Came across this interesting factoid yesterday:
With a win today, the @Astros will have won 70% of their first 40 games. 3 of the last 4 teams to do so have won the World Series. pic.twitter.com/RBdUDCwojc— MLB Stat of the Day (@MLBStatoftheDay) May 16, 2017
The Astros did win and entered today 28-12. The tweet didn't say who the last three teams to do it and win the World Series were, but as far as I can tell they are:
2016 Cubs: 29-11
2005 White Sox: 28-12
1998 Yankees: 31-9
The one that didn't was the 2001 Mariners, who also started 31-9.
Hopefully the Cubs can make the Astros one of two teams in recent years that started at .700 or above in their first 40 games and did not win the World Series. (FWIW, the Astros won Wednesday afternoon to go to 29-12. Last year's Cubs were also 29-12.)
Here are today’s particulars.
Schwarber LF, Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, Happ CF, Zobrist 2B, Russell SS, Montero C, Hendricks P, Jay RF
Here is tonight's #Cubs lineup vs. Cincinnati.— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) May 17, 2017
Game preview: https://t.co/DHB5Pmbz67 pic.twitter.com/ie8BOciwMM
Hamilton CF, Cozart SS, Votto 1B, Duvall LF, Suarez 3B, Schebler RF, Peraza 2B, Barnhart C, Feldman P
Kyle Hendricks vs. Scott Feldman
After a rough start Kyle Hendricks has looked like 2016 Kyle over his last four starts: 1.52 ERA, 1.099 WHIP, 21 strikeouts in 23⅔ innings. He did not face the Reds in the series in Cincinnati in April, and last year he posted a 3.18 ERA and 1.294 WHIP in three starts against the Reds. Current Reds are hitting .273 (27-for-99) against him with three home runs, two of those by Joey Votto. Keep the ball down tonight, Kyle!
Hello, old friend Scott Feldman. Too bad this game didn't feature him matching up against Jake Arrieta, the pitcher for whom he was traded. Feldman is having a fine year; he's already thrown a complete-game shutout, one of seven such games so far this year. He'll almost certainly be traded at the deadline. You don't suppose...
Nah. Feldman is now 34, seemingly not the type of guy Theo would go after. Interestingly, he has never faced the Cubs -- not once over 329 career appearances (191 starts). Thus current Cubs are a small-sample-size 6-for-35 against him (about half of that is Ben Zobrist, 3-for-16) and none of the Cubs' big bats (Anthony Rizzo, Kyle Schwarber, Kris Bryant) have ever faced him.
Could be an interesting night with the wind blowing out again.
Today's game is on WGN.
Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.
Baseball-reference.com game preview
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