Tag Archives: MLB

Today’s Sportstat: March 4, 2019

Can Christian Yelich repeat his 2018 season?

One of the most frequent questions you will hear throughout Miller Park during the early months of the 2019 MLB season is… Can Christian Yelich have another big season?

Yelich won the National League MVP last season with a .326 average, 36 home runs and 110 RBI. While reaching these numbers again this season might be asking for much, it does beg the question… Can Yelich, statistically speaking, match his 2018 output?

To answer that question, let’s take a journey over the past five seasons and see how the last five MVPs in each league did the year following their MVP season.

For the record, here are the MVPs for each league from 2013-17:

American League: Miguel Cabrera (2013), Mike Trout (2014), Josh Donaldson (2015), Mike Trout (2016) and Jose Altuve (2017).

National League: Andrew McCutchen (2013), Clayton Kershaw (2014), Bryce harper (2015), Kris Bryant (2016), Giancarlo Stanton (2017).

As you can see, nine of the 10 MVPs prior to 2018 were everyday players (the only exception was Kershaw in 2014). To get a take on what has happened to previous MVPs and how it might answer the question about whether or not Yelich will match his 2018 MVP season, let’s see how the previous nine everyday MVPs did statistically when it comes to comparing the batting average, HR and RBI numbers from the MVP season to the following year.

Here’s what we find… of the nine non-pitcher MVPs from 2013-17:

  • Only three of the nine increased their season HR totals the year after the MVP season;
  • All nine saw their RBI totals the season after their MVP campaign decrease the following season;
  • Only two of the nine increased their season batting average the year after the MVP year.

Here’s another stat using these year-after-the-MVP numbers… of the nine non-pitchers MVPs from 2013-17:

  • Their season home run totals dropped by an average of 7.8 home runs from their MVP season to the following year;
  • Their season RBI totals dropped by an average of 21.8 RBI from their MVP season to the following year;
  • Their season batting average dropped by an average of 19.7 points from their MVP season to the following year.

If we apply the above numbers to Yelich’s totals from 2018 to project what he might do statistically (batting average, HRs and RBIs) in 2019, we would project Yelich to end 2019, the year after his MVP, with a .306 average with 28 home runs and 88 RBI. Again, this would be based on what we’ve seen from the past five MVPs in each year and what they did the year after their MVP campaign.

Those projected 2019 numbers would not be all that bad for Yelich, but certainly not where he ended the year in 2018. A World Series appearance for the Brewers in 2019 would certainly carry more weight than Yelich reaching his 2018 stats in 2019.

One more quick note: Looking at Clayton Kershaw’s MVP numbers the year after his MVP season, we see that in 2014 (the year Kershaw won the N.L. MVP) he had a 21-3 record with a 1.77 ERA and a WHIP of 0.857. Using those stats as a comparison, Kershaw dropped in each category the year after his MVP; in 2015 Kershaw had a 16-7 record, a 2.13 ERA, and a 0.881 WHIP. Very respectable numbers, but, again, he did not reach the numbers he had in his MVP season.

Will Yelich have a “successful” 2019 season? It all depends on how you want to define successful. History, however, may be telling us that Yelich may not reach the major stats he had in 2018. Are the Brew Crew faithful okay with that?

 

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

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Today’s Sportstat: February 21, 2019

Can the Brewers finally post back-to-back playoff seasons?

The beginning of 2019 Major League Baseball’s spring training is a time for most of the 30 MLB teams to start the chatter of a potential championship this season. Yes, title hopes run rampant in February.

Just making the playoffs is a key first step to any professional team’s championship run. It’s interesting to note that baseball probably has the most difficult path for teams to take towards a title, especially if you go by the numbers: Of the four professional sports (MLB, NBA, NFL and NHL), baseball has the fewest teams that make the playoffs after their regular season with 10 (and that’s after adding two additional teams to the post-season format just a few short years ago). The NFL is next with 12 of their 32 teams qualifying for the playoffs, and the NBA and NHL each have 16 of their teams advance to the playoffs.

The Brewers took that all-important first step last year when they made the playoffs and finished one game short of reaching the World Series. The question this year is: Can they repeat the 2018 season and make a return appearance in the ’19 post-season? Considering that the Brewers have not made the playoffs in consecutive seasons since 1981-82, Brew Crew faithful have their fingers crossed that their team can do something this season that hasn’t happened in almost 40 years… back-to-back playoff seasons.

Last season seven of the 10 MLB teams that played in the post-season also played in the 2017 playoffs: Boston, Chicago Cubs, Cleveland, Colorado, Houston, L.A. Dodgers and the N.Y. Yankees. The Brewers, Oakland and Atlanta were the three teams that made the playoffs in 2018 after not making the post-season the previous campaign.

Of the 30 current MLB franchises, 26 have made the playoffs in back-to-back seasons at least once this century. Two franchises, the Miami Marlins and Chicago White Sox, have never made the MLB post-season in back-to-back seasons in their histories. Two other teams, the Brewers and the Baltimore Orioles, have previously appeared in the post-season in back-to-back seasons, but not this century (the White Sox failure to make the playoffs in back-to-back seasons is quite amazing considering they have been around as a franchise since 1901!). The Brewers, as mentioned above, last made the post-season in back-to-back years in 1981 and 1982, while the Orioles last made the post-season in consecutive years in 1996 and 1997.

Here’s a look at the last time each of the 30 MLB teams made the playoffs in back-to-back seasons.

Never: Chicago White Sox
Never: Miami Marlins
1981-82: Milwaukee
1996-97: Baltimore
2000-01: Seattle
2001-02: Arizona
2002-03: San Francisco
2005-06: San Diego
2008-09: L.A. Angels
2009-10: Minnesota
2010-11: Philadelphia, Tampa Bay
2012-13: Atlanta, Cincinnati
2013-14: Detroit, Oakland
2014-15: Kansas City, Pittsburgh, St. Louis
2015-16: N.Y. Mets, Texas, Toronto
2016-17: Washington
2017-18: Boston, Chicago Cubs, Cleveland, Colorado, Houston, L.A. Dodgers, N.Y. Yankees

 

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

Today’s Sportstat: January 24, 2019

Which team will be the winningest MLB team this decade?

Will it be the New York Yankees? The Los Angeles Dodgers? The St. Louis Cardinals? Or could the Boston Red Sox make a run at this title? And, do the Washington nationals have a shot?

This year will be the final year of this decade and that means it’s the final season of the baseball decade. Entering 2019, there are three MLB teams which have won 800 or more games this decade: the Yankees with 818, the Dodgers with 813, and the Cardinals with 808. The Red Sox are a distant fourth on this list with 788 victories since 2010. Washington is fifth on the list with 786 wins.

With a 30-game lead over the Red Sox, the Yankees appear to be a lock for the winningest A.L. team this decade. The N.L., on the other hand, appears to be a two-team race with the Cardinals only five games behind the Dodgers. The Nationals are still in the picture, but trail L.A. by 27 games.

Here’s a look at the number of wins each franchise has this decade. It’s is broken down by each league (current city is listed for each team).

American League
New York Yankees, 818
Boston, 788
Texas, 765
Tampa Bay, 764
Cleveland, 762
Anaheim, 750
Oakland, 742
Detroit, 735
Toronto, 727
Baltimore, 701
Kansas City, 699
Seattle, 690
Chicago White Sox, 671
Minnesota, 664

National League
Los Angeles Dodgers, 813
St. Louis, 808
Washington, 786
Atlanta, 746
San Francisco, 744
Milwaukee, 735
Chicago Cubs, 733
Pittsburgh, 723
Arizona, 708
New York Mets, 707
Philadelphia, 706
Cincinnati, 700
Colorado, 681
San Diego, 669
Florida, 650

The Houston Astros, who spent time in both leagues this century, have 682 wins since 2010. That places them 25th overall.

By the way, how many of you would have thought that the Brewers have more wins this decade than the Cubs?

 

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

Today’s Sports Stat: October 25, 2018

This year’s World Series features a pair of teams, the L.A. Dodgers and Boston Red Sox, who are making their second Fall Classic appearances in the last 10 years. The Dodgers lost to the Houston Astros in last year’s World Series; the Red Sox won the championship in 2013.

With that being said, would you say that baseball has been a model of parity in the World Series over the past 10 years? How about the parity of the other professional sports… the NBA, NHL and NFL?

Let’s take a look at how many different teams have played for their sport’s championship in the last 10 seasons.

In the past 10 seasons, the professional league with the “best” parity in their title game/series is a tie between the NFL and NHL. Both of those leagues have seen 14 different teams play for the title in the last 10 seasons. Major League Baseball follows with 13 different teams playing in the World Series in the last 10 years. Not surprisingly, the league with the “least” parity is the NBA; in the last 10 seasons, only nine teams have played for the title in the NBA.

