Saturday, April 09, 2011

The slow start of the highly regarded Boston Red Sox (losses in their first six games before finally winning last night), as well as those of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays (0-6) and Houston Astros (0-5), have prompted a lot of discussion over the seemingly great prognostic significance of such a small number of early-season games for teams' postseason prospects. As Sports Illustrated's Cliff Corcoran writes:

To suggest that any team has reason to worry after such a small dry spell to start the season seems absurd, but here are the facts:

In major league history, which dates to 1871, 110 teams have started a season 0-5. Just two of those 110 went on to make the postseason, less than two percent.

Corcoran goes on to provide his own analysis of the phenomenon, as do other commentators here, here, and here.

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