Today’s Sportstat: July 11, 2019

Yelich, Bellinger and Alfonso reach 30 HRs before All-Star break

A trio of National League sluggers, Milwaukee’s Christian Yelich, the Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger, and New York Mets rookie Pete Alfonso each reached the 30-HR mark before this year’s All-Star break (Yelich has 31 HRs while the other two have 30). They became the 31st, 32nd and 33rd players to reach 30 home runs before the ASG in baseball history.

It was the first time since 1998 that three or more players had 30 or more home runs before the All-Star break. In 1998 it was Mark McGwire with 37, Ken Griffey, Jr. with 35, Sammy Sosa with 33 and Greg Vaughn with 30

Here are five stats you may not know about players who have reached the 30-HR mark before the All-Star break.

  • There have now been 43 times in MLB history that a player had 30 or more home runs before the All-Star break. The quartet mentioned above who reached that mark in 1998 is the most players in a season. In addition to this year’s threesome, three players reached 30 HRs before the All-Star break in 1994 (Ken Griffey, Jr., Matt Williams and Frank Thomas) and 1969 (Reggie Jackson, Frank Howard and Willie McCovey).
  • Mark McGwire tops the list with four seasons with 30 or more HRs before the All-Star break. Others who reached that 30-HR mark multiple times: Ken Griffey, Jr. and Babe Ruth (three times each) and Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and Willie Stargell (twice each).
  • Of the 40 times a player reached 30 HRs before the All-Star Game (prior to this year’s group), 18 ended the season with 50 or more home runs. Two players reached 70 (McGwire 70 in 1998 and Bonds 73 in 2001), three reached 60-69 home runs and 13 ended the year with 50-59 homers. Eighteen players ended the year with 40-49 HRs and four players ended the year with less than 40 homers that season (Dave Kingman 37 in 1976… he had 30 HRs at the break; Frank Thomas 38 in 1994… he had 32 at the break; Jose Canseco 34 in 1999… he had 31 at the break; and McGwire 32 in 2000… he had 30 at the break).
  • The 1990s had the most players with 30 HRs at the All-Star break with 12. The 2000’s had eight players and the 2010s seven players is next on the list. The other decades: 1920s-2, 1930s-2, 1940s-none, 1950s-1, 1960s-5, 1970s-4, 1980s-2.
  • So, how many home runs will Yelich, Bellinger and Alfonso end the 2019 season with? The 40 times a player had 30 or more HRs at the All-Star break saw that player end the season with an average of an additional 18 home runs (18.07 to be exact). That puts this year’s trio ending the 2019 campaign with just under 50 for the season.

 

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Today’s Sportstat: July 8, 2019

TODAY’s SPORTSTAT-July 8, 2019

National League Central Division could be headed for historic pennant race in 2019

If you are a baseball fan, do yourself a favor and check out the standings as we head into the All-Star break. Did you notice the large disparity between the first place teams and the last place teams in five of the six divisions?

In the A.L. East, the first place team is 30.5 games ahead of the last place team; in the A.L. Central, the gap between the first place and last place teams is 27 games. In the A.L. West the gap is 20 games; in the N.L. East the first place team holds a 19.5 game lead over the last place team; in the N.L. West that margin is 17.5 games.

Over in the N.L. Central, however, the first place Cubs have a 4.5-game lead over last place Cincinnati, quite a contrast to the other five divisions. There are still a lot of games yet to be played this season and it’s unlikely that at the end of the season the first place team will outdistance the last place team by less than 10 games… at least that’s how history has played out.

In 1994 Major League Baseball went to three divisions in each of the two leagues. Since then, there has been only one season in the last 25 years where the first place team that year won the division by less than 10 games over the last place team. In the ‘94 season, which ended on August 11 due to a strike, the Texas Rangers were leading the American League West when the season abruptly ended. In last place in that division were the California Angels who were only 5.5 games behind the division-winning Rangers.

Here are the 12 times since 1994 where first place and last place in a division were separated by 15 games or less.

1994 A.L. West, 5.5 games
1995 N.L. West, 11.0 games
1995 A.L. West, 11.5 games
2006 N.L. West, 12.0 games
1994 N.L. West, 12.5 games
1998 A.L. West, 14.0 games
1997 N.L. West, 14.0 games
2008 A.L. Central, 14.5 games
1996 N.L. Central, 15.0 games
2005 N.L. West, 15.0 games
2006 A.L. West, 15.0 games
2015 A.L. East 15.0 games

With the Cubs holding a 4.5 games lead over the Reds on July 7, let’s look back over the past 25 years and see if there has been a closer race top to bottom on July 7 in the league since 1994…

… this N.L. Central race (top to bottom) is tied for the second closest race (as of July 7) in the last 25 years. In 2006, the first place Oakland A’s had a four-game lead over the last place Los Angeles Angels. Including this season, there have now been six divisional races where the margin between the first and last place teams in a division has been five games or less on July 7. Here are those six races:

1995: A.L. West, first place Texas had a 5-game lead over last place Seattle

1995: N.L. West, first place Colorado had a 4.5-game lead over last place San Diego.

2006: A.L. West, first place Oakland had a 4-game lead over last place Los Angeles.

2006: N.L. West, first place San Diego had a 5-game lead over last place Arizona.

2015: A.L. East, first place New York Yankees had a 5-game lead over last place Boston

2019: N.L. Central, first place Chicago Cubs had a 4.5-game lead over last place Cincinnati.

 

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Today’s Sportstat: July 4, 2019

Who will be the best NFC team in the 2010s?

With 113 wins since 2010, the New England Patriots could go 0-16 this season and still end up with the most wins of any NFL team in the 2010s. The Pittsburgh Steelers are currently second on the list for most wins since 2010 with 94, so passing the Pats this season will not happen… the Patriots will be the NFL’s winningest team (and the winningest team in the AFC) of the 2010s when the 2019 NFL season concludes.

Over in the NFC, however, there are three teams (maybe four) that could still claim the best record in the conference for this decade. The Green Bay Packers are 89-53-2 (.625 winning percentage) this decade to hold first place with the Seattle Seahawks just percentage points behind at .622 and a record of 89-54-1. The New Orleans Saints are just a few games behind in third place for NFC teams with an 87-57 record (.604).

Who will be the worst NFL team of the 2010s? It looks like the Cleveland Browns have that title wrapped up barring a total collapse of the Jacksonville Jags and a great season for the Browns. The Jags have an 8 ½-game lead over Cleveland for the 31st spot on the list.

Here are the records of each NFL team this decade (2010-18).

AFC
New England 113-31
Pittsburgh 94-49-1
Kansas City 84-60
Baltimore 84-60
Denver 82-62
Cincinnati 75-67-2
Indianapolis 75-69
Houston 72-72
San Diego/L.A. Chargers 72-72
Miami 65-79
Buffalo 61-83
New York Jets 61-83
Tennessee 60-84
Oakland 56-88
Jacksonville 45-99
Cleveland 36-107-1

NFC
Green Bay 89-53-2
Seattle 89-54-1
New Orleans 87-57
Atlanta 82-62
Dallas 78-66
Philadelphia 78-66
Carolina 73-70-1
Minnesota 71-71-2
Arizona 70-73-1
Detroit 69-75
Chicago 68-76
San Francisco 67-76-1
New York Giants 66-78
St. Louis/L.A. Rams 64-79-1
Washington 59-84-1
Tampa Bay 52-92

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Today’s Sportstat: July 1, 2019

Which teams are getting hits in the All-Star Game?

The Brewers will have three everyday players represented at this year’s All-Star Game (ASG): Christian Yelich, who will be a starter, Yasmani Grandal and Mike Moustakas.

Milwaukee’s AGS reps have provided some of the National League’s offense over the past decade. Since 2010, Brewers hitters are 10-for-31 (a .323) average in the All-Star Game. The 10 hits are tied for the most for N.L. clubs and the .323 batting average by Brewers players are one of only seven teams that have a .300 or better batting average by its players in the ASG since 2010.

