MLB’s best second-half teams over the past three seasons
For those teams hoping to make a run at a post-season appearance, getting off to a good start after the All-Star break is important.
Looking at the past three seasons (2016-18), the Chicago Cubs have been baseball’s best second-half team in that time period. The Cubs compiled a record of 139-78 (.641 winning percentage) after the All-Star break in the past three seasons, tops in the majors. Over in the American League, the Cleveland Indians were the league’s best second-half team the last three seasons with a .633 winning percentage. The Cubs and Indians were the only teams to win 60 percent or more of their games in the second half of the three seasons from 2016-18.
Here’s a look at the winning percentages of each MLB team after the All-Star break over the past three seasons.
Chicago Cubs, .641
L.A. Dodgers, .581
N.Y. Yankees, .571
St. Louis, .556
Tampa Bay, .509
N.Y. Mets, .500
L.A. Angels, .499
Kansas City, .477
San Diego, .424
Chicago White Sox, .421
San Francisco, .399
The Cubs have had two of the three best second half winning percentages over the last three campaigns. In 2016 the Cubs had a winning percentage of .685 the second half of the season; in 2017 their second-half winning percentage was .662. The only team with a better second-half winning percentage over the past three seasons were the 2017 Cleveland Indians who had a .733 winning percentage after the All-Star break that season. The Oakland A’s had the best second half winning percentage last season at .646; the Brewers were second with a .631 second-half winning percentage in 2018.
For the record, the Boston Braves hold the MLB record for highest second-half winning percentage at .792… they were 61-16 after the All-Star break in 1914. Thirty-three different teams had a winning percentage of .700 or higher in the second half of the season. Five of those happened after 2000: Oakland-2001, .773; Cleveland-2017, .733; Oakland-2002, .716; Seattle-2001, .707; and N.Y. Yankees-2009, .703.
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Another 90-win season in 2019 could put Cubs in elite company
Would you consider this Cubs team a dynasty? Would you say that the Cubs run over the past few years would make them one of the elite teams in baseball history?
As you ponder those two questions, let me offer a case that a great 2019 will put the Cubs in some very impressive company.
The Cubs in the last four seasons have won 97 games (2015), 103 (in 2016), 92 (2017) and 95 last season. Another 90-win season in 2019 would give the Cubs a run of five consecutive seasons with 90 wins. It would make them only the 20th team in MLB history to win 90 or more games in five (or more) straight seasons.
The New York Yankees hold the record for most consecutive 90-win seasons with 12. They did from 1947-58.
Here’s a look at the 19 teams that have won 90 games in five or more seasons in MLB history.
12-N.Y. Yankees (1947-58)
9-Chicago Cubs (1904-12)
7-N.Y. Yankees (2001-07)
6-Atlanta Braves (1995-2000)
6-Brooklyn Dodgers (1951-56)
6-Cleveland Indians (1950-55)
6-L.A. Dodgers (2013-18)
6-N.Y. Giants (1909-13)
6-Philadelphia A’s (1909-14)
6-Philadelphia A’s (1927-32)
6-St. Louis Cardinals (1941-46)
5-Cincinnati Reds (1972-76)
5-N.Y. Giants (1933-37)
5-N.Y. Mets (1984-88)
5-N.Y. Yankees (1960-64)
5-Oakland A’s (1971-75)
5-Oakland A’s (2000-04)
5-Pittsburgh Pirates (1905-09)
5-San Francisco Giants (2000-04)
With their four straight seasons with 90 or more wins, the Cubs became the 39th team in history to reach that milestone. As you probably noticed, the L.A. Dodgers last season had their sixth straight season with 90 wins making them only the 11th team in history to win 90 or more in six straight campaigns.
It’s interesting to note that of the 19 teams that have won 90 or more in five (or more) seasons, six did not win a World Series during that timeframe. The six: Cleveland (1950-55), the Dodgers (2013-18), the Yankees (2001-07), Oakland (2000-04), the New York Giants (1908-13), and the San Francisco Giants (2000-04). Of these six teams, only one, the 2000-04 Oakland A’s, did not even appear in a World Series during that time when they had the streak of 90-win seasons.
For the record, the Cubs, if they have another 90-win season, will at least have won a World Series during their streak.
The current Cubs team a dynasty? What do you think?
Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp
After being swept by the Chicago Cubs in a four-game series this past weekend, we have to ask:
Are the Cubs the Brewers “kryptonite”?
In fact, if we add the St. Louis Cardinals to the discussion, you can make a good case that if the Brew Crew wants to make a serious charge at a playoff spot this season, they better figure out a way to beat these two division opponents.
Let’s go back to 2016. Since then, the Brewers are 38-52 against the Cubs and Cardinals, a winning percentage of .422. From the 2016 season through games of April 29, 2018, the Brewers are 18-28 versus the Cubs (.391 winning percentage) and 20-24 (.455) versus the Cards.
Compare that to all other teams since 2016… the Brewers are 137-126 (.521) since 2016 in games against all other MLB teams other than the Cubs and Cards. That’s a difference of about 100 percentage points (99 to be exact)… .422 versus the Cubs and Cards and .521 against all other teams.
This season is no different. MLB standings show the Brewers at 16-13 this season. Ten of their 13 losses this year have come to the Cubs or Cards (1-7 versus the Cubs, 3-3 versus the Cards). That’s 4-10 versus the Cubs and Cards (.286 winning percentage) and 12-3 (.800) versus the rest of the league.
Any way you look at it, it’s a disturbing trend that the Brewers will need to figure out if they hope to challenge for a post-season spot in 2018.
Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp
This year’s ALCS and NLCS teams are now set… the Astros will face off against the Yankees tonight in the ALCS and the Cubs and Dodgers will play Game One on Saturday in the NLCS.
In the ALCS, the Yankees will be making their 16th ALCS appearance, most in the league since baseball went to the Championship Series format in 1969, while the Astros will be making their first-ever ALCS appearance. The Astros are the last of the 15 current A.L. franchises to play in an ALCS. Oakland (11 ALCS appearances) are second to the Yankees in most ALCS played.
In the NLCS, the Cubs will be making their third straight and fifth NLCS appearance. The Dodgers will be playing in the NLCS for the 12th time, second to the St. Louis Cardinals who have played in 13 NLCS.
The Cubs have added White Sox ace Jose Quintana to their pitching staff via a trade. With this acquisition, the defending champs are certainly not sitting still in their attempt to overtake the Milwaukee Brewers in the N.L. Central and hopefully make a return trip to the World Series. History (and stats), however, has shown that winning the N.L. Central and getting back to the World Series might take a historic second half for the Cubs.
The Cubs are 43-45 (a .489 winning percentage) at the All-Star break. Since 1913, only four teams that were .500 or worse at the All-Star break played in the World Series that season. The five teams: 1914 Boston Braves (they had a winning percentage of .434 at the All-Star break when they made the World Series that year), the 1973 Mets (.452), the 1964 Cardinals (.494), the 1991 Braves (.494) and most recently, the 2007 Colorado Rockies, who were at .500 at the All-Star break and then made it to the World Series that year. Of these five teams, only the 1914 Braves and ’64 Cardinals actually won the title that season.
Since 2000, only four teams with a winning percentage under .500 at the All-Star break were able to win their division that season… the 2013 Twins (.473), the 2015 Rangers (.477), the 2008 Dodgers (.484) and the 2015 Blue jays (.495).