It Don’t Mean a Thing if You Don’t Win in Spring

Pitchers and catchers have reported to camps. Spring training is underway. Soon the first exhibition games in Florida and Arizona will commence.

I’m here to tell you that you should not worry if your team does not come out of spring training with a winning record.  Using won-loss totals for both spring training and the regular season from 2006 through 2016, I calculated that there is a .216 correlation between the two (a correlation of 1.0 is a perfect positive relationship, while 0.0 means there is no relationship).

Why just last year, the Arizona Diamondbacks went 24-8 in February and March, and then proceeded to barely win three times as many games in the regular season (69-93). On the flip side, the Cubs “struggled” to an 11-19 spring mark, and then routed their division on their way to 103 regular season wins and an eventual World Series.

So here are the spring and regular season won-loss records for each team during each of the last 11 seasons, ranked by difference in winning percentage. Note the 2016 D’backs at the very top and the 2016 Cubs at the other end.

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