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John Dewan's Stat of the Week

 

Can the First 10 Games Predict Playoff Chances?

April 11, 2014

Over the course of a full season, the worst teams in baseball typically put together a winning streak or two. And even the best teams go through some slumps. It might surprise you, then, that over the last 10 seasons, the record of teams in their first 10 games of the season shows a clear correlation with their chances of making the playoffs.

Teams Starting the Season, 2004-2013
Record Number of Teams That Made Playoffs Percent of Teams That Made Playoffs
1-9 0 0%
2-8 2 13%
3-7 2 8%
4-6 19 24%
5-5 25 29%
6-4 22 34%
7-3 14 37%
8-2 4 44%
9-1 4 57%

None of the five teams that started 1-9 over the last decade reached the postseason, so it’s a good thing that every team has started this season with at least two wins. The Diamondbacks certainly did not get out of the gate the way they would have wanted to with a 2-8 record, but they have managed to win their two games since, and 2 of the 16 teams (13 percent) in their situation have rebounded to make a playoff run.

In contrast, the teams with at least 8 wins in their first 10 games have made the playoffs half of the time. Through the games on Thursday, April 10, three teams are still in the running for that distinction. The Tigers (5-2) and Nationals (7-2) were on most people’s favorite lists before the season, so there is little surprise there. However, if the trend continues, the Brewers (7-2) could be this season's big surprise team. And their chances look even better now that there is an additional wild card spot in each league. 


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 TitlePublished Date
Edit Can the First 10 Games Predict Playoff Chances? Apr 11 2014
Edit Who Will Be The 2014 Statistical Leaders? Mar 31 2014
Edit Can Spring Training Statistics Predict Breakout Power Seasons? Mar 25 2014
Edit Who Will Be The Best Defenders In 2014? Mar 11 2014
Edit Sochi Olympics - Dominant Countries Feb 25 2014
Edit United States on Track for Most Olympic Medals Feb 17 2014
Edit Sochi Predictions Feb 10 2014
Edit Super Bowl Predictor System Jan 30 2014
Edit Throwing Strikes Jan 20 2014
Edit Cannon Arms in 2013 Jan 10 2014
Edit Teams that Best Controlled the Running Game Dec 30 2013
Edit Opponent OPS and the Cy Young Award Dec 20 2013
Edit The Flat Bat Award 2013 Dec 09 2013
Edit Tim Lincecum Breaks Our Defensive Rankings Nov 19 2013
Edit Who Was the Real AL MVP? Nov 15 2013
Edit Making a Great Defensive Play Then Leading Off the Next Inning Nov 05 2013
Edit The 2013 Fielding Bible Awards Oct 28 2013
Edit Boston-St. Louis World Series Oct 21 2013
Edit Who are the Fielding Bible Award / Gold Glove Contenders? (Part II) Oct 07 2013
Edit Who are the Fielding Bible Award / Gold Glove Contenders? (Part I) Oct 04 2013
Edit Simmons Has Company Sep 23 2013
Edit Who are the Slowest Players in Baseball? Sep 12 2013
Edit Does Playing Shallow Work? Sep 06 2013
Edit Easy and Tough Saves Aug 30 2013
Edit Best Single-Season Runs Saved Totals Aug 19 2013
Edit Opponent OPS Aug 15 2013
Edit Who's Shifting and Who's Not Jul 25 2013
Edit Who Should Be Starting the 2013 All-Star Game? Jul 16 2013
Edit Edwin Encarnacion and Shifts Jul 11 2013
Edit The Pirates and Hot Streaks Jun 26 2013
Edit Scoring Runners from Third Base with Less Than Two Outs Jun 24 2013
Edit Rookie Total Runs and DRS Leaders Jun 19 2013
Edit Who Has The Most Total Runs in 2013? May 29 2013
Edit Who Are the Top Baserunners in Baseball? May 23 2013
Edit Who Are the Best and Worst Defensive Teams So Far? May 14 2013
Edit Timing Pitchers and Catchers To Prevent Stolen Bases Apr 24 2013
Edit Shifting Into High Gear Apr 18 2013
Edit Who Will Be The Best Defenders in 2013? Apr 02 2013
Edit Who Are This Year's Potential Breakout Players? Mar 27 2013
Edit Best Defensive Players of the Decade (Part IV) Mar 22 2013
Edit Best Defensive Players of the Decade (Part III) Mar 13 2013
Edit Best Defensive Players of the Decade (Part II) Feb 27 2013
Edit Best Defensive Players of the Decade (Part I) Feb 19 2013
Edit Best Defensive Teams of the Decade Feb 07 2013
Edit The Super Bowl Prediction System – 49ers by a landslide Jan 25 2013
Edit Cannon Arms in 2012 Jan 17 2013
Edit Should Mike Piazza be in the Hall of Fame? Jan 10 2013
Edit The Best and Worst Defensive Teams in 2012 Dec 21 2012
Edit Bill James Handbook 2013 Leaderboards (Part II) Dec 14 2012
Edit Bill James Handbook 2013 Leaderboards Dec 07 2012
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