Tag Archives: Los Angeles

NHL has the most parity in last 20 years

The Boston Celtics are back and looking to add...

Boston Celtics NBA Championship banners (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Over the past several years, we have heard the word “parity” thrown around quite a bit, especially in the world of sports. Professional teams like the Montreal Canadians, the New York Yankees, the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakes, and at various times in the NFL, the Cowboys, Steelers, Packers and 49ers, have all enjoyed long success in their respective league.

While the fans in those towns may enjoy the dynasties that were built, other cities and executives within each of the four major sports leagues would rather see the wealth spread around a bit to other teams.

Back-to-back titles have happened in each of the four major sports in the last two decades. The Yankees won three straight titles in the late ’90’s; the Patriots won back-to-back Super Bowls in 2004 and 2005 (there has not, however, been a team that has won three straight Super Bowls); the Lakers won three consecutive NBA titles earlier this century (and the Miami Heat are hoping for a third straight title this year); and, the Detroit Red Wings won back-to-back Stanley Cups in 1997 and 1998. But those days when a franchise won five or more straight championships are very much a distant past.

So which of the four major sports in the last 20 years has seen the “most” parity? Let’s start the discussion with a few numbers.

Different champions: Of the four sports, the NHL has had 13 different franchises win the Stanley Cup in the last 20 years. The NFL is close behind with 12 teams winning at least one Super Bowl in the past two decades. The World Series has been won by 11 different teams since 1993, while the NBA Championship has seen only eight franchises hoist the title trophy since 1993. Slight advantage to the NHL.

Repeat champions: Of the four sports, the NFL has had the most repeat champions (teams that won more than one title) in the last 20 years with seven (Baltimore, Dallas, Denver, Green Bay, New England, New York Giants and Pittsburgh). The other three sports have each had five repeat champs in the past 20 seasons. No advantage.

Back-to-Back titles: In the past 20 years, the NHL has had the fewest consecutive titles by a team, one. That happened in 1997 and 1998 when the Red Wings won back-to-back titles. It has happened only twice in major league baseball in the last 20 years; it has occurred three times in the last 2o Super Bowls. In the NBA, there have been seven times when a team won back-to-back titles (on two occasions, those teams won a three-peat). Advantage NHL.

So based on these three factors, the NHL, in my opinion, has had the most parity over the past 20 years.

Your thoughts?

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Los Angeles Dodgers: MLB’s best record since August 1, 2011

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

Current logo using "Dodgers" Script

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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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American League teams ready to continue interleague play dominance

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published multiple times weekly focusing on stats that go beyond the numbers.

Mike Scioscia argues with the umpire, August 2...

Angels manager Mike Scioscia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The first round of interleague play for 2012 in major league baseball begins today with 14 contests. Teams like the Los Angeles Angels, Boston Red Sox, Detroit Tigers, New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox are chomping at the bit for this part of their schedule because of past success in games against the National League foes. Each of these five teams are playing .600 or better baseball over the past five seasons in games against N.L. rivals.

The Angels, who are laboring at seven games behind Texas in the A.L. West, have won 62 and lost only 28 in their 90 interleague games since 2007, a winning percentage of .689. They open interleague play against San Diego, which happens to have the worst record in the N.L. at 14-24. The Padres also have the second-worst interleague record in the last five seasons at 29-49.

Following is a look at the interleague records of each team in the past five years (2007-11).

Team, Interleague W-L, Pct.

American League

Los Angeles Angels 62-28 .689

Boston 57-33 .633

Detroit 55-35 .611

Chicago White Sox 54-36 .600

New York Yankees 54-36 .600

Minnesota 53-37 .589

Texas 53-37 .589

Tampa Bay 51-39 .567

Seattle 47-43 .522

Kansas City 44-46 .489

Baltimore 42-48 .467

Oakland 41-49 .456

Toronto 40-50 .444

Cleveland 36-54 .400

National League

Colorado 45-33 .577

New York Mets 44-37 .543

St. Louis 39-36 .520

Atlanta 38-37 .507

San Francisco 37-41 .474

Milwaukee 35-40 .467

Miami 39-45 .464

Philadelphia 37-44 .457

Arizona 35-43 .449

Cincinnati 36-45 .444

Chicago Cubs 33-42 .440

Washington 37-50 .425

Pittsburgh 29-46 .387 .387

Los Angeles Dodgers 29-49 .372

San Diego 29-49 .372

Houston 29-52 .358

The 40 playoff teams in the past five seasons compiled a 376-296 record (.560 winning percentage) in interleague play in those seasons that they played in the post-season. The 10 World Series teams were 92-78 (.538) in interleague play in the years they went to the World Series. The last five World Champs were 41-40 in interleague play in the seasons they won the title.

Did you know? The Yankees have had a winning record in interleague play in 12 straight seasons, the longest current streak in the majors. The Red Sox have played better than .500 in interleague play in six straight seasons, second in that category. The Cubs, Astros and Blue Jays have each played under .500 in interleague play in four straight seasons, longest current streaks in that category.

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2012 NBA Playoffs: Does sweeping the first two series lead to a title?

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published multiple times weekly focusing on stats that go beyond the numbers.

Los Angeles Lakers Kobe Bryant

Los Angeles Lakers Kobe Bryant (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder have both taken 3-0 leads in their opening round series and the San Antonio Spurs have a two games to none lead in their first-round series. All three series have the potential to be four-game sweeps.

