There’s a little known trick to predicting surprise teams in a given Major League Baseball season. With apologies to the stat-heads around who are going to want me to list the surprise teams this method has predicted, I’m going to keep this simple: if you take a team and view their record in games decided by one run, and then view their Spring Training record in the subsequent season, you can often predict that a team who disappointed in a previous season is poised to surprise. Individually, the records are usually attributed to luck, fluke, etc. Nobody cares about Spring Training records – and rightfully so.

Maybe we should have seen the St. Louis Cardinals coming last year – in 2008, their record in 1-run games was 24-28, and in 2009, they lit up Spring Training to the tune of a 19-12 record. Yes, mid-season additions helped the Cards, but you get the point.

So why am I telling you this?

In 2009, the Chicago Cubs’ record in 1-run games was just 16-22. In 2010, the Chicago Cubs’ record in Spring Training was 18-12.

Just throwing it out there.

  • KB

    I’ve heard the one-run games thing a lot before, but I’ve never heard of the ST connection.
    One more thing in the Cub’s favor!

Bleacher Nation Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Bleacher Nation is a private media site, and it is not affiliated in any way with Major League Baseball or the Chicago Cubs. Neither MLB nor the Chicago Cubs have endorsed, supported, directed, or participated in the creation of the content at this site, or in the creation of the site itself. It's just a media site that happens to cover the Chicago Cubs.

Bleacher Nation is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Need more baseball goodness? Check out BN Baseball - Videos, Plays, and Other Baseball Fun.