Welcome to ‘Marty’s Musings’, my weekly column of numbers summarizing the happenings in the baseball world. I am your guide for taking an analytic look at the news and notes throughout the game, and highlighting this week’s key pitching matchups.
This week, we get two game 163s to decide who wins divisions and who plays in an NL winner-take-all wild card game. Chris Davis wraps up a forgettable year, and the Dodgers try to break through despite their near-30-year World series drought. All this news and more in this week’s Musings.
News and Notes
2 - Additional games required to sort out the National League wild cards and seeding. As of this posting, the Brewers are currently shutting-down the Cubs at Wrigley, and if they can hold onto a late-game lead, can rest-up for the NLDS. The Cubs will play host to the loser of the Dodgers / Rockies game.
3 - Teams in history have won their division in six or more consecutive years. The Dodgers recent run puts them in company with the 1991 to 2005 Braves, who won the East from 1991 to 2005, and the 1995 to 2006 Yankees. Win or lose on Monday afternoon, the Dodgers will earn their sixth consecutive playoff berth.
3 - American League teams to reach the 100-win mark. The 100-win Yankees got the short end of the stick, as they’ll have to play the Athletics in the AL wild card game on Wednesday, but the Red Sox and Astros won their divisions handily by compiling 108 and 103 wins, respectively.
1972 - The last time two players finished with double-digit bWAR in the same season. Mookie Betts (10.9) and Mike Trout (10.2) join Steve Carlton and Gaylord Perry as the only pairs to reach double digit WAR in the same season.
24 - Pout difference between Chris Davis’ batting average of .168 and his strikeout total of 192. Davis finished the season with a negative WAR (by both Baseball-Reference and FanGraphs). More bad news for all parties, Davis still is owed $92 million through 2022.
32.2 - Percentage of batters that Jacob deGrom struck out in his 8.8 fWAR season, setting the New York Mets record for highest strikeout rate in their history. deGrom was so dominant the entire year, he should be a shoe-in for the Cy Young despite a 10-9 win/loss record.
11 - consecutive above .500 seasons for the St. Louis Cardinals, who finished three games short of the NL wild card, despite winning 88 games. 2018 was a tough year to be good-but-not-great, even so, the Cardinals had a strong second-half, and found their manager of the future in Mike Shildt, who earned the full-time job.
*All pitching matchups as of Sunday night’s pitching probables