Tag Archives: Chicago Cubs

A 7-game lead on July 1: A good omen?

July 1

When the calendar turned over to July last Friday, each of the 30 MLB teams were at or near the mid-point in their season. The sports pages showed two divisional leaders with leads of seven games or more over their closest competitor… a good sign, right?

In the last 20 seasons (since 1996), there have been 16 teams that had a divisional lead of at least seven games at the start of the day on July 1. Of those 16, how many do you think won the World Series that year? How many do you think failed to make the playoffs that year? That answer in a minute.

This year the Chicago Cubs had the biggest division lead of the six divisions with an 11-game advantage over the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Central. In the America League, the Texas Rangers were 8.5 games ahead of division rival Houston in the West. The other four division leaders on July 1 (Washington, San Francisco, Baltimore and Cleveland) had leads of five or six games.

So, does having a lead of seven games or more on July 1 translate to a World Series appearance? Of those 16 teams with divisional leads of seven games or more on July 1 since 1996, only three went on to play in the World Series that season; all three, however, did win the championship (Boston-2007, White Sox -2005 and the Yankees-1998). Only two of those teams (the 2007 Brewers and 2003 Mariners) had a lead of seven games or more on July 1 but did not make the playoffs that year.

Here’s a look at how well the 16 teams with a lead in their division of seven games or more on July 1 did in the post-season that season. (How big a lead they had on July 1 is noted in parenthesis.)

Won World Series
Boston, 2007 (10.5 game lead)
Chicago White Sox, 2005 (10.5)
N.Y. Yankees, 1998 (10)

Lost in the playoffs before the World Series
St. Louis, 2015 (8)
N.Y. Mets, 2006 (10.5)
St. Louis, 2005 (8.5)
N.Y. Yankees, 2004 (7.5)
Atlanta, 2002 (8.5)
Seattle, 2001 (20)
Chicago White Sox, 2000 (9.5)
St. Louis, 2000 (8.5)
Cleveland, 1999 (12.5)
Cleveland, 1998 (8.5)
Atlanta, 1998 (8.5)

Did not make the playoffs that season
Milwaukee, 2007 (7.5)
Seattle, 203 (7)

If Cubs fans are looking for some good mojo concerning their team, consider this: Of the six teams that had a division lead of 10 games or more on July 1 since 1996, three won the World Series that season.

 

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NL Central: MLB’s best division in 2015

NLCentral

If the Chicago Cubs can get at least one win on the road this weekend against the Milwaukee Brewers they will become the third team in the N.L Central Division to reach 95 wins in the 2015 season. This would be the first time since 1994 (when baseball went to a three-division in each league format) that three teams from one division won 95 or more games in a season.

From 1994-2014 there were 13 times when two teams from the same division won 95 games. It last happened in 2010 when the Tampa Bay Rays (96) and the New York Yankees (95) each reached the 95-win mark that year.

Here’s a look at the 13 times when two teams from the same division won 95-plus games since 1994.

National League
1999: N.L. East (Atlanta 103, N.Y. Mets 97)
1999: N.L. Central (Houston 97, Cincinnati 96)
2002: N.L. West (Arizona 98, San Francisco 95)

American League
1997: A.L. East (Baltimore 98, N.Y. Yankees 96)
2001: A.L. West (Seattle 116, Oakland 102)
2002: A.L. West (Oakland 103, Anaheim 99)
2003: A.L. East (N.Y. Yankees 101, Boston 95)
2004: A.L. East (N.Y. Yankees 101, Boston 98)
2005: A.L. East (N.Y. Yankees 95, Boston 95)
2006: A.L. Central (Minnesota 96, Detroit 95)
2008: A.L. East (Tampa Bay 97, Boston 95)
2009: A.L. East (N.Y. Yankees 103 Boston 95)
2010: A.L. East (Tampa Bay 96, N.Y. Yankees 95)

In eight of these 13 occasions listed above, one of the teams from that division made it to the World Series that season. Only three won the World Series that year (Anaheim 2002, Boston 2004 and N.Y. Yankees 2009). The five teams that lost in the World Series that year were Atlanta-1999, San Francisco-2002, N.Y. Yankees-2003, Detroit-2006 and Tampa Bay-2008.

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Game One blowouts in the World Series

1982 World Series

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Seeing a Game One blowout in the World Series is a fairly rare site. In fact, prior to last night’s 8-1 win by the Red Sox over the Cardinals, there had been only 10 World Series Game Ones that were decided by seven runs or more.

Here’s a look at those 10 seven runs or more blowouts in previous World Series Game Ones.

2007: Boston over Colorado 13-1 (largest margin of victory in Game One of a World Series)
2001: Arizona over NY Yankees 9-1
1996: Atlanta over NY Yankees 12-1
1980: Cincinnati over Oakland 7-0
1987: Minnesota over St. Louis 10-1
1982: Milwaukee over St. Louis 10-0
1959: Chicago White Sox over LA Dodgers 10-0
1945: Chicago Cubs over Detroit 9-0
1937: NY Yankees over NY Giants 8-1
1919: Cincinnati over Chicago White Sox 9-1

Notice that getting blown out in Game One has happened before to the Cards; they have now lost three Game Ones in the World Series by seven runs or more (most in World Series history).

In the 109-year history of the Fall Classic, Game One has traditionally been a close game. Thirty-eight times (34.9%) the first game of the World Series ended in a one-run game. In just over 51% of the World Series Game Ones, the margin of victory was either one of two runs.

Finally, how will the Cardinals rebound from last night’s drubbing? If the past is any indication, it might not be very well. In the previous 10 blowouts in Game One, the team that won Game One also won Game Two seven times. The 1937 NY Yankees were the only World Series team to win both the first and second games of the World Series by seven runs or more. We can probably expect a closer game in Game Two, but you have to go back to 1982 to see a team rebound from a Game One blowout and win Game Two… in ’82 the Milwaukee Brewers won Game One 10-0. Their opponents, the Cardinals, took Game Two with a 5-4 victory.

Can the Cardinals of 2013 repeat what happened in the 1982 World Series?

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Blue Jays have second double-digit win streak in MLB in 2013

Toronto Blue Jays logo (1997–2002)

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published with a focus on stats that go beyond the numbers.

Tampa Bay defeated the Toronto Blue Jays last night 4-1, ending the Blue Jays 11-game winning streak. The 11-game streak tied the franchise record.

It was also the second double-digit winning streak of the 2013 season. Earlier this year the Atlanta Braves ran off 10 straight wins.

For some MLB teams, a win streak of 10 or more games has been a rarity. For the Miami Marlins franchise, they have never had a win streak of 10 or more games in their history. Two teams, Kansas City and Baltimore, both have not had a winning streak of 10 or more games this century. The Royals last had a double-digit win streak in 1994 when they won 14 straight. The Orioles last won 10-plus in 1999 when they had a 13-game wining streak.

Following are the last years that each MLB team had a winning streak of 10 or more games (the number in parenthesis is the number of games won in a row that season)

Year, team (win streak)

Never: Miami

1994: Kansas City (14)

1999: Baltimore (13)

2001: Chicago Cubs (12); St. Louis (11)

2002: Anaheim (10); Seattle (10)

2003: Arizona (12); Milwaukee (10)

2004: Houston (12); Pittsburgh (10); San Francisco (10); Tampa Bay (12)

2005: Washington (10)

2006: L.A. Dodgers (11); Oakland (10)

2008: Cleveland (10); Minnesota (10); N.Y. Mets (10)

2009: Boston (11); San Diego (10)

2010: Chicago White Sox (11); Colorado (10); Philadelphia (11)

2011: Detroit (12); Texas (12)

2012: Cincinnati (10); N.Y. Yankees (10)

2013: Atlanta (10); Toronto (11)

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Can Carlos Gomez and Jean Segura reach rare, historic numbers in 2013?

Jean Segura - #9

(Photo credit: Steve Paluch)

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published with a focus on stats that go beyond the numbers.

Carlos Gomez and Jean Segura are enjoying breakout seasons with the Brewers. But is it possible that one (or both) of these players could reach numbers that have only been seen a handful of times in baseball history?

Gomez and Segura are currently tied for the National League (and MLB) lead in triples with eight. Both are already in double-figures with home runs, Gomez with 12, Segura with 10. Is it possible that one (or both of them) will end the season with 20-plus triples and 20-plus home runs?

As it stands right now, both players are on a pace to reach 19 triples for the season. Gomez is on a 29-homer pace for the year, while Segura is on a pace to hit 24 four-baggers. Looking back in baseball history, there have only been seven players since the beginning of the national pastime who have hit 20 or more home runs and 20 or more triples in the same season. The last to do so? Curtis Granderson (Detroit) and Jimmy Rollins (Phillies) both accomplished this rare feat in 2007.

Here’s a look at the seven players who had 20-plus HRs and 20-plus triples in a season.

Year: Player (team), triples/HRs

2007: Curtis Granderson (Detroit) 23/23

2007: Jimmy Rollins (Philadelphia) 20/30

1979: George Brett (Kansas City) 20/23

1957: Willie Mays (N.Y. Giants) 20/35

1941: Jeff Heath (Cleveland) 20/24

1928: Jim Bottomley (St/ Louis) 20/31

1911: Frank Schulte (Chicago Cubs) 21/21

Getting back to Gomez and Segura, there is not much history for these players to indicate whether or not the possibility of being a 20-20 (triple-HR) player will become a reality. Gomez has already reached his career-high in triples with eight; his career-high in home runs was last year when he hit 19. For Segura, this is his first full season in the majors after 45 games in the bigs last year.

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