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Original Issue


On Memorial Day the four division leaders—the Angels, the Giants, the Tigers, and the Phillies—were all teams that finished well below .500 in 1992. Only once before since the beginning of divisional play in '69 have even three teams that completed the previous season below .500 been first on May 30.

But the road from June to October is a rocky one for teams making the big leap from the netherworld. While 56.1% of the teams that finished at .500 or better the year before and led their division on Memorial Day have gone on to win the title, only 34.6% of the May 30 leaders coming off a sub-.500 season have gone on to a division championship.