Wednesday, October 6, 2010

MLB Pennant Races - Final Results


During the baseball season, I posted the standings after each team had played 54 and 108 games. It was interesting to see how teams were quite consistent from one segment of the season to the next. Now that the season is over, I thought it would be worthwhile to see how teams performed down the stretch and compare those records to the other segments.

What I find interesting is that the playoff teams after 54 games were mostly unchanged. All four AL teams were in playoff position back in May, while the NL saw San Diego and Los Angeles drop out, replaced by San Francisco and Philadelphia. Keep that in mind when someone tells you those early-season games are not important.

Anyway, here are the final standings and the teams records for the final 54 games, as well as the differential between the previous 54-game segment.

54W 54L Win
AL East W L GB Diff
Tampa Bay 96 66 29 25 -2
New York 95 67 1 28 26 -5
Boston 89 73 7 28 26 -2
Toronto 85 77 11 29 25 4
Baltimore 66 96 32 30 23 11

54W 54L Win
AL Central W L GB Diff
Minnesota 94 68 34 20 5
Chicago 88 74 6 26 28 -13
Detroit 81 81 13 28 26 3
Cleveland 69 93 25 23 31 -2
Kansas City 67 95 27 21 33 -3

54W 54L Win
AL West W L GB Diff
Texas 90 72 27 27 -7
Oakland 81 81 9 27 27 1
Los Angeles 80 82 10 26 28 -2
Seattle 61 101 19 21 33 3

54W 54L Win
NL East W L GB Diff
Philadelphia 97 65 37 17 7
Atlanta 91 71 6 29 25 -1
Florida 80 82 17 27 27 1
New York 79 83 18 25 29 -2
Washington 69 93 28 21 33 -1

54W 54L Win
NL Central W L GB Diff
Cincinnati 91 71 31 23 2
St. Louis 86 76 5 26 28 -3
Milwaukee 77 85 14 27 27 -1
Houston 76 86 15 29 25 2
Chicago 75 87 16 28 26 5
Pittsburgh 57 105 34 19 35 3

54W 54L Win
NL West W L GB Diff
San Francisco 92 70 30 24 -3
San Diego 90 72 2 27 27 -4
Colorado 83 79 9 27 27 -1
Los Angeles 80 82 12 24 30 -1
Arizona 65 87 23 25 29 5

Comments:

Buck Showalter led the Orioles to the best record in the AL East over that stretch; they could be a surprise in 2011. New York stumbled to the finish line, let's see if that impacts them in the playoffs. They'll be taking on the Twins, who improved by 5 games over the stretch despite losing Justin Morneau.

The White Sox reverted to a .500 club, which was not surprising considering how they outperformed in the middle third of the season. The AL West was over months ago.

In the NL, Philadelphia had the best record as well as the best improvement and look to be the team to beat in the playoffs. Cincinnati used consistency to take the Central title, while San Francisco were fortunate that San Diego could do no better than .500 over the last 54 games. Interesting that the Cubs and Diamondbacks were most improved for that segment, both improving 5 games. Of course, both teams were absolute garbage in the middle of the season, so that is pretty much meaningless.

What's the point of these posts? I feel like the sports media doesn't take much time to go back and analyze trends. As an example, Texas did not finish strongly and this could hurt them against Tampa Bay. But I haven't seen any analysis of why they struggled. I think it is worth looking at how teams do over the last part of the season as that is likely a better indicator of how they will perform in the playoffs.

Based solely on using the records over the final 54 games, Philadelphia and Minnesota should face off in the World Series. Let's see if it actually happens.

Update: Well, Minnesota lost pretty quickly and Philly is in trouble right now. Obviously a record over 54 games isn't that meaningful when you run into a team that simply outmatches you. Look at Texas, who relaxed down the stretch and are now a game from their first World Series. So this theory, like most everything on this blog, is mostly crap. I'll try something different next year.

Best,

Sean


No comments:

Post a Comment