Here’s the question: Does sweeping the first two playoff series lead to an NBA championship? In NBA history, 11 teams have swept the first two playoff series. Of those 11, six have gone on to win the title. The last team to sweep the first two playoff series were the Orland Magic in 2010. They, however, lost the next series to the Boston Celtics and failed to reach the NBA Finals. The 2001 Los Angeles Lakers were the last team to sweep the first two playoff series and then win the title that year.

Following is a look at the 11 teams that went through their first two playoff series undefeated and where they ended up in the playoffs that season.

2010 Orlando Magic: Swept both Charlotte and Atlanta in four games in the first two rounds. Lost to Boston four games to two in the conference finals.

2009 Cleveland Cavaliers: Swept Detroit and Atlanta in the first two rounds. Lost to Orlando 4-2 in the conference finals.

2005 Miami Heat: Swept both New Jersey and Washington in four games in the first two rounds. Lost to the Detroit Pistons in Game Seven of the conference finals.

2001 Los Angeles Lakers: Swept Portland in a three-game series and then swept Sacramento in four straight in the conference semifinals. Swept the San Antonio Spurs in the conference finals. Defeated the 76ers in the Finals four games to one. They are the last team to sweep the first two rounds of the playoffs and win the NBA title.

1999 Indiana Pacers: Swept the Bucks in three games in the first round and swept Philadelphia in four straight in the next round. They lost four games to two to the New York Knicks in the conference finals.

1993 Chicago Bulls: They swept Atlanta in three games in the frist round, then swept Cleveland in four games the following round. Went on to win the NBA championship that year.

1989 Detroit Pistons, Los Angeles Lakers: The only time in NBA history that the two teams facing off in the finals swept both of their first two round series. The Pistons won the title after defeating the Celtics 3-0 in the opening round and then beating the Bucks 4-0 in the conference semifinals. The Lakers swept Portland in three in the first round and then disposed of Seattle in four straight in the next round. The Lakers are the only team to lose in NBA finals after sweeping their first two series.

1982 Los Angeles Lakers: The Lakers swept the Suns 4-0 in their first series of the playoffs and then swept the Spurs in the conference finals. They went on to defeat the 76ers 4-2 in the finals for the title.

1950 Minneapolis Lakers: The Lakers swept the Chicago Stags in two games ( a best-of-three series) and swept the Fort Wayne Pistons 2-0 in the next round on their way to winning the league title four games to two over the Syracuse Nationals.

1949 Minneapolis Lakers: Swept the Chicago Stags 2-0 and the Rochester Royals 2-0 in the first two rounds before defeating the Washington Capitals four games to two to win the title.

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NHL Playoffs: The Conference Semifinals ‘seed’ advantage

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published multiple times weekly focusing on stats that go beyond the numbers.

Stanley Cup, on display at the Hockey Hall of ...

The Stanley Cup (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The next round of the NHL playoffs begin tonight as the first of the four Conference Semifinals will have Phoenix and Nashville facing off in Phoenix. The matchups for the Conference Semis:

No. 2 St. Louis vs. No. 8 Los Angeles

No. 3 Phoenix vs. No. 4 Nashville

No. 1 NY Rangers vs. No. 7 Washington

No. 5 Philadelphia vs. No. 6 New Jersey

Since we have each of the eight seeds (No. 1, No. 2 through No.8) represented in the second round, how well has each seed done in previous Conference Semifinals? Following are the series records of each seed in the second round from 1994-2011. (The playoffs in 1994 was the first year the league ranked eight teams from each of the two conferences No. 1 through No. 8, the current playoff format.) Notice how the No. 2 seed has the best series record since 1994; also notice how well the No. 6 seed has performed in the second round.

Series Record (series won/lost) of Seeds in Conference Semifinals

No. 1 Seed… 17-8 .680

No. 2 Seed… 14-5 .737

No. 3 Seed… 9-13 .409

No. 4 Seed… 11-11 .500

No. 5 Seed… 4-8 .333

No. 6 Seed… 7-5 .583

No. 7 Seed… 4-11 .267

No. 8 Seed… 2-7 .222

Let’s take it a step further. Here are the actual seed matchups from the second round from 1994-2011

Conference Semifinals Matchups (by seed) 1994-2011

No. 1 vs. No. 4: Series tied at 2-2; No. 1 vs. No. 5: No. 1 has won five series and lost two; No. 1 vs. No. 6: No. 1 has won two series and lost three; No. 1 vs. No. 7: No. 1 has won eight series and lost one.

No. 2 vs. No. 3: No. 2 has won nine series and lost two; No. 2 vs. No. 4: No. 2 has won one series and lost two series; No. 2 vs. No. 5: series tied at 1-1; No. 2 vs. No. 8: No. 2 has won all three series.

No. 3 vs. No. 4: No. 3 has won five series and lost three; No. 3 vs. No. 5: No. 3 lost the only series; No. 3 vs. No. 8: No. 3 has won both series.

No. 4 vs. No. 6: Series tied at 1-1; No. 4 vs. No. 7: series tied at 1-1; No. 4 vs. No. 8: No. 4 has won two series and lost one.

No. 5 vs. No. 6: No. 5 has lost only series; No. 5 vs. No. 8: No. 5 has lost only series.

No. 6 vs. No. 7: Series tied at 2-2.

Did you know? The higher seed has won the 64.7 percent of the NHL Conference Semifinals series from 1994-2011.

As mentioned above, each of the eight seeds (No. 1 through No. 8) have a team playing in the second round. This is the fourth time this has happened in the second round of the playoffs since 1994 (1995, 1999, 2006 and 2010). The No. 2 seed in 2010 and 2006 won the Stanley Cup that year… could this bode well for the St. Louis Blues?

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