You know when you get an idea in your head about baseball? You're sure a player has performed a certain way or your favorite team has a certain record in one-run games? And then you go to look at the statistics, and things are not exactly what you thought or how you remembered them? But you have to keep looking because the question is bugging you. You have to dig deeper. More at-bats. More seasons. And down the baseball-research rabbit hole you go.
That happened to me a few weeks ago on the topic of ownage. Like many of you, I had this idea in my head about the players with ownage on my favorite team. There was no easy way to figure it out, so I spent hours and hours down the baseball-research rabbit hole. And then wrote about my results here.
It happened to me again yesterday. Although this time, it was a fellow Giants fan and Twitter friend who put the idea in my head. "The Giants are just terrible in day games," he wrote. "I bet their day-game record is below .400 if you go all the way back to 2000." Down the rabbit hole.
It turns out that ESPN has kept track of team records in day games and night games back to 2004. The Giants' record in day games from the beginning of the 2004 season through today (when they lost a day game to the Cubs)? 237-255 or a .481 winning percentage. So above .400 for the last eight-plus, almost nine seasons. Perhaps that winning percentage would fall below .400 if I went back to 2000, but I doubt it, given that the Giants won the National League wild card in 2000 and 2002 and the National League West in 2003. But that rabbit hole is for another day.
Because once I knew the Giants' record in day games back to 2004, I had to know the other 29 teams' records in day games. Well, time isn't limitless, so I went back as far as 2008. And then I wanted to know how each team's record in day games compared to their overall records. And which team had the best day-game record since 2008. And which had the worst. And which team had the biggest differential between its overall record and its day game record? Because the information was there. So down the baseball-research rabbit hole I went.
The results? Delicious nuggets of day-game statistics dating from the 2008 season through yesterday's action. From my baseball-research rabbit hole, to you.
- The Giants are the only team in the majors with a winning percentage at exactly .500 in day games since 2008: 138-138.
- The Yankees have the best winning percentage day games since 2008, at .643. Sure, the Yankees have the best overall winning percentage in those four-plus seasons, but it's only at .590. The Yankees kill it in day games.
- So do the Angels. Their winning percentage in day games is .608 since 2008, beating their overall .555 winning percentage by a fair amount.
- The Rangers are the bizarro Angels and Yankees. While the Rangers have a winning percentage of .555 since 2008, they are barely above .500 in day games, coming in at .504.
- The Indians have the dubious distinction of the worst winning percentage in day games back to 2008. The Indians are only 95-161 in day games, for a winning percentage of .371. That's well below their overall .436 winning percentage in the same time.
- Only one team has an overall winning record back to 2008, but a losing record in day games in those seasons. The Brewers: .521 winning percentage overall; .498 winning percentage in day games.
- Three teams are the mirror image of the Brewers: overall losing records back to 2008, but winning records in day games. The Mets .483 overall; .517 in day games. The A's: .486 overall; .517 in day games. The Blue Jays: .496 overall; .530 in day games.
- The best single-season day-game record belongs to the 2011 Yankees, who were 44-13 in day games, for a .772 winning percentage.
- The worst single-season day-game record belongs, not surprisingly, to this year's Astros. Houston is 11-28 in day games for a .282 winning percentage. But there is still time to get out from underneath that mantle. The 2010 Diamondbacks were 13-32 in day games, for a .288 winning percentage. No other team in the last four-plus seasons has had a day-game winning percentage below .300.
- The day-game champion in 2008 was the Angels, with a .744 winning percentage. Their overall record of 100-62 game them a winning record of .617.
- The Angels were also the day-game champions in 2009, with a .708 winning percentage. Again, that outpaced their overall record by a fair amount. At 97-65, the 2009 Angels had a .599 winning percentage for the season.
- The White Sox took the day-game prize in 2010, going 31-18 that season, for a .633 winning percentage. They narrowly beat out the A's, who won 35 day games in 2010, against 21 losses, for a .625 winning percentage.
- The 2011 Yankees reigned supreme in day games, as noted above. But both the Tigers and Phillies also came in over .600 for the season in day games. The Tigers were 39-23 (.629). The Phillies were 34-18 (.654).
- The Reds are the leaders in the clubhouse in day games so far this season, with a record of 33-14, for a .702 winning percentage. And who's right behind the Reds? The Orioles, of course. The O's are 24-12 in day games, good for a .667 winning percentage. The only other teams above .600 for the year are the Pirates and the Rangers.
You're probably thinking there's a punch line coming. Or an explanation. Or a breakdown of day games in enclosed ballparks vs. open ballparks vs. ballparks with retractable roofs. Or a theory as to why some teams are better during day games than other teams. Nope. Just some fun statistics to chew on this Labor Day Weekend. Of course, your explanations and theories are most welcome in the comments. Go to it.