Monthly Archives: April, 2018

Today’s Sports Stat: April 17, 2018

Is playing well on the road an important element for success in major league baseball? If you look at the numbers, the answer is “Yes.”

A team that plays well on the road takes a big step towards the playoffs each year. Following are some stats that help make this point:

  • Of the 92 MLB teams that made the playoffs in the last 10 years (2008-17), 69 of them played above .500 in road games that season. Six actually played above .600 in away games that year they made the playoffs. Two of last year’s playoffs teams, Cleveland and Houston, each had a .654 winning percentage on the road, the highest of any of the 92 playoffs teams in the last 10 seasons. The worst road winning percentage of a playoff team in the last 10 years? The 2015 Astros who had a .407 road winning percentage that year when they made the playoffs.
  • Of the 10 teams that won the World Series from 2008-17, all had a road winning percentage of .531 or better in the year they won the title.
  • Of the 109 teams that won the World Series in baseball history, a staggering 103 of them played above .500 on the road in the year they won the championship. In fact, 39 of those 109 champs had a winning percentage above .600 that championship season. Of the 109 champs, the 1939 New York Yankees had the best road winning percentage at .730; the worst road winning percentage of a team winning the World Series was .358 by the 1987 Minnesota Twins.
  • Of all non-playoff teams in baseball history, the 1909 Chicago Cubs had the best road winning percentage at .740. Since 1970, there have been 12 teams that had a road winning percentage above .600 that did not make the playoffs that year. Four of those teams were from 1994 when the playoffs were cancelled due to a players’ strike.


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Today’s Sports Stat: April 16, 2018

The Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers each won Game One in their NBA playoff series. Should they continue and win their first-round series (Boston over Milwaukee and Philadelphia over Miami) the Celtics and 76ers would meet in the Eastern Conference semi-finals. What makes that potential matchup noteworthy is that Boston-Philadelphia matchups in the NBA playoffs are the most frequent NBA playoff matchups in NBA history.

Since the league began, the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers franchises have met 20 times in the NBA playoffs, most of any matchup in league history in the post-season. The two teams have played 100 playoff games and the Celtics have won 12 of the 20 series. The two teams, however, have not met in the post-season since 2012.

Here’s a look at the NBA playoff series matchups that have happened 10 or more times in league history.

Number of times franchises have faced each other in NBA playoffs (franchises are listed below by current city)

20: Boston Celtics-Philadelphia 76ers

15: Boston Celtics-New York Knicks

12: Atlanta Hawks-Boston Celtics
12: Boston-Los Angeles Lakers

12: Detroit Pistons-Los Angeles Lakers
12: Los Angeles Lakers-Phoenix Suns
12: Los Angeles Lakers-San Antonio Spurs

11: Los Angeles Lakers-Sacramento Kings
11: Los Angeles Lakers-Portland Trailblazers

10: Atlanta Hawks-Los Angeles Lakers
10: Golden State Warriors-Philadelphia 76ers
10: New York Knicks-Philadelphia 76ers
10: Phoenix Suns-San Antonio Spurs

Of the current eight first-round playoff series, the Boston-Milwaukee matchup has been the most frequent; these two franchises are playing in the post-season for the sixth time in league history. At the other end, the New Orleans-Portland series is the first time these franchises have ever faced each other in the playoffs.


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Today’s Sports Stat: April 14, 2018

One of the biggest stories of baseball’s off-season was home run champ Giancarlo Stanton becoming a New York Yankee. Stanton led the majors last year with 59 HRs with the Miami Marlins.

Is it possible that Stanton is “striking out” in his short tenure with the Yanks? Figuratively speaking, we are only 14 games into the season and the jury is still out about whether or not Stanton will have a major impact on the Bronx Bombers. A 7-7 record is nothing to get too concerned about two weeks into the 2018 season.

But from a literal sense, Stanton is “striking out” with the Yankees; in fact, he leads the majors with 25 strikeouts in 59 at-bats. He has already had two games this season where he struck out five times (more on that in a moment). On the plus side, he has hit three home runs.

But let’s look at the strikeouts. Last season Stanton’s current teammate, Aaron Judge became the first player in MLB history to have 50 or more home runs and over 200 strikeouts in the same season (he had 52 HRs and 208 strikeouts). With 25 strikeouts in 14 games, Stanton is on a pace to strike out 289 times this season… the MLB record is 223 strikeouts in a season by Mark Reynolds with Arizona in 2009.

Here’s a look at the players who hit 50 or more home runs in a season and had the most strikeouts that same season.

