Home Run Analysis

The 2016 Major League Baseball season was one for the books. Between two endearing teams, the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians, facing off to end their century- and half-century-long World Series title droughts, tensions ran high and die-hard fanatics came hyped!

Both clubs wouldn’t have made it to this pivotal game without help from their supercharged rosters. Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, and Addison Russell led the Windy City with the most home runs and RBIs completed during the season. Over at the “Rock and Roll Capital of the World,” Carlos Santana, Mike Napoli, and Jason Kipnis reigned as Cleveland’s batting leaders.

All in all, home runs in the MLB are on the rise, and the baseball analysts at Fanatics compiled all batting stats from the 2016 season to provide you with enough home run data to hold you over until we start seeing some bombs this season.

Continue reading to see which teams and players stepped up to the plate this season with a home run state of mind!

Teams With the Swing

Major League Baseball players are some of the hardest hitters in the world. Let’s take a look at which teams have been crushin’ balls out of the park and dropping the jaws of teammates and fans alike.

The Baltimore Orioles topped the charts this season by scoring a total of 253 homers – the most nailed by any team in the MLB. Mark Trumbo – first baseman and outfielder for The O’s – led the Maryland-based squad with 47 at-bats converted into critical home run hits. Fielders Chris Davis and Manny Machado backed up the home run batting leader by nailing 38 and 37 home runs, respectively. The Orioles enjoyed a strong home run lead advantage over the rest of the clubs in the league for the majority of the season. The only team to step up to the plate to rival the Orioles was their inter-league competitor – the St. Louis Cardinals – trailing the Birds by 28 homers.

Rounding out the top five in season home runs were the Seattle Mariners (223), Toronto Blue Jays (221), and New York Mets (218).

Home Run State of Mind

Being the batting leader in your respective league is quite an impressive feat to boast on a major league resume.

Slugger Mark Trumbo hit a total of 47 home runs during his time at the plate this past season. Although the first baseman has been described as “one-dimensional,” his home run abilities are unrivaled. Trumbo’s excellence against inside pitches is what sets him apart from the rest, designating him an elite power hitter. No. 45’s exceptional performance could be accredited to his newfound happiness after signing a multiyear contract with the Orioles.

Trailing behind the seasoned slugger was Seattle Mariners outfielder Nelson Cruz, with a notable 43 homers under his belt in 2016. Cruz’s talent at the plate is prodigious and is showing no decline in this department as he is the only player to have surpassed the 40-homer threshold throughout the past three Major League seasons.  

Brian Dozier, Edwin Encarnación, and Khris Davis finished up as the top five hardest hitters in the league – all reaching the 42 home run mark by season end.

It’s That Time of Year Again…

Just as the weather fluctuates by season with reason to Earth’s axial tilt, the MLB tends to witness a spike in home runs depending on the month of the year.

Data suggest that sluggers at the plate are less likely to hit a dinger in April, with only 740 pitches hit out of town during the rainy month. It appears that the weather wasn’t the only thing on fire this summer. MLB batters were on a hot streak between the months of June and August, slamming a total of 2,928 homers. August takes the cake by far, recording an astronomical 1,053 home run hits alone within the 31 calendar days.

Major League history was made this season when the Baltimore Orioles set the all-time home run mark for the month of June with 56 dingers. Hyun Soo Kim is responsible for the record-setting rocket after his solo blast during the seventh inning against the Mariners.

Hey Batta, Batta!

The world of baseball is riddled with an array of written and unwritten rules. One of those “unwritten” rules entails not swinging at a risky 3-0 pitch as the batter is just one ball away from being handed first base. The majority of sluggers who step up to the plate attempt to hit a long ball on the first pitch thrown, and it seems to be working. Batters launched the most rockets to flight off 0-0 pitches with a total of 983 homers – dominating all other situational pitches with a 300-plus home run lead.

Curtain Call

With spring training in full force, there’s no telling how many home runs one should expect from the 2017 season. Be ready to support your home team the best way you know how. Head over to Fanatics, because we’ve got you covered with the latest MLB jerseys and fan gear.


Curveball Dominance – Finding the BEST MLB Pitchers


A curveball is exactly what it sounds like – instead of going via a straight line to the plate a la fastball, a curveball is a breaking ball with a ton of movement, often curving down from up high, preferably resulting in a swing and miss on the part of a batter. While not every pitcher has a quality curveball in his pocket, it remains an important pitch for many.  

Dominating With a Curve

Let’s take a look at a PITCHf/x advanced pitching statistic, wCU/C (weighted curveball runs per 100 pitches), for MLB pitchers with at least 100 innings pitched through Aug. 27, 2017, and see who dominates the curveball.