Only four franchises have played in four or more title games/series in the past 10 years: New England Patriots (NFL), Cleveland Cavaliers (NBA), Golden State Warriors (NBA) and the Miami Heat (NBA). All played in four title series games/series in the last 10 years.

If we look at how many teams have played in more than one championship title game/series in the last 10 years in the NBA, NHL, NFL or MLB, baseball has the most teams with six. They are followed by the NBA with five and both the NFL and NHL with four.

The teams that have played in two or more championship series/games in the last 10 seasons:

MLB (6): Boston, Kansas City, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco, St. Louis, Texas

NBA (5): Cleveland, Golden State, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami, San Antonio

NFL (4): Denver, New England, Pittsburgh, Seattle

NHL (4): Boston, Chicago, L.A. Kings, Pittsburgh

One final question: Which pro league has gone the longest without back-to-back title winners? If you answered baseball, you win the prize. The last back-to-back World Series champs are the New York Yankees in 1999 and 2000. The last back-to-back Super Bowl champs are the New England Patriots from 2004 and 2005. The NHL had back-to-back Stanley Cup winners in 2016 and 2017 with the Pittsburgh Penguins, and the NBA had back-to-back champions with the Golden State Warriors in 2017 and 2018.

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

Today’s Sports Stat: October 2, 2018

The 2018 MLB playoffs get started on October 3. Let’s take a look at a few stats you may not know about the 2018 regular season and a couple of Milwaukee Brewers stats.

  1. The Baltimore Orioles became the fifth team in MLB history to win fewer than 50 games in a full-schedule regular season (either a 162 or 154-game schedule). The O’s won only 46 games this year. The other teams: 2003 Detroit Tigers (43 wins), 1962 New York Mets (40 wins), the 1961 Philadelphia Phillies (47 wins) and the 1952 Pittsburgh Pirates (42 wins).
  2. Three American League teams, the Boston Red Sox, Houston Astros and New York Yankees each won 100 games this season, the first time in MLB history that three teams from the same league won 100 or more games in a season. It was the seventh time in MLB history that three MLB teams won 100 or more games in the same season, but the first time all three teams were from the same league (American or National league). Three teams won 100 games last year, two A.L. clubs, the Astros and Indians, and one N.L. team, the Dodgers. The other years when three MLB teams won 100 games: 2003 (Atlanta, San Francisco, N.Y. Yankees), 2002 (Atlanta, the Yankees, Oakland), 1998 (Braves, Yankees and Astros), 1977 (Kansas City, Philadelphia and the Yankees) and 1942 (Brooklyn Dodgers, St. Louis Cardinals and Yankees).
  3. The most improved team in 2018 based on how many more wins they had in 2018 than 2017 were the Oakland A’s. They increased their win total by 22 wins in 2018 over the previous season. The team with the biggest drop in wins was the Orioles who saw their win total from 2017 drop by 28 victories. Here are the teams that increased their win total this year over the previous season: Oakland (+22), Atlanta (+18), Boston (+15), Philadelphia (+14), Seattle (+11), Milwaukee (+10), Tampa bay (+10), N.Y Yankees (+9), San Francisco (+9), N.Y. Mets (+7), Pittsburgh (+7), St. Louis (+5), Colorado (+4), Cubs (+3), Houston (+2)… and the teams that saw their win totals decrease this season over 2017: Baltimore (-28), Kansas City )-22), Washington (-15), Miami (-14), L.A. Dodgers (-12), Arizona (-11), Cleveland (-11), Texas (-11), Minnesota (-7), Chicago White Sox (-5), San Diego (-5), Toronto (-3), Cincinnati (-1). Two teams, the Detroit Tigers and Los Angeles Angels, each had the same number of wins in 2018 as 2017.
  4. Christian Yelich slugged 25 home runs in the second half of the 2018 season, the second most homers by a Milwaukee Brewers player after the All-Star break in team history, Richie Sexson holds the record with 27 second half HRs; he hit them in 2001. Others on the list: Prince Fielder, 24 in 2009; Ryan Braun, 23 in 2007; and Gorman Thomas, 22 in 1979.
  5. The Brewers ended the 2018 season by going 20-7 in the last month (that includes their tiebreaker win against the Cubs on October 1, which counts in the regular season stats and is considered a September win for the sake of monthly win totals). The 20-7 record in September was a .741 winning percentage, the highest September winning percentage in team history. The Brewers won 60% or more of their games in September in six other seasons: 1992 (22-9, .710), 1988 (18-8, .692), 1987 (21-11, .656), 2012 (20-11, .645), 1991 (21-12, .636) and 2011 (15-10, .600).

 

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp