How can we find out if the Cubs are cursed? Stories about Sianis and Bartman cannot be considered conclusive evidence. The answer isthe statistics, assuming we know where to look. There are two critical components to producing a World Series championship. The first is obvious: good players and team chemistry help a team win games. The second, luck, is less so. Over the course of a 162 game season, the best teams separate themselves, but in a short three to seven game playoff, pure luck is most important in determining who advances. For example, according to Bill James’s log5 formula, if the best team in baseball played the one of the worst teams, the bad team has a thirty percent chance to win! The historical data says the team with the worse record wins a given playoff series forty-four percent of the time.
If the Cubs are truly cursed, the statistics should demonstrate that the Cubs have very poor luck, especially in the playoffs.
Since 1908, the Chicago Cubs have played 81 playoff games. Given the randomness of playoff baseball and the parity among playoff teams, one would expect the Cubs to win between forty and sixty percent of the time. The Cubs have won an alarming 19 of those 81 games, a winning percentage of .235. In fact, out of the 14 playoff series they have played in, the Cubs have advanced only once!
In those thirteen seasons, Chicago averaged a winning percentage of .601. In playoff games, that dropped to .235! One way sabermetricians measure luck is converting runs scored and allowed into an expected winning percentage through the PythagenPat formula, and comparing that to actual winning percentages. Without even changing the number of runs, their playoff winning percentage should be .415, nearly double the actual percentage! That is an extra fifteen playoff wins, enough to essentially guarantee them a championship.
An astute critic might attribute this to better opponents in the playoffs. The statistics show better opponents cannot account for Cubs’ misfortunes.The worst team in baseball defeats the best over 30 percent of the time. How does Chicago, a top playoff team, not win 25%? The average winning percentage of National League World Series champions is .576. The average Cubs playoff team is better than the average World Series champion.
Another might argue that Cubs players are not “clutch,” meaning they lack the ability to succeed in important situations. In the major leagues, clutch is a myth. All MLB players have shown the ability to perform under pressure to reach the highest level of baseball. Recent studies have shown that in large enough samples, there is virtually no evidence suggesting that certain players perform better or worse in key moments.
From the statistics, we discover a great deal about the Chicago Cubs’ championship drought. Contrary to popular belief, the Cubs’ woes are not due to poor teams, superior playoff opponents, or an inability to perform under pressure. But they just might be caused by a curse.
Honestly the Cubs are terrible. They have no talent and no skill, i honestly dont know why they are a team. Maybe they were put in the MLB to be a team to beat up on. I cant stand the cubs, i am a true brewers fan and cursed or not they will never be good.
The Chicago Cubs have not won a World Series Championship in over 105 years and during that time have found some incredible ways of losing big double digit leads to miss getting to the World Series. The Cubs have had great players that made to the Baseball Hall of Fame, so it has not been a lack of talent, just bad luck.
From the infamous goat, and onward and upward to the legendary Steve Bartman, the poor lowly Cubbies appear to have, for whatever reason I have no idea, exuded the worst of all curses in professional sports. I mean with such a sweet looking little cubby bear for a mascot, it is hard to fathom how such a beloved organization could, or why the would, be long suffering under an unexplainable curse. But it’s true. The facts speak for themselves. The Chicago Cubs are cursed, and it doesn’t appear the hex is going to be lifted anytime soon.
The Chicago Cubs are not cursed. It may appear that way from time to time or feel that way for the players of that team, but that does not mean they are cursed. There is no such thing as curses or being able to curse people, let alone an entire team.
While it's easy and tempting to point to such a team and make such a blanket statement, if one were to consider all sorts of statistics about all sorts of teams, even teams with winning streaks, I believe the evidence would show all sorts of odd streaks in different ways. Teams seem to go in waves, just like history and so many other things do, and they're just in an undercurrent.