Tag Archives: National League

2013 World Series: Same record; best record; last-to-champs journey for Sox

English: the New York Yankees' World Series tr...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With the World Series getting started tonight in Boston, here are a couple of interesting stats to ponder before the first pitch. Depending on your team allegiance in the series, you may be happy (or sad) to read these facts.

Same record. The World Series this year features two teams that had the same regular season record, 97-65. This is the first World Series in over a half-century where the opposing teams had the same regular season record. Last time it happened was in 1958 when the 92-62 New York Yankees faced the 92-62 Milwaukee Braves. This is also only the fifth time it has happened in the 108-year history of the Fall Classic. It also happened in 1951, 1949 and 1903. Think about this: In the previous four times it occurred, the American League won the World Series. Good omen for the Red Sox?

Question: Does it really matter which World Series team had a better record in the regular season? The World Series team with the better record has won 24 of the 52 World Series dating back to 1960.

Best record in league. Back in 1995 MLB went to the current format of three divisions in each league. Since 1995, this is only the third time that the team with the best record in the American League will face the team with the best record in the National League in the World Series. Both St. Louis and Boston had the best regular season records in their respective league. The other times it happened: 1999 World Series (Atlanta versus the New York Yankees) and 1995 (Cleveland versus Atlanta). In 2007, World Series foes Boston and Colorado tied for the best record in their leagues.

From last to the World Series: The Red Sox this year become the sixth team in MLB history to go from last place to the World Series in the following season. In 2012, Boston finished fifth in the five-team A.L. East, 26 games out of first place. Here’s a look at the teams that went from last place to the World Series in consecutive years.

Atlanta, 1990: Finished sixth in six-team division, 26 games out of first. Lost the World Series in 1991.

Minnesota, 1990: Finished fifth in five-team division, 29 games out of first. Won the World Series in 1991.

Philadelphia, 1992: Finished sixth in six-team division, 26 games out of first. Lost the World Series in 1993.

San Diego, 1997: Finished fourth in four-team division, 14 games out of first. Lost World Series in 1998.

Tampa Bay, 2007: Finished fifth in five-team division, 30 games out of first. Lost World Series in 2008.

Boston, 2012: Finished fifth in five-team division, 26 games out of first. ????????????????????????

You noticed that only one team (of the five) above won the World Series after being in last place the previous year, right? Bad omen for the Red Sox?

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp.

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Pirates finally get a post-season win

Venezuelan Summer Pirates

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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

The Pittsburgh Pirates finally scratched a 21-year itch when they defeated the Cincinnati Reds, 6-2, in the National League Wild Card game on Tuesday night. It was the Pirates first post-season win since 1992.

Of the eight remaining teams in the MLB playoffs, the Atlanta Braves have the longest drought of not winning a post-season contest. The Braves last won a playoff game in 2005. In the American League, the Boston Red Sox have not won a post-season game since 2008, the longest wait of the four teams remaining in the A.L.

The Kansas City Royals still hold the current longest wait for a post-season win. The Royals, who won 86 games this season, the most since they won 92 in 1989, have not won a post-season game since 1985. They won the World Series that season. In the N.L., the Cubs and Marlins are tied for the longest post-season win wait; both have not had a playoff win since 2003.

One note of interest: Of the five teams that have not won a post-season game in the last 10 years (Royals, Blue Jays, Mariners, Cubs and Marlins) three of those teams, Kansas City, Toronto and Miami, last won a post-season game in the year they won the World Series.

Following is the last season each MLB team won a post-season game (includes Pittsburgh and Tama Bay’s wins in the Wild Card contests)

American League
Kansas City… 1985
Toronto… 1993
Seattle… 2001
Minnesota… 2004
Houston… 2005
Cleveland… 2007
Boston… 2008
Chicago White Sox… 2008
L.A. Angels… 2009
Texas… 2011
Baltimore… 2012
Detroit… 2012
N.Y. Yankees… 2012
Oakland… 2012
Tampa Bay… 2013

National League
Chicago Cubs… 2003
Miami… 2003
Atlanta… 2005
N.Y. Mets… 2006
San Diego… 2006
Colorado… 2009
L.A. Dodgers… 2009
Arizona… 2011
Milwaukee… 2011
Philadelphia… 2011
Cincinnati… 2012
St. Louis… 2012
San Francisco… 2012
Washington… 2012
Pittsburgh… 2013

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

Would a 100-win season guarantee a World Series trip for Nationals?

