Tag Archives: MLB

Today’s Sports Stat: March 9, 2018

With baseball’s spring training in full swing, each of the 30 MLB teams has a certain degree of optimism as they get ready for the 2018 campaign.

While each of the 30 teams may have the goal of making a post-season appearance this year, there will be 20 teams that will not reach the playoffs. And for some, reaching the playoffs may be a realistic goal, but winning a playoff series may be an even more daunting task.

Twenty-six of the 30 MLB franchises have won at least one playoff series this century. Four franchises, all in National League, have not won a post-season series since 2000, and for a pair of franchises, they have not won a playoff series in almost 40 years!

Following is a look at the last time each of the 30 franchises won a post-season series. (Note: For the sake of this stat, winning a one-game post-season series… i.e., Wild Card game… does not count.)

Last time they won a post-season series (3-game, 5-game,7-game)
1979: Pittsburgh

1981: Washington (Montreal)
1995: Cincinnati
1998: San Diego
2001: Atlanta, Seattle
2002: Minnesota
2003: Miami
2005: Chicago White Sox
2006: Oakland
2007: Arizona, Colorado
2008: Tampa Bay
2009: Los Angeles Angels
2010: Philadelphia
2011: Milwaukee, Texas
2013: Boston, Detroit
2014: Baltimore, St. Louis, San Francisco
2015: Kansas City, N.Y. Mets
2016: Cleveland, Toronto
2017: Chicago Cubs, Houston, L.A. Dodgers, N.Y. Yankees

The Pirates in 2014 and 2015 lost in one-game Wild Card contests. In 2013, they won a one-game Wild Card game and then lost to St. Louis in a five-game NLDS. From 1990-92, the Pirates lost three straight NLCS series. The last playoff series they won was in 1979 when they won the World Series that year.

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Today’s Sports Stat: March 7, 2018

Can Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw dominate in his 30s like he did in his 20s?

Kershaw turns 30 on March 19th. He enters the 2018 season (and his 30s) with 144 career wins and only 64 losses, a .692 winning percentage. Kershaw’s career in his 20s was one of the best in MLB history. Consider this:

  • Kershaw is one of only 34 pitchers in baseball history to have 140 or more wins in his 20s.
  • Kershaw’s .692 winning percentage is the second-best all-time of the 171 pitchers who won 100 or more games in their 20s. Whitey Ford was 105-40 (.724 winning percentage) in his 20s, the highest winning percentage in this stat.

Kershaw is one of three active pitchers who won 140 or more games in their 20s. C.C. Sabathia won 157 in his 20s, while Felix Hernandez won 143 in his 20s. (For the record, Sabathia has won 80 in his 30s; Hernandez has won 17.)

As I stated in the opening paragraph, the question will be can Kershaw, now age 30, match the success he had in his 20s. Can he reach 200 wins? How about 250? Or 300?

Looking at the 31 non-active pitchers who reached 140 or more wins in their 20s, it’s interesting to note that not all had success in their 30s. In fact, nine of the 31 did not reach 200 career wins after posting 140+ before hitting their 30s. Others flourished in their 30s… some even winning more games in their 30s than their 20s. For example, these pitchers with 140 or more wins in their 20s won more in their 30s than their 20s;

Pete Alexander (won 160 in his 20s; 213 in his 30s)
Roger Clemens (won 152 in his 20s; 202 in his 30s)
Greg Maddux (won 150 in his 20s; 205 in his 20s)
Tom Seaver (won 146 in his 20’s; 165 in his 30s)

There have been 11 pitchers who won 140+ in their 20s who won less than 40 games in their 30s. Unfortunately, some of these pitchers passed away during their baseball careers. For others, injury or other performance factors played a role in them not matching their win totals from their 20s. Those 11 pitchers are:

Dizzy Dean, 3 wins in his 30s… 147 wins in his 20s
Addie Joss, 5 wins in his 30s… 155 wins in his 20s
Wes Ferrell, 18 wins in his 30s… 175 wins in his 20s
Hal Newhouser, 22 wins in his 30s… 185 wins in his 20s
Ken Holtzman, 23 wins in his 30s… 151 wins in his 20s
Don Drysdale, 32 wins in his 30s… 177 wins in his 20s
Fernando Valenzuela, 32 wins in his 30s… 141 wins in his 20s
Chief Bender, 36 wins in his 30s… 176 wins in his 20s
Lefty Gomez, 36 wins in his 30s… 153 wins in his 20s
Dave McNally, 36 wins in his 30s… 148 wins in his 20s
Dwight Gooden, 37 wins in his 30s… 157 wins in his 20s

One final note: There are only two active pitchers under the age of 30 who have accumulated 100 or more wins. Rick Porcello sits at 117 career wins. He dies not turn 30 until after the end of the 2018 season. Madison Bumgarner has 104 career wins and doesn’t turn 30 until August 1, 2019. He certainly has an outside chance of reaching that 140 career wins in his 20s.


