Cubs have knack for elevating their game after All-Star break

By JERRY TAPP

For those teams hoping to make a run at a post-season appearance, getting off to a good start after the All-Star break is important.

Looking at the past three seasons (2016-18), the Chicago Cubs have been baseball’s best second-half team in that time period. The Cubs compiled a record of 139-78 (.641 winning percentage) after the All-Star break in the past three seasons, tops in the majors.

Over in the American League, the Cleveland Indians were the league’s best second-half team the last three seasons with a .633 winning percentage. The Cubs and Indians were the only teams to win 60 percent or more of their games in the second half of the three seasons from 2016-18.

Here’s a look at the winning percentages of each MLB team after the All-Star break over the past three seasons.

Chicago Cubs, .641

Cleveland, .633

Boston, .599

L.A. Dodgers, .581

N.Y. Yankees, .571

Washington, .566

St. Louis, .556

Houston, .555

Milwaukee, .531

Colorado, .519

Oakland, .517

Seattle, .510

Tampa Bay, .509

N.Y. Mets, .500

L.A. Angels, .499

Atlanta, .488

Toronto, .486

Texas, .483

Kansas City, .477

Arizona, .476

Pittsburgh, .474

Minnesota, .468

Philadelphia, .435

Miami, .427

San Diego, .424

Baltimore, .421

Chicago White Sox, .421

Cincinnati, .418

Detroit, .417

San Francisco, .399

The Cubs have had two of the three best second half winning percentages over the last three campaigns. In 2016 the Cubs had a winning percentage of .685 the second half of the season; in 2017 their second-half winning percentage was .662. The only team with a better second-half winning percentage over the past three seasons were the 2017 Cleveland Indians who had a .733 winning percentage after the All-Star break that season. The Oakland A’s had the best second half winning percentage last season at .646; the Brewers were second with a .631 second-half winning percentage in 2018.

For the record, the Boston Braves hold the MLB record for highest second-half winning percentage at .792… they were 61-16 after the All-Star break in 1914. Thirty-three different teams had a winning percentage of .700 or higher in the second half of the season. Five of those happened after 2000: Oakland-2001, .773; Cleveland-2017, .733; Oakland-2002, .716; Seattle-2001, .707; and N.Y. Yankees-2009, .703.

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

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