Washington Nationals

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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

The Washington Nationals top the majors with 77 wins (through games of August 22). They are 30 games over .500 and just need to go 23-15 to finish with 100 wins this season. They are currently on pace to win 101 games this season.

In looking at the history of major league baseball, how “magical” has the 100-win season been for teams? Better stated, does a 100 or more win season equate to success in the post-season? Let’s take a look back to 1903 when MLB had its first World Series.

*     Since 1903, there have been 93 teams that won 100 or more games in a season. The last 100-win team was last season when the Phillies went 102-60.

*     Of those 93, 62 went on to the World Series that year. Thirty-four 100-win (or more) teams won the World Series that same season.

*     In 1969, MLB went to two divisions in each league. From 1903-68, 47 teams had 100 or more wins in a season. Of those 47, 24 won the World Series that year. From 1969 to 2011, 46 teams won 100 or more games in a season; only ten of those 45 won the World Series that year.

*     Since 1980, 31 teams have won 100 or more games. Four won the World Series, seven lost in the World Series, eight lost in the league championship series, nine lost in the league divisional series, and two teams (San Francisco 103 wins in 1993 and Baltimore 100 wins in 1980) did not even make the playoffs in the year they won 100 or more games.

*     Since 2000, 14 teams have won 100 or more games. Only one team won the World Series, two lost in the World Series, three lost in the league championship series and eight lost in the league divisional series.

Following are the franchises that have won 100 or more games in the most seasons.

Team                             100 or more win seasons

New York Yankees                               19

Oakland/Philadelphia A’s                  10

St. Louis Cardinals                                8

San Francisco/NY Giants                     7

Atlanta/Milwaukee/Boston Braves   6

Did you know? These current franchises have never had a season with 100 or more wins: Colorado, Florida, Milwaukee, San Diego, Washington, Tampa Bay, Texas and Toronto. Will the Nationals come off this list?

Here’s a quick trivia question: Can you name the last team to win 100 or more games in a season and win the World Series that year?

The New York Yankees won 103 games in 2009 and won the World Series that season. Prior to that, the 1998 New York Yankees won 114 games and the title. The last National League team to win 100 or more games in a season and the World Series that year were the 1986 Mets who won 108 games.

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

Brewers dangerously close to challenging record for one-year decline

Logo cap of Milwaukee Brewers

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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

We’re not even to the midway point of the 2012 season, but that won’t prevent us from trying to analyze the 2012 season and what is going wrong with the Brewers.

Obviously the team has not played up to its capabilities (and the expectations that people had for them based on last year’s playoff run). The decline in play can be traced to several factors: the free agency loss of Prince Fielder, the season-long slump of Rickie Weeks, the slow start of free agent Aramis Ramirez, an inconsistent bullpen, and injuries to three Opening-Day starters (Lucroy, Gonzalez and Gamel). We can only hope that Shaun Marcum missing a turn in the rotation due to tightness in his elbow is not more than a one-time issue.

The season is obviously not over, and with 95 games left on the schedule the Brewers certainly have time to make up the seven-and-half game deficit they face in the NL Central. They have yet to string together a long streak of victories (the longest win streak this season has only been four games) and have been fortunate to not have a losing streak longer than four games.

That having all been said, there are still concerns from the Brewer faithful. The team has a 31-36 record (.463 winning percentage). When you compare it to the .593 winning percentage of last season, that is a .130 decline over last year. If the season ended today, that would be the second largest one-season decline in Brewers history.

Here’s a look at the largest one-season declines in team history.

Greatest one-year decline in win pct. in Brewers history

1992 (.568) to 1993 (.426)     .142 decline

1983 (.537) to 1984 (.416)     .121 decline

2001 (.420) to 2002 (.346)     .074 decline

2008 (.556) to 2009 (.494)     .062 decline

1979 (.590) to 1980 (.531)     .059 decline

Looking at each of the five biggest declines above, a few of them involved managerial changes. It’s doubtful that ownership with make a change in managers, but it is interesting to note that drops of this magnitude do signal changes.

