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?
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Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published daily that focuses on stats that go beyond the numbers.
Texas Rangers skipper Ron Washington, who will be managing the American League in Tuesday night’s All-Star Game, has eight of his Texas players as members of the A.L. squad. When it comes time to make pitching changes, however, he may want to think twice before inserting one of his three hurlers on the squad, Matt Harrison, Joe Nathan or Yu Darvish.
The Rangers have the worst ERA of pitchers who have thrown in the All-Star Game since 2000. Rangers hurlers have given up five earned runs in 2.2 innings of work for a 16.88 ERA. The A.L. lost last year’s game, 5-1, and Texas pitcher C.J. Wilson was credited with the loss after giving up three earned runs in an inning of work.
Considering that the Tampa Bay staff has a 0.00 in five innings of work since 2000, Washington may want to call upon the Ray’s David Price or Fernando Rodney for a little work on Tuesday.
On the National League side, the Colorado Rockies have the best ERA at 0.00 in nine innings of work. The Washington Nationals have the worst ERA at 9.00, but it should be noted that the only two N.L. victories since 2000 have been won by pitchers from the Nationals… Tyler Clippard last year, and Matt Capps in 2010. Both pitchers worked only one-third of an inning in their victories.
Following are the ERAs of each team’s pitching staffs in the All-Star Game since 2000.
National League, ERA (innings pitched)
Colorado 0.00 (7)
Pittsburgh 0.00 (1.1)
Milwaukee 0.96 (9.1)
Arizona 1.59 (11.1)
San Francisco 2.45 (7.1)
St. Louis 2.57 (7)
Philadelphia 2.70 (10)
Atlanta 3.24 (8.1)
Chicago 3.86 (7)
Cincinnati 4.50 (4)
L.A. Dodgers 5.14 (14)
Miami 7.20 (5)
N.Y. Mets 8.31 (4.1)
Houston 8.53 (6.1)
San Diego 8.64 (8.1)
Washington 9.00 (2)
American League, ERA (innings pitched)
Tampa Bay 0.00 (5)
Kansas City 0.00 (2.2)
Boston 0.82 (11)
N.Y. Yankees 1.17 (15.1)
Minnesota 2.00 (9)
L.A. Angels 2.16 (8.1)
Detroit 2.57 (7)
Chicago 2.61 (10.1)
Baltimore 3.00 (3)
Oakland 3.75 (12)
Seattle 6.08 (13.1)
Toronto 6.10 (10.1)
Cleveland 7.20 (5)
Texas 16.88 (2.2)
The Yankees have had the most appearances by their pitchers in the All-Star Game since 2000 with 16. The Dodgers pitching staff has made 14 appearances, most in the N.L. Following are the number of All-Star Game appearances by each team’s pitchers since 2000.
16: N.Y. Yankees
14: L.A. Dodgers
10: San Diego, Minnesota, L.A. Angels
9: Atlanta, Milwaukee, Arizona, Boston
8: Philadelphia, Toronto, Chicago White Sox
6: Chicago Cubs, St. Louis, San Francisco, Detroit
5: N.Y. Mets, Cleveland
4: Washington, Cincinnati, Colorado, Tampa Bay
3: Miami, Baltimore, Texas
2: Pittsburgh, Kansas City
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Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published daily focusing on stats that go beyond the numbers.
The Los Angeles Dodgers not only have the best record in the majors this season at 29-13 and a seven-game lead in the National League West, but when you add in the last two months of last season, they also have the best record in the majors since August 1, 2011. The Dodgers have won 63 of their last 96 games for a .656 winning percentage. The two-time A.L. World Series representative Texas Rangers have the second-best record (26-17) in the A.L. this season (behind Baltimore’s 27-16). They have the best record in the A.L. since August 1 last year with a 61-35 mark.
Eight teams last season played .600 or better ball the last two months of the season: In the A.L., it was Detroit (.704), Texas (.660) and Tampa Bay (.636). Each of those teams played in the postseason last year. This season Tampa Bay and Texas have winning records; the Tigers are a game under .500 at 20-21. In the N.L., five teams played the last two months of the season abover.600: Milwaukee (.679), Arizona (.648), Los Angeles (.630), Philadelphia (.618) and St. Louis (.611). All but Dodgers made the N.L. playoffs in 2011. Of these five teams, the Dodgers and Cardinals are the only two with a winning record this season.