Aaron Judge, NY Yankees, 2017, 52 HRs-208 strikeouts
Chris Davis, Baltimore, 2013, 53 HRs-199 strikeouts
Cecil Fielder, Detroit, 1990, 51 HRs-182 strikeouts
Ryan Howard, Philadelphia, 2006, 58 HRs-181 strikeouts
Sammy Sosa, Cubs, 1998, 66 HRs-171 strikeouts
Sammy Sosa, Cubs, 1999, 63 HRs-171 strikeouts
Sammy Sosa, Cubs, 2000, 50 HRs-168 strikeouts
Giancarlo Stanton, Miami, 2017, 59 HRs-163 strikeouts
Mark McGwire, two teams, 1997, 58 HRs-159 strikeouts
Mark McGwire, St. Louis, 1998, 70 HRs-155 strikeouts
Sammy Sosa, Cubs, 2001, 64 HRs-153 strikeouts

For the record, the fewest number of strikeouts in a season by a player who hit 50 or more home runs is 42 by Johnny Mize. He hit 51 HRs in 1947. He is the only player with 50 or more home runs in a season that had less than 50 strikeouts that same campaign.

As mentioned above, Stanton has already struck out five times in a game twice this season. The MLB record is three games with five or more strikeouts in a game, held by Ray Lankford in 1998.

Stanton became the 14th player in MLB history to strike out five of more times in a game multiple times in his career. Sammy Sosa holds the MLB record… he fanned five or more times in four games in his career. Lankford is next with his three games. The 12 players who did it twice in their careers are: Jim Thome, Mark Teixeira, Ron Swoboda, Stanton, Richie Sexson, George Scott, Alex Rios, Benny Kauff, Andruw Jones, Deron Johnson, Chris Davis and Dick Allen.

One last note: Sosa, Lankford and Brian Dozier are the only three players in baseball history to strikeout five times in a game and hit a home run that same game.

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Today’s Sports Stat: April 9, 2018

First, the Eagles gave Philadelphia their first Super Bowl in February. Then Villanova a few weeks later did the city proud with its second men’s NCAA Division I basketball title in three years. Is it possible the City of Brotherly Love has another championship on the horizon?

Whether or not the young Philadelphia 76ers squad makes a serious run at the NBA title this season, one thing is for sure… they have done something this year that has never happened before in the NBA.

Back in 2015-16, the Sixers won only 10 games that campaign. In 2016-17, they increased that total to 28. With two games remaining this season, they are 50-30, their first 50-win season since 2000-01. That turnaround from 10 wins two seasons ago to 50 (or more) wins this year is historic.

The 76ers are the first team in NBA history to win less than 20 games one season and then win 50 or more just two seasons later. Four teams went from under 20 wins to 50+ wins in three seasons while six teams went from less than 20 wins to 50+ in four years.

Following are the 11 NBA teams that went from fewer than 20 wins in a season to 50 or more wins in a season in less than five years.

(Note: This stat does not include the 1998-99 NBA season when the season was shortened to 50 games due to a lockout that delayed the start of that campaign.)

From fewer than 20 wins to 50+ wins in two seasons
Philadelphia 76ers: 10 wins in 2015-16; 50 wins in 2017-18

From fewer than 20 wins to 50+ wins in three seasons
Houston Rockets: 14 wins in 1982-83; 51 wins in 1985-86

Cleveland Cavs: 17 wins in 2002-03; 50 wins in 2005-06
New Orleans Hornets: 18 wins in 2004-05; 56 wins in 2007-08
Miami Heat: 15 wins in 2007-08; 58 wins in 2010-11

From fewer than 20 wins to 50+ wins in four seasons
Minneapolis/L.A. Lakers: 19 wins in 1957-58; 54 wins in 1961-62

Cincinnati Royals: 19 wins in 1959-60; 55 wins in 1963-64
Philadelphia 76ers: 9 wins in 1972-73; 50 wins in 1976-77
Orlando Magic: 18 wins in 1989-90; 50 wins in 1993-94
L.A. Clippers: 19 wins in 2008-09; 56 wins in 2012-13
Cleveland Cavs: 19 wins in 2010-11; 53 wins in 2014-15

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Today’s Sports Stat: April 3, 2018

Villanova’s win over Michigan for the 2018 NCAA men’s basketball tournament put them in some pretty impressive company. Since they also won the title in 2016, they became one of only a handful of teams to win two or more titles in a three-year span.

The last team to win back-to-back titles was Florida in 2006 and 2007. The last team to win a title and then win it again two years later was Kentucky in 1996 and 1998.

Here’s a look at the schools that won the NCAA Division I men’s basketball tourney in back-to-back years and those who won two in three years by winning one year and then winning again two years later.

Back-to-Back Titles
Oklahoma State, 1945, 1946
Kentucky, 1948, 1949
San Francisco, 1955, 1956
Cincinnati, 1961, 1962
UCLA, 1964, 1965
UCLA, 1967-73 (seven straight)
Duke, 1991, 1992
Florida, 2006, 2007

Title and then another title two years later
Kentucky, 1949, 1951
UCLA, 1965, 1967
UCLA, 1973, 1975
Kentucky, 1996, 1998
Villanova, 2016, 2018

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