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How Meaningful Are the First 10 Games?

By Mike Silva ~ April 18th, 2012. Filed under: Sabermetrics.

Are the first 10 games a precursor of things to come?

Normally you wouldn’t think so since the baseball season is 162 games long. It represents exactly 6% of the total schedule.

There are, however, some trends in how a team performs the last decade.

ACTA Sports produced this analysis in their latest “Stat of the Week.” 

Performance in First Ten Games (2002 - 2011)

Wins in
First 10
Teams Finished
90+ Wins
Pct of
Pct of
0-3 44 4 9% 5 11%
4 68 14 21% 14 21%
5 78 20 26% 23 29%
6 64 20 31% 19 30%
7-10 46 21 46% 19 41%

The recent trend indicates the Mets, Dodgers, Washington, Detroit, Arizona, Texas and St. Louis have a good chance at winning 90 games. Actually, half of them will reach that number. Considering that Detroit, Arizona, St. Louis and Texas were considered contenders, their inclusion shouldn’t be a surprise.

Teams that win 7 or more of their first ten games have a 46% chance of winning 90+ games and a 41% chance of making the playoffs.

If history holds to form the Mets, Nats and Dodgers are going to need one of the contenders to fall back to the pack in order for them to make the playoffs.

Of course, to quote the great Yankees radio broadcaster John Stering, “you can’t predict baseball.”

Actually, according to this analysis some would argue the Mets have a better chance of making the playoffs than the Yankees! The Yanks 5 wins in their first 10 games gives them a 29% chance at the postseason.

That’s why we play the games and don’t seed the postseason based on media and fan predictions.

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1 Response to How Meaningful Are the First 10 Games?

  1. Nik

    From your lips brother…

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