TODAY IN BASEBALL TAKES US TO SPRING TRAINING OF PAST YEARS IN ARIZONA & FLORIDA. Do spring training records matter? In other words, how predictable are they to the regular season? Let’s take a look. Here are the 2017 playoff teams with their final Cactus and Grapefruit League winning percentages (not all teams play the same number of games because some end in ties):
AL 2017 PLAYOFF TEAMS (Spring winning %)
AL East – Boston (.563)
AL Central – Cleveland (.515)
AL West – HOUSTON (.500)
AL Wildcard – New York (.727)
AL Wildcard – Minnesota (.552)
The Houston Astros won it all in 2017. Many expected them to be good, but at 15-15 the Astros did not go gang-busters in spring training.
The New York Yankees had the best spring winning percentage in the major leagues last spring. They made the playoffs as a wildcard team, and advanced to the American League Championship Series.
NL 2017 PLAYOFF TEAMS (Spring winning %)
NL East – Washington (.433)
NL Central – Chicago (.419)
NL West – Los Angeles (.514)
NL Wildcard – San Francisco (.543)
NL Wildcard – New York (.469)
None of the National League playoff teams had great springs. Only the Dodgers and Giants were over .500. Conspicuous by their absence in the 2017 playoffs were the St. Louis Cardinals, despite having the best spring record in the National League, and second best in the MLB.