Here’s a look at the records of each team since August 1, 2011 through May 21, 2012.
American League East: Tampa Bay 60-38 (612); Baltimore 54-46 (.540); New York 54-46 (.540); Toronto 50-47 (.515); Boston 45-53 (.459).
American League Central: Detroit 58-37 (.611); Cleveland 50-48 (.510); Chicago 48-50 (.490); Kansas City 42-53 (.442); Minnesota 27-68 (.284).
American League West: Texas 61-35 (.635); Oakland 47-50 (.485); Los Angeles 45-51 (.469); Seattle 42-57 (.424).
National League East: Washington 54-42 (.563); Philadelphia 55-43 (.561); Atlanta 52-44 (.542); New York 44-52 (.458); Miami 42-54 (.438).
National League Central: St. Louis 56-40 (.583); Milwaukee 53-42 (.558); Cincinnati 48-47 (.505); Chicago 43-53 (.448); Houston 40-56 (.417); Pittsburgh 38-60 (.388).
National League West: Los Angeles 63-33 (.656); Arizona 54-43 (.557); San Francisco 47-49 (.490); San Diego 40-56 (.417); Colorado 37-60 (.381).
In looking at the last 12 World Series champions (since 2000) 11 of the 12 played .500 or better from August 1 until the end of the season. The 2006 St. Louis Cardinals are the only champion since 2000 to play under .500 in their title season; they had a winning percentage of .439 (25-32) after August 1.
The 2004 Boston Red Sox had the best winning percentage after August 1 of the 12 teams. They were 42-18 (.700).
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Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sport statistics blog published multiple times weekly focusing on stats that go beyond the numbers.
The Texas Rangers have been on the losing end of the last two World Series. Based on their start this season, they have every intention of getting back to the Fall Classic for a third straight season. The Rangers top the majors with a 17-5 record, tying their second best April in team history (April, 1989) and one win behind their best April of 18 wins in 1998. In the National League, the L.A. Dodgers top the league with a 16-7 mark.
Will this April success lead to October glory for these two teams? Here’s a few stats re: April records since 2000:
* Of the 27 teams that either tied for or had the best April record in their league since 2000, 15 of them made it to the playoffs that year.
* Of the 96 teams that made the playoffs from 2000-2011, 70 (72.9 percent) had a winning percentage of .500 or better in April in the season they made the playoffs.
* Of the 24 teams that played in the World Series since 2000, 19 of them (79.2 percent) had a winning record in April of their World series season. Of the 12 World Champions since 2000, 10 had a winning record in April.
Here’s a look at the teams that had the best April records in both the American League and National League from 2000-2011, and the April records of the teams that faced off in the World Series that year.
2012 AL: Texas 17-5; NL: Los Angeles 16-7
2011 AL: Cleveland 18-8 (did not make playoffs); NL: Philadelphia 18-8 (made playoffs). World Series teams: St. Louis 16-11 vs. Texas 16-11
2010 AL: Tampa Bay 17-6 (made playoffs); NL: San Diego/St. Louis 15-8 (both did not make playoffs) World Series teams: Philadelphia 12-10 vs. Texas 11-12
2009 AL: Toronto 15-9 (did not make playoffs); NL: St. Louis 16-7 (made playoffs) World Series teams: N.Y. Yankees 12-10 vs. Philadelphia 11-9
2008 AL: L.A. Angels 18-11 (made playoffs); Arizona 20-8 (did not make playoffs) World Series teams: Philadelphia 15-13 vs. Tampa Bay 15-12
2007 AL: Boston 16-8 (made playoffs); Atlanta/Milwaukee 16-9 (both did not make playoffs) World Series teams: Boston 16-8 vs. Colorado 10-16 (Note: The Red Sox are the last team to have the majors best April record and go on to win the World Series that year.)