The Brewers .130 point drop in their winning percentage over last year is not the largest drop in the majors. In fact, the Philadelphia Phillies have seen a much larger decline in their winning percentage over the 2011 season. The Phils, who won 63 percent of their games in 2011, are at .456, a decline of .174 percentage points.

Following are the biggest drops in winning percentage from last season (through games of June 18).

Team, 2011 win pct./2012 win pct, Difference

Philadelphia: .630/.456     .174 decline

Milwaukee: .593/.463     .130 decline

Detroit: .586/.485     .101 decline

Chicago Cubs: .438/.343     .095 decline

Arizona: .580/.493     .087 decline

San Diego: .438/.353     .085 decline

Colorado: .451/.385     .066 decline

Boston: .556/.500     .056 decline

St. Louis: .556/.507     .049 decline

It’s interesting to note that the four teams that played in the National League playoffs last year (Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Arizona and St. Louis) are each on the list above. Add in Detroit, which played in the American League playoffs in 2011, and we have five of the eight playoffs teams from last year having a winning percentage decline of 049 or more points as of June 18.

Follow Jerry on Twitter @Statsontapp

MLB standings: Can your team still win the division?

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

Gulf Coast League Twins

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How well is your team doing in the MLB standings?

Well, it’s June 1… the first two months of the season are in the books and each team has about 110 games remaining of their long, 162-game schedule. There are some surprises atop the standings. In the A.L. East, the Baltimore Orioles were picked by many to finish last in the division, but they are currently tied with Tampa Bay for the top spot. The White Sox have a 1.5 game lead in the A.L. Central, and the Texas Rangers have a comfortable 5.5 game lead in the West.

Over in the National League, the Washington Nationals are the surprise leader of the N.L. East, holding a half-game advantage over Miami. The Cincinnati Reds are leading the N.L. Central by 1.5 games, and the Dodgers, even though they were recently swept at home in a four-game series with the Milwaukee Brewers, have a 5.5 game lead in the West.

What does all this mean? Does being in first place in the division on June 1 carry much weight when it comes to winning the title at the end of the season.

Major League Baseball went to a three-division format in 1995. In the 17 seasons since that change, there have been 102 division winners (17 seasons times six divisions). Of those 102 division-winners, 65 (63.7 percent) were leading their division (or were tied for the division lead) on June 1 of that year.

This season there are 17 teams that are leading their division or are within three games of the lead. Since 1995, 83 of the 102 division-winners (81.4 percent)either were in first place or were three games or less out of first in their division on June 1.

Since 1995, only nine teams won a division after being five games or more out of first place in their division race on June 1 of that year. The Minnesota Twins hold the distinction of winning the A.L. Central in 2006 after being 10.5 games out of first on June 1, 2006. That’s the largest deficit made up in the standings from June 1 in the past 17 seasons. The Twins are the only team to have a double-digit deficit (10 games or more) in the standings on June 1 to win a division title since ’95. This does not bode well for these 2012 teams, (Cubs, Rockies, Padres and Twins) who are each 10 or more games out of first in their division as of today. (Ironically, the Twins are 10.5 games out of first in the A.L. Central. Are they looking for a repeat of 2006?)

Following are the teams that won division titles since 1995 that were five games or more behind in the standings as of June 1 in their title season.

Games behind as of 6/1, Team, Year

10.5: Minnesota, 2006

9.0: Oakland, 2002

8.5: Philadelphia, 2007

8.0: Atlanta, 2001

7.0: San Francisco, 2000

6.5: Chicago Cubs, 2007

5.0: Detroit, 2011

5.0: Oakland, 2003

5.0: Houston, 2001

Note: Of the last 17 World Series champs (since 1995) five were not in first place in their division on June 1 of the year they won the title. The five: Atlanta, 1995 (3.5 games out of first on June 1); N.Y Yankees, 1999 (1.5 games out); N.Y. Yankees, 2000 (1.5 games out); Philadelphia, 2008 (0.5 games out); San Francisco, 2010 (3.5 games out).