The Boston Red Sox have the most hits by their players in the ASG since 2010 with 11. Here is a look at the number of hits in the ASG each team has had since 2010.

11: Boston

10: Milwaukee, St. Louis

7: Kansas City, L.A. Angels

6: Colorado, Detroit, N.Y. Yankees, Texas

5: N.Y. Mets, Washington, Cleveland, Houston

4: Atlanta, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati, L.A. Dodgers, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Baltimore, Minnesota

3: Oakland, Seattle, Toronto

2: Arizona, San Diego, Tampa Bay

1: Miami, Philadelphia, Chicago White Sox

The team with the highest batting average in the ASG since 2010 is the Minnesota Twins. Their players are hitting .500 with four hits in eight ASG at-bats from 2010-18.

Following are the ASG team batting averages for each of the 30 teams from 2010-18, the last nine All-Star Games.

.500-Minnesota

.400-St. Louis

.357-N.Y. Mets, .333-San Diego, .324-Boston, .323-Milwaukee, .318-L.A. Angels

.292-Kansas City, .286-Tampa Bay, .250-Oakland, .235-Pittsburgh, .231-Detroit, .231-Texas, .227-Washington, .227-Cleveland, .214-N.Y. Yankees, .211-Atlanta, .208-Houston, .200-San Francisco

.188-Seattle, .182-Chicago Cubs, .182-L.A. Dodgers, .176-Toronto, .171-Colorado, .167-Philadelphia, .133-Baltimore, .114-Cincinnati, .100-Arizona

.083-Chicago White Sox, .071-Miami

 

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Today’s Sportstat: June 27, 2019

Giannis and Coach Bud lift NBA hardware

For the 14th time in NBA history, the NBA MVP and the Coach of the Year were from the same team. Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo and Mike Budenholzer were recently selected as the league’s best player and coach.

Unfortunately for the Bucks, success in the form of a championship did not materialize. In fact, of the now 14 times that a player and coach from the same team won POY and Coach honors in a season, only four times has that player and coach hoisted a championship trophy at the end of the season.

The last time it happened was in 2003 when Tim Duncan won the league MVP and his coach, Gregg Popovich, was selected as the Coach of the Year. Their team, the San Antonio Spurs, also won the title that season.

Here’s a look at the 14 times when a team had the league MVP and Coach of the Year (also noted is how well the team did in the playoffs that season).

1965: Boston, MVP-Bill Russell, Coach-Red Auerbach (won NBA title)

1966: Philadelphia, MVP-Wilt Chamberlain, Coach-Dolph Schayes (lost in the Eastern Conference Finals)

1969: Baltimore, MVP-Wes Unseld, Coach-Gene Shue (lost in the Eastern Conference Semifinals)

1970: New York Knicks, MVP-Willis Reed, Coach-Red Holzman (won NBA title)

1973: Boston, MVP-Dave Cowens, Coach-Tom Heinsohn (lost in the Eastern Conference Finals)

1990: Los Angeles Lakers, MVP-Magic Johnson, Coach-Pat Riley (lost in the Western Conference Semifinals)

1996: Chicago, MVP-Michael Jordan, Coach-Phil Jackson (won NBA title)

2001: Philadelphia, MVP-Allen Iverson, Coach-Larry Brown (lost in the NBA Finals)

2003: San Antonio, MVP-Tim Duncan, Coach-Gregg Popovich (won NBA title)

2005: Phoenix, MVP-Steve Nash, Coach-Mike D’Antoni (lost in the Western Conference Finals)

2009: Cleveland, MVP-LeBron James, Coach-Mike Brown (lost in the Eastern Conference Finals)

2011: Chicago, MVP-Derrick Rose, Coach-Tom Thibodeau (lost in the Eastern Conference Finals)

2016: Golden State, MVP-Steph Curry, Coach-Steve Kerr (lost in the NBA Finals)

2019: Milwaukee, MVP-Giannis Antetokounmpo, Coach-Mike Budenholzer (lost in the Eastern Conference Finals)

 

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