In about two weeks we will start the 2014 Major League Baseball season. Usually all 30 teams have their eyes on the World Series when spring training ends and the real season begins. Reality, however, is that some teams quickly fall right out of the gate and the season becomes a long trek to the end of September.
How important is a strong April to MLB teams? Last season the Boston Red Sox ended April with the best record in the majors, 18-8. They went on to win the World Series. In the National League, the Atlanta Braves had the best record at the end of the first month with a 17-9 record. They made the playoffs, but did not make the World Series.
Let’s take a look at the last 14 MLB seasons… back to 2000. Did having the best record in the league equate to success in October?
* Only six teams that had the best record (or tied for the best record) in their league at the end of April made it to the World Series.
* Five of the last 10 World Series champs had or tied for the best April record in their league.
* Of the 31 teams that either had or tied for their best record in April in the A.L. or N.L. since 2000, 17 made the playoffs. In the AL, 11 of the 14 teams with the best record in April made the playoffs that season; in the N.L., of the 17 teams that had or tied for the best April record, only six made the playoffs.
* Five of the last 11 A.L. teams with the best record in April went on to play in the World Series.
* Only one N.L. team that had or tied for the best record in April went on to play in the World Series (the 2006 St. Louis Cardinals who tied with the Cincinnati Reds with the best April record at 17-8).
* Five of the 28 teams that played in the World Series since 2000 were under .500 at the end of April. The last team was the 2010 Texas Rangers who were 11-12 at the end of April but played in the World Series that season.
* The 14 teams that played in the World Series from the A.L. since 2000 were a combined 204-139 (.595 winning percentage) in April that year. The 14 teams that played in the World Series from the N.L. since 2000 were a combined 192-154 (.555 winning percentage) in April that year.
Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp