Winning 100

Posted by Baseball Bob at 10:15
Sep 302017

Surprise! I may never do this again, and perhaps no one is reading. But I have been thinking about something, and thought I would share.

This season, 3 teams (Dodgers, Indians, Astros) have won over 100 games, and 5 more (Nationals, Diamondbacks, Red Sox, Cubs and Yankees) have won at least 90. I got to wondering how unusual this is, at least in recent history.

Last season the Cubs won 103 games, were acknowledged the best team in baseball, and won the World Series (though it was close, they almost didn’t make it. I also wondered how unusual that was (that is, that a team wins the most games in the game, and over 100, and then wins the World Series).

Turns out both are unusual.

The last time 3 teams won 100 games in the same season was 2003 (the time before that was 2002). 100 wins seasons have been scarce since 2005, only 5 of them from 2005-2016 (and two of those at the end, 2015 and 2016). However, from 2001-2005 there were 11 in 5 years (2, 3, 3, 2, 1). I have no idea what might cause this phenomenon. But those years were also big on 90+ winners: they had 8, 11, 8, 10, 7 in those 5 years. In the past 20 years we have had only 3 seasons with double-digit 90-game winners, and two of them were in the 5-year span. 2002 was the year of the greatest disparity (pun intended) as there were 3 100+ teams and 8 more 9o+. Obviously the bad teams had to have been really bad.

The other phenomenon that I was dimly aware of is how infrequently a 100-win team actually wins the World Series. The Cubs did it last year, and the Yankees managed it in 2009 and 1998. The last NON-Yankee team to win both the World Series AND 100+ games was, amazingly, the 1986 Mets. In those 5 years with eleven 100+ teams, those teams lost the division series  6 (!) times, the LCS 3 times and the WS twice.

The “century curse” (no team this century had won a century of games and the World Series was broken by the 2009 Yankees.

Will the Dodgers, Indians or Astros win the World Series this year? The odds would seem to favor it, as in if you add their projected chances together you get over 50% but I’m not so sure. I think that there are 3 very dangerous non-100 teams in this year’s field: the Cubs, Diamondbacks and Yankees. IF the Yankees and D-backs both survive the Wild Card game, I am inclined to think that one of these teams will get hot in the playoffs and claim a surprise series. Of course, my record on predictions is so bad that it probably pays to go out and put your money on one of the top teams instead!

Go Yankees!

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