each NFL team and how many games they played since 2000 where they scored 14 or more points in the first quarter. Their record in those games is also noted.
Teams, games, record
Green Bay, 27… 23-4 .852
Pittsburgh, 25… 21-4 .840
New England, 23… 21-2 .913
Philadelphia, 23… 21-2 .913
San Diego, 23… 21-2 .913
St. Louis, 22… 17-4-1 .795
Atlanta, 21… 15-6 .714
Seattle, 21… 18-3 .857
Denver, 20… 17-3 .850
New Orleans, 19… 15-4 .789
Indianapolis, 17… 14-3 .824
Tennessee, 17… 13-4 .765
New York Giants, 16… 14-2 .875
Buffalo, 15… 10-5 .667
Cincinnati, 15… 14-1 .933
Kansas City, 15… 14-1 .933
Minnesota, 15… 14-1 .933
New York Jets, 15… 12-3 .800
Oakland, 14… 13-1 .929
Carolina, 12… 9-3 .750
Detroit, 12… 3-9 .250
San Francisco, 12… 7-5 .583
Chicago, 11… 10-1 .909
Arizona, 11… 9-2 .818
Houston, 10… 9-1 .900
Tampa Bay, 10… 8-2 .800
Dallas, 9… 8-1 .889
Miami, 9… 5-4 .556
Baltimore, 9… 9-0 1.000
Cleveland, 8… 6-2 .750
Washington, 8… 6-2 .750
Jacksonville, 7… 4-3 .571
Teams this year are 12-3 (.800 winning percentage) if they scored 14-plus points in the first quarter. Dallas, New England and Oakland are the three teams that have lost games this season after scoring 14 or more points in the first quarter.
Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp