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What can we take away from the first quarter of the MLB season?

What trends are emerging as we reach the quarter mark of the 2017 season? The Cubs may actually be in a bit of trouble and the surge in home runs will

MLB

The Cubs are struggling more than the average defending champ; more quarter-season notes

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Jon Lester beats the yips

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  • What trends are emerging as we reach the quarter mark of the 2017 season? The Cubs may actually be in a bit of trouble and the surge in home runs will continue.

Though some teams have played as many as 43 games and others as few as 37, more than one-quarter of the 2017 season will be in the books by Friday’s end. Between the hot starts and cold ones from names both familiar and novel, what follows here are five trends that have caught my eye. Unless otherwise indicated, all stats are through Wednesday.

The Cubs are apparently more hung over than most defending champions

Since no World Series winner has repeated as champion since the 2000 Yankees, I examined the notion that championship-winning teams tend to experience hangovers the following year. What I found suggests that there's something to that, albeit not right out of the gate:

Segment

Winning percentage

First 20 games

.569

First 40 games

.558

Last 40 games

.506

Last 20 games

.497

Overall

.535

Team

2016

2017

Change

Marlins

.491

.350

-.141

Giants

.537

.405

-.132

Mets

.537

.410

-.127

Blue Jays

.549

.429

-.120

Cubs

.640

.513

-.115

Brewers

.451

.571

.120

Diamondbacks

.426

.571

.145

Rockies

.463

.619

.156

Twins

.364

.541

.177

Astros

.519

.707

.188

Player

2016

2017

Difference

Ryan Zimmerman

69

202

133

Bryce Harper

116

220

104

Yonder Alonso

91

175

84

Miguel Sano

110

191

81

Zack Cozart

92

171

79

Avisail Garcia

91

162

71

Corey Dickerson

106

173

67

Buster Posey

112

176

64

Freddie Freeman

157

211

54

Mike Trout

174

228

54

Starlin Castro

93

147

54

Player

2016

2017

Difference

Devon Travis

108

60

-48

Hunter Pence

115

67

-48

J.J. Hardy

88

40

-48

Melky Cabrera

120

72

-48

Edwin Encarnacion

133

83

-50

Aledmys Diaz

133

81

-52

Trevor Story

122

68

-54

Jonathan Villar

118

63

-55

Carlos Gonzalez

111

49

-62

Curtis Granderson

111

41

-70

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