Monday, April 14, 2014

UPDATE - Reality Check: Milwaukee Brewers

Yesterday, the Brewers entered play with a 9-2 record, making them the 51st team since division play began in 1969 to start 9-2 or stronger. I ran a table showing that teams starting 9-2 since then have a slightly better than 50% chance of making the postseason. Now they're 10-2. Here's a list of teams since 1969 to start the season 10-2 :

  Year  Team       End of Season
  1971  Giants       Lost NLCS
  1978  Royals       Lost ALCS
  1981  Expos        Lost NLCS
  1981  Dodgers        Won WS
  1984  Padres        Lost WS
  1988  Indians        78-84
  1989  Rangers        83-79
  1990  Reds           Won WS
  1998  Padres        Lost WS 
  1992  Pirates      Lost NLCS
  1992  Blue Jays      Won WS
  1996  Orioles      Lost ALDS
  1998  Indians      Lost ALCS
  1998  Orioles        79-83
  1999  Indians      Lost ALDS
  2003  Yankees       Lost WS
  2005  Dodgers        71-91
  2011  Rockies        73-89
  2012  Rangers       Lost WC
The Brewers are getting into an elite field. They're only the 20th team to start the year 10-2 since 1969. Of the 19 predecessors, all but five were still playing in October. So 74% made the postseason. At this point we can say that if the Brewers don't make the playoffs, it won't be unprecedented, but it will be a bit of a surprise. Teams that start the year 10-2 are generally good teams.

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