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Today’s Sports Stat: March 3, 2018

Getting 100 RBI in a season is an important milestone in baseball. It not only signifies a player as a great run-producer, but 100 RBIs seems to be one of those stats that carry a lot of clout when we evaluate players.

There are, however, times when a player has fallen short of that 100-RBI season; in fact, there have been 91 times in MLB history where a player ended the season with 99 RBI falling one ribbie short of that magic milestone.

Last season, Cincinnati Reds slugger Adam Duvall ended the year with exactly 99 RBI, the only player to do so last season. He collected his 99th RBI in the fourth inning on the last day of the season and had two at-bats remaining in that game against the Cubs to get RBI #100. He had a bases-empty double in an at-bat in the sixth inning of that game, and then with a man on second in the eighth inning, he struck out, thus ending his quest for 100 RBI in 2017.

There have been six MLB players who had exactly 99 RBI in not only one, but two seasons. Jay Bruce is the last player to do so… he had exactly 99 RBI in 2012 and in 2016.

Here are the six players who have had two seasons in their careers with exactly 99 RBI. Also noted is how many 100-RBI seasons they have had in their careers.

Ty Cobb, 1915, 1922 (had seven 100-RBI seasons in his career)

Bibb Falk, 1924, 1925 (had one 100-RBI season in his career)

Lee May, 1975, 1977 (had three 100-RBI seasons in his career)

Kirby Puckett, 1987, 1995 (had three 100-RBI seasons in his career)

Sean Casey, 1999, 2004 (did not have a 100-RBI season in his career)

Jay Bruce, 20102, 2016 (has had two 100-RBI seasons in his career)


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Today’s Sports Stat: February 27, 2018

The Los Angeles Dodgers enter the 2018 season with a streak of five consecutive years with 90 or more wins. They are one of only 19 teams in MLB history to win 90 or more games in five straight seasons. If they should win 90 this season, they would become only the 11th team in MLB history to win 90+ in six straight campaigns.

The New York Yankees from 1947-58 hold the record in this stat… they won 90 or more in 12 straight seasons. Second on the list are the 1904-12 Chicago Cubs that won 90+ in nine straight seasons.

Following are the 19 teams that have won 90 or more games in five straight seasons (or longer).

12-New York Yankees, 1947-58

9-Chicago Cubs, 1904-12

7-New York Yankees, 2001-07

6-New York Giants, 1908-13
6-Philadelphia A’s, 1909-14
6-Philadelphia A’s, 1927-32
6-St. Louis Cardinals, 1941-46
6-Cleveland Indians, 1950-55
6-Brooklyn Dodgers, 1951-56
6-Atlanta Braves, 1995-2000

5-Pittsburgh Pirates, 1905-09
5-New York Giants, 1933-37
5-New York Yankees, 1960-64
5-Oakland A’s, 1971-75
5-Cincinnati Reds, 1972-76
5-New York Mets, 1984-88
5-Oakland A’s, 2000-04
5-San Francisco Giants, 2000-04
5-Los Angeles Dodgers, 2013-17 (active)

Of the current 30 MLB teams, the Seattle Mariners and Miami Marlins hold the distinction of having the longest drought when it comes to 90-win seasons. Neither team has won 90 or more in a season since 2003.


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Today’s Sports Stat: February 23, 2018

Last season in Major League Baseball 41 different players hit 30 or more home runs. Pretty impressive, right?

Look, however, at some of the other numbers in each player’s stat line from last season; specifically, look at how many strikeouts each of these 41 players had in 2017.

Of the 41 players with 30 or more home runs last season, 36 of them struck out 100 or more times, and 14 of them had 150 or more strikeouts for the season. It seems that we are seeing more and more of the “all-or-nothing” power hitter in today’s game, especially over the past 10 years or so.

Here are the five players last season who hit 30 or more home runs and had less than 100 strikeouts.

Joey Votto, 36 HRs, 83 strikeouts
Anthony Rizzo, 32 HRs, 90 strikeouts
Mike Trout, 33 HRs, 90 strikeouts
Francisco Lindor, 33 HRs, 93 strikeouts
Mike Moustakas, 38 HRs, 94 strikeouts

The fewest strikeouts of any player in MLB history who had 30 or more home runs in a season is 13… yes, only 13. In 1941, Joe DiMaggio hit 30 home runs and had only 13 strikeouts that season.

Since 1901, there have been only 76 times that a batter had 30 or more home runs and less than 50 strikeouts in the same season. It’s interesting to note, however, that only five of those times have come since 2000, and only once has it happened in the last decade. Those five:

Moises Alou, 2000, 30 HRs, 45 strikeouts
Barry Bonds, 2002, 46 HRs, 47 strikeouts
Barry Bonds, 2004, 45 HRs, 41 strikeouts
Vladimir Guerrero, 2005, 32 HRs, 48 strikeouts
Victor Martinez, 2014, 32 HRs, 42 strikeouts

One final note: Only once in MLB history has a player hit 50 or more home runs with less than 50 strikeouts that season. It happened in 1947 when Johnny Mize had 51 home runs and only 42 strikeouts.

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