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The importance of starting well

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Memorial Day weekend is almost here and it’s usually the 40-game mark that occurs around that holiday that can be used to assess how good a team is. And most MLB Previews will tell you not to expect many surprises after that.

But does a really hot start necessarily mean post-season success? Let's take a look at some of the best starts before Memorial Day in MLB history and how those teams ended up.

The 1977 LA Dodgers side won 30 of their first 40 games in manager Tommy Lasorda’s first season; ultimately they went onto a 98-64 record, so 68-54 after Memorial Day and eventually made their way to the World Series where they were beaten by the NY Yankees in six games.

The 1998 Yankees were dominant and possibly one of the most dominant teams of all time. They started 31-9, and they didn’t let up after that either going on to record 114 wins. The San Diego Padres couldn’t stop the Yankees bandwagon in the World Series either going down to a clean sweep 4-0, with the result exemplifying the Yankees’ dominance that year.

In 2001, the Seattle Mariners made the same 31-9 start as the Yankees, but they could not sustain the same ebullient form and the regular season success faded away in the post-season as they crashed out 4-1 to the Yankees in the AL Championship series.

But the best start of all was made by the the Detroit Tigers, who went 35-5 in 1984. This stellar start to a season is by some distance the best start in 40-games and they went wire-to-wire in first place the whole season.

Willie Hernandez won the Cy Young and the MVP for the Tigers that year and they finished as strongly as they started, winning 35 of their last 40 games, including the playoffs, before taking the World Series.

The LA Dodgers and Baltimore Orioles are setting the pace at the moment through the 40 game barrier, but only time will tell where they will end up at the come the business end of the season.

Whatever happens, MLB betting tips will tell you that a good start is never a hindrance.
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