July 10, 2017

Phillies on pace to finish with worse record than Sixers for first time in 15 years

Chalk this up to a random Monday stat, one that I happened to stumble across while looking for something to write.

The Phillies enter the All-Star break at 29-58. That's the worst record in Major League Baseball, five wins behind the next closest team and good for a .333 win percentage through 87 games.

That's not the interesting part. This is... 

The Phillies' neighbors across the street, the Sixers, have held the mantle as the worst team in the city for quite a few years now. But that may be about to change. Any guesses what their record is over their last 87 games, dating back to the end of the 2015-16 season? 

That's right, it's 29-58, exactly the same as the Phillies.

But when you trim the sample size to just their most recent seasons, the Sixers suddenly start to come out ahead. They finished 28-54 during their 2016-17 campaign, which was good for a .341 win percentage. That means that if the Phillies continue their current pace – and finish with a .333 win pct. – they'll end up with a worse record than the Sixers (in a full 82-game season) for the first time since before Ryan Howard ever stepped in the batters box at Citizens Bank Park.

[NOTE: This does not include the lockout-shortened season in 2011-12, when NBA teams played just 66 games. It was also the last time the Sixers made the postseason.]

YEAR*PHILLIESSIXERS
2003.531.585
2004.531.402
2005.543.524
2006.525.463
2007.549.427
2008.568.488
2009.574.500
2010.599.329
2011.630.500
2012.500.530^
2013.451.415
2014.451.232
2015.389.220
2016.438.122
2017.333.341
*For Sixers, it's the year a season ended (i.e. the 2015-16 season will be listed as 2016).
^Lockout-shortened season (66 total games).

Of course, comparing two sports – especially when one's season is twice as long as the other – is complicated, but if nothing else, you can see that they're two teams who appear to be trending in opposite directions. Neither has made the postseason in the last five years, with the Phillies last playoff berth coming in 2011.

The good news for the Phillies is that they shouldn't be too far behind the Sixers' rebuilding schedule...


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