Every year, at this point in the baseball season, you start hearing a number of fans worrying because their favorite baseball team is losing most of its spring training games.
These reactions are inevitably followed by many others crying out that spring training games are completely useless as a predictor of regular season records.
I decided to examine whether teams’ spring training records are in any way, predictive of their respective regular season records. I wanted to specifically look at the St. Louis Cardinals’ history in this regard, but in order to obtain a larger enough data sample, I first looked at every MLB team between 2006 and 2012.
Before going any further, I should note that different sources list slightly different records based on interpretations of ties and split-squad games. I used espn.com’s data for the MLB-wide spring training records, and Spring Training Magazine’s database for the Cardinals’ spring-training records.
After examining the relationship betwe...