Tag Archives: MLB

Today’s Sportstat: October 31, 2019

93-win Nationals make World Series history

Four different teams won 100 or more games in the majors in 2019: Houston, the L.A. Dodgers, the New York Yankees and the Minnesota Twins. When the ’19 post-season started, the common opinion and baseball wisdom had one of these four, especially either the Dodgers or the Astros, hoisting the championship trophy at the end of the World Series. In fact, many people had penciled in the Dodgers and Astros as the World Series combatants.

So much for common opinion and baseball wisdom. Of course, no one told the Washington Nationals what was supposed to happen.

The Nats, who won 93 games in the ’19 regular season, defeated the Dodgers three games to two in the National League Divisional Series and then won four road games against the Astros to win the title.

The World Series featured the 93-win Nats and the 107-win Astros, who led the majors in regular season victories this past season. That’s a 14-win disparity. In the history of the World Series, there has now been 32 times where the two teams playing in the Fall Classic had a 10-win or more disparity. The team with 10 or more regular season wins has now won the World Series in 20 of those 32 while the team with 10 or more fewer regular season wins have won 12 times, including this year’s Nationals.

This was the 10th time in World Series history that one of the teams had 14 or more regular season wins than their World Series opponent. Here are those ten times:

2019: Houston-107 wins vs. Washington-93 wins (14-win difference)
2018: Boston-108 wins vs. Los Angeles Dodgers-92 wins (16-win difference)
1998: New York Yankees-114 wins vs. San Diego-98 wins (16-win difference)
1961: New York Yankees-109 wins vs. Cincinnati-93-wins (16-win difference)
1954: Cleveland-111 wins vs. New York Giants-97-wins (14-win difference)
1944: St. Louis Cards-105 wins vs. St. Louis Browns-89 wins (16-win difference)
1932: New York Yankees-107 wins vs. Chicago Cubs-90 wins (17-win difference)
1927: New York Yankees-110 wins vs. Pittsburgh-94 wins (16-win difference)
1907: Chicago Cubs-107 wins vs. Detroit-92 wins (15-win difference)
1906: Chicago Cubs-116 wins vs. Chicago White Sox-93 wins (23-win difference)

Of the ten times listed above, in only three of those matchups did the teams with the fewer regular season wins win the World Series: the 1906 Chicago White Sox, the 1954 New York Giants, and the 2019 Washington Nationals.

One final stat: The Astros became only the eighth team in World Series history to enter the World Series with 105 or more regular season wins and then lose the World Series. The eight teams:

2019 Houston (107 wins)
2004 St. Louis (105 wins)
1969 Baltimore (109 wins)
1954 Cleveland (111 wins)
1953 Brooklyn (105 wins)
1943 St. Louis (105 wins)
1931 Philadelphia A’s (107 wins)
1906 Chicago Cubs (116 wins)

 

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Today’s Sportstat: October 10, 2019

Washington Nationals make history

It was an itch that certainly needed to be scratched… especially for their long-suffering fans.

With their win over the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League Divisional Series, the Washington Nationals are going to the National League Championship Series (NLCS) for the first time in the history of the franchise in Washington.

As a point of historical perspective, the Nationals have been in existence since 2005. Prior to that, the franchise called Montreal home where the Expos played from 1969 to 2004. They then left Montreal for D.C. and a new start as the Nationals in ’05.

The Expos made the post-season only once in their history, losing in the NLCS three games to two in 1981. It was the first and only time the franchise had made it to the NLCS until this year, the longest drought of all franchises. In fact, of the current 30 franchises, 26 have played in either an ALCS or NLCS this century. The four teams that had not played in the ALCS or NLCS this century prior to this year were Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, San Diego and Washington.

Here’s a look at the last time each MLB team has played in the ALCS or NLCS with a chance to reach the World Series.

American League
Seattle-2001
Minnesota-2002
Chicago White Sox-2005
Oakland-2006
Tampa Bay-2008*
L.A. Angels-2009
Texas-2011
Detroit-2013
Baltimore-2014
Kansas City-2015
Cleveland-2016
Toronto-2016
Boston-2018
Houston-2018*
N.Y. Yankees-2019

National League
Pittsburgh-1992
Cincinnati-1995
San Diego-1998
Atlanta-2001
Miami-2003
Arizona-2007
Colorado-2007
Philadelphia-2010
San Francisco-2014
N.Y. Mets-2015
Chicago Cubs-2017
L.A. Dodgers-2018
Milwaukee-2018
St. Louis-2019
Washington-2019

*At the time of this post, the ALDS series between Tampa Bay and Houston had not been decided, therefore their years may not be current

 

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Today’s Sportstat: October 5, 2019

Where are they now? World Series winning managers since 2000

You would think that winning a World Series would give a manager a certain degree of job security. Think again.

Just this year, we saw that three of the last seven managers to win a World Series are no longer with that team: Bruce Bochy, who won three titles with the Giants (2010, 2012 and 2014) retired after the 2019 season; Joe Madden, who guided the Cubs to a World Series in 2016, was fired (or better stated, his contract was not renewed) at the conclusion of this year; and, Ned Yost, who led the Royals to a championship in 2015, decided to retire after the ’19 campaign.

Here’s another take on this: Of the 15 different managers who won a World Series since 2000, only three are now still managing in the majors: Terry Francona (he won two World Series with the Red Sox in 2004 and 2007) who is now the skipper of the Cleveland Indians, and Houston manager A.J. Hinch (he won the title in 2017 with the Astros) and Boston manager Alex Cora (he won with the Red Sox last season), are still with the teams they led to the title.

Here’s a look at the World Series winning managers since 2000 and where they are now.

2000: Joe Torre, New York Yankees (last managed in 2007). Now MLB’s Chief Baseball Officer

2001: Bob Brenly, Arizona (last managed in 2004). Broadcaster

2002: Mike Scioscia, Anaheim (last managed in 2018). Stepped down after the 2018 season

2003: Jack McKeon, Florida (last managed in 2005). Retired in 2011 after a short stint as San Diego interim manager.

2004: Terry Francona, Boston (still managing… current Cleveland skipper).

2005: Ozzie Guillen, Chicago White Sox (last managed in 2011). Broadcaster

2006: Tony LaRussa, St. Louis (last managed in 2011). Vice-President of the Boston Red Sox

2007: Terry Francona, Boston (see above-2004))

2008: Charlie Manuel, Philadelphia (last managed in 2013). Phillies hitting coach in 2019

2009: Joe Girardi, New York Yankees (last managed in 2017). Broadcaster

2010: Bruce Bochy, San Francisco (last managed in 2019). Retired in 2019.

2011: Tony LaRussa, St. Louis (see above-2006)

2012: Bruce Bochy, San Francisco (see above-2010)

2013: John Farrell, Boston (last managed in 2017). Broadcaster

2014: Bruce Bochy, San Francisco (see above-2010)

2015: Ned Yost, Kansas City (last managed in 2019). Retired in 2019

2016: Joe Madden, Chicago Cubs (last managed in 2019). Fired/Contract not renewed in 2019

2017: A.J. Hinch, Houston (still managing the Houston Astros)

2018: Alex Cora, Boston (still managing the Boston Red Sox)

A couple of men on the above list are being mentioned as candidates for managerial openings that are (or will be) available; Girardi could wind up with the Cubs, a team he played seven seasons for in two stints. Madden, a former Angels minor leaguer, has been mentioned as a strong candidate for the Angels opening, and there has been talk that Farrell is ready to get back into the dugout as a manager.

So… stay tuned.

 

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Today’s Sportstat: August 29, 2019

Back-to-back post-season appearances have been rare for the Brewers

Before reading the rest of this article, see if you can answer this trivia question: Of the current 30 baseball franchises, can you name the two that have never played in the post-season in back-to-back seasons? (The answer is contained in the article.)

Brewers’ fans certainly enjoyed the team’s pennant run last season that ended one game short of an appearance in the World Series. Sitting here on the morning of August 29, the Brewers have a lot of work to do if they want to get back to the post season… they are 5½ games behind the first-place Cardinals in the National League Central, and are 3½ games out of the second Wild Card spot in the N.L.

Making the playoffs in back-to-back seasons has not happened very frequently for the Brew Crew. In fact, the team’s only back-to-back post-season appearance was back in 1981 and 1982; and that was when the franchise played in the American League, meaning the National League version of the Brewers has never played in the post season in back-to-back seasons.

Of teams that have played in the post season in back-to-back seasons, the Brewers have the longest drought for repeating that accomplishment. There are, however, two current MLB franchises that have never played in the post season in back-to-back years. It’s not surprising that Miami, which began as a MLB franchise in 1993, is one of those teams. What is surprising is the other team: the Chicago White Sox. Think of this, the White Sox began as a MLB franchise in 1901 and have never played in the post season in back-to-back years.

Here’s a breakdown of the last time each of the 30 MLB franchises played in the post season in back-to-back seasons.

Never: Chicago White Sox, Miami

1982: Milwaukee (as members of the American League)

1997: Baltimore

2001: Seattle

2002: Arizona

2003: San Francisco

2006: San Diego

2009: Los Angeles Angels

2010: Minnesota

2011: Philadelphia, Tampa Bay

2013: Atlanta, Cincinnati

2014: Detroit, Oakland

2015: Kansas City, Pittsburgh, St. Louis

2016: New York Mets, Texas, Toronto

2017: Washington

2018: Boston, Chicago Cubs, Cleveland, Colorado, Houston, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees

 

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Today’s Sportstat: July 17, 2019

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
Cleveland, .633

Boston, .599
L.A. Dodgers, .581
N.Y. Yankees, .571
Washington, .566
St. Louis, .556
Houston, .555
Milwaukee, .531
Colorado, .519
Oakland, .517
Seattle, .510
Tampa Bay, .509
N.Y. Mets, .500

L.A. Angels, .499
Atlanta, .488
Toronto, .486
Texas, .483
Kansas City, .477
Arizona, .476
Pittsburgh, .474
Minnesota, .468
Philadelphia, .435
Miami, .427
San Diego, .424
Baltimore, .421
Chicago White Sox, .421
Cincinnati, .418
Detroit, .417

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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