2006 AL: Chicago White Sox 17-7 (did not make playoffs); NL: Cincinnati/St. Louis 17-8 (Cards made playoffs, Reds did not) World Series teams: St. Louis 17-8 vs. Detroit 16-9
2005 AL: Chicago White Sox 17-7 (made playoffs); NL: St. Louis 15-7 (made playoffs) World Series teams: Chicago White Sox 17-7 vs. Houston 9-13
2004 AL: Boston 15-6 (made playoffs); NL: Florida 15-8 (did not make playoffs) World Series teams: Boston 15-6 vs. St. Louis 12-11
2003 AL: N.Y. Yankees 21-6 (made playoffs); NL: San Francisco 19-7 (made playoffs) World Series teams: Florida 14-15 vs. N.Y. Yankees 21-6
2002 AL: Seattle 20-5 (did not make playoffs); NL: Cincinnati 16-9 (did not make playoffs) World Series teams: Anaheim 11-14 vs. San Francisco 15-11
2001 AL: Seattle 20-5 (made playoffs); NL: Chicago Cubs 15-9 (did not make playoffs) World Series teams: Arizona 13-12 vs. N.Y. Yankees 14-12
2000 AL: Chicago White Sox 17-8 (made playoffs); NL: Atlanta 18-6 (made playoffs) World Series teams: N.Y. Yankees 15-8 vs. N.Y. Mets 16-10
Did you know? The St. Louis Cardinals finished this April with a 14-8 record. They have now had a winning record in April in five straight season, the longest current streak. In the A.L., the New York Yankees finished April, 2012 with a 13-9 record, giving them four straight seasons with a winning April, tops in the league.
Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp
Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published multiple times weekly focusing on stats that go beyond the numbers.
Here’s a quick trivia quiz for you: Can you name the last pitcher to lead the American League in complete games in two consecutive seasons? And… Can you name the last pitcher to lead the National League in complete games in two consecutive seasons?
If you answered Philadelphia’s Roy Halladay to both questions, you know your baseball.
Halladay last year topped the N.L. with eight complete games after leading the league in that category in 2010 with nine complete games. As a member of the Toronto Blue Jays, he led American League starters in complete games in 2007, 2008 and 2009.
Following is a look at five different individual pitching and batting stats and the last time a player led the league in that category in two consecutive seasons. (Note: If a player tied for that stat title in one or more seasons, it is noted).
Complete Games, American League: Roy Halladay (Toronto) 2007, 2008, 2009
Complete Games, National League: Roy Halladay (Philadelphia) 2010, 2011
Wins, American League: LaMarr Hoyt (Chicago) 1982, 1983… Note-C.C. Sabathia was tied with two other pitchers for most wins in 2009 and led the league in wins in 2010.
Wins, National League: Sandy Koufax (Los Angeles) 1965, 1966… Note-Greg Maddux was tied with Ken Hill for most wins in 1994 and led the league in wins in 1995
ERA, American League: Pedro Martinez (Boston) 2002, 2003
ERA, National League: Randy Johnson (Arizona) 2001, 2002
Strikeouts, American League: Johan Santana (Minnesota) 2004, 2005, 2006
Strikeouts, National League: Tim Lincecum (San Francisco) 2008, 2009, 2010
Saves, American League: Dan Quisenberry (Kansas City) 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985… Note: Francisco Rodriquez was tied with Bob Wickman for most saves in 2005 and led the league in saves in 2006
Saves, National League: Jose Valverde (Arizona, Houston) 2007, 2008
Batting Average, American League: Joe Mauer (Minnesota) 2008, 2009
Batting Average, National League: Larry Walker (Colorado) 1998, 1999
Home Runs, American League: Jose Bautista (Toronto) 2010, 2011
Home Runs, National League: Albert Pujols (St. Louis) 2009, 2010
Runs Batted In, American League: David Ortiz (Boston) 2005, 2006
Runs Batted In, National League: Andres Galarraga (Colorado) 1996, 1997… Note: Ryan Howard led the league in RBIs in 2008 and tied with Prince Fielder for the RBI title in 2009
Stolen Bases, American League: Jacoby Ellsbury (Boston) 2008, 2009
Stolen Bases, National League: Michael Bourn (Houston, Atlanta) 2009, 2010, 2011
Runs Scored, American League: Dustin Pedroia (Boston) 2008, 2009
Runs Scored, National League: Albert Pujols (St. Louis) 2009, 2010