http://joeposnanski.blogspot.com/2011/0 ... eason.html
Question 1: How likely is it that a team that is in playoff position after 16 games will make the playoffs at the end of the season?
I only looked back five years ... but that was really as far back as I needed to look. The answer is: Not likely. From a quick summary after 16 or so games, only 14 of the 40 teams that eventually made the playoffs the last five years were even tied for a playoff spot. Three of the 14 were the Boston Red Sox, so that should tell you something.
Here's pretty much what you need to know: The last five years, the New York Yankees were only in playoff position once after 16 games. The year? Yep: 2008 -- the one year since the strike that the Yankees did not make the playoffs.
Teams that were in playoff position after 16 games the last five years: Baltimore (twice!), 2009 Kansas City, 2008, 2009 AND 2010 Florida, Oakland four times and so on. You might be aware that none of these teams made the playoffs.
I'm not surprised that there isn't a big correlation between first 10% and making the playoffs, but I thought it would be closer than it is.