This scatterplot compares dominance against the percentage of time a pitcher throws a curveball. The ideal location here is the upper left quadrant – it represents pitchers who have had the best curveball pitches and who use them frequently. Aaron Nola, who plays for the Phillies, primarily (and successfully) relies on his curveball, averaging 78 mph. Stephen Strasburg of the Washington Nationals also throws a ton of curves, often netting grounders.

In the lower right quadrant, you’ll note that these pitchers haven’t had much success with their curveball, but they also don’t tend to use them very often. Clayton Richard of the San Diego Padres is one of these pitchers – he primarily throws a sinker, but will occasionally mix in a curveball or two.

The upper right quadrant, though, shows pitchers who use curveballs often, despite the fact that they aren’t necessarily performing well with this type of pitch. Mike Fiers of the Houston Astros is one example – while primarily relying on his fastball, he still makes use of a curve on occasion, even though it’s not his best pitch.

curveball_aug_27_asset_3 copy

This chart looks at the same data as the scatterplot above, but it may be clearer to see which pitchers are more dominant with the curveball when compared to others. Corey Kluber of the Cleveland Indians, for example, is the most dominant curveball pitcher we examined. He’s followed by Carlos Martinez of the St. Louis Cardinals, who has a dominant curveball but rarely uses it.

Clayton Richard is at the opposite end. As discussed above, Richard doesn’t have a dominant curveball, but he also rarely throws one. He’s right next to Jordan Zimmerman from the Tigers, who uses a curve but doesn’t always get fabulous results.

Throwing a Curve

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The Most Attractive MLB Teams


Heating Up The Diamond

Baseball and basketball are unique in that the individual players’ faces are always visible, helping to make them some of the most recognizable athletes on the planet! Since we’re in the heat of the Major League Baseball season, we decided to take a closer look at the players running out onto the diamond every night. More specifically, we had thousands of people weigh in to determine which teams were the most attractive. Check out where your team ranks and if they’re making an impact both on and off the field.

Hottest Pennant Race Ever


Major League Baseball’s World Series of Attractiveness winners are the San Diego Padres.. They have a couple players to thank for their overall ranking, but most notably pitcher Third Baseman Ryan Schimpf who earned the highest rating on the team at a 7.2 out of 10.

They also could thank the bullpen for their contribution to their top rating. Three of the five most attractive players on the Padres are pitchers: Clayton Richard, Craig Stammen, and Wil Myers.

Good to see Dickie V today at the South Carolina Kentucky game

A post shared by Wil Myers (@wil_myers) on

The only teams in the top ten from the American League were the  Kansas City Royals and the Texas Rangers.

Every Team’s Hottest Stars, American League


Here are the top five hottest players for every one of MLB’s 30 franchises. Red Sox Right Fielder Mookie Betts, who finished second to Mike Trout in the AL MVP voting last season, had the team’s highest appearance rating of 6.6 out of 10.

All for Mama

A post shared by Mookie Betts (@mookiebetts) on

Only one team had more than two players rated at a 7.0 or above.The Kansas City Royals were that team, with Catcher Drew Butera and First Baseman Eric Hosmer at a 7.3 and 7.0 average attractiveness rating respectively.

Every Team’s Hottest Stars, National  League


In America’s Heartland, the St. Louis Cardinals command attention from baseball loving fanatics. While their scouts have signed exceptional players such as Matt Carpenter, their most attractive players are Tyler Lyons, Matthew Bowman, and Dexter Fowler. When they’re not taking the mound, as starters or in relief, these three gentlemen are finding ways to look their best outside of the bullpen.

Hey guys! Check me out on the cover of Cardinals Mag. Click the link on my bio to read 😃

A post shared by Dexter Fowler (@dexterfowler) on

Throwing The Hot Stuff

If you’re heading out to the ballpark or turning on the game to see some of these gems, make sure you’re representing by stocking up on fan gear at Fanatics. We’ve got everything you need to look your best in official MLB apparel.

The 600 HR Club: Albert Pujols


Welcome to the Club

Albert Pujols – who suits up for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and is playing in his 17th Major League Baseball season – is on track to hit 600 career home runs, a feat so rare only eight players have eclipsed this mark in MLB history. How did the slugger get to this point? Let’s take a look back at his hard-hitting career.

The real is on the rise… #RoadTo600

A post shared by Los Angeles Angels (@angels) on

Ripping Home Runs


Albert Pujols, who hails from the Dominican Republic, was drafted in the 13th round of the 1999 MLB draft by the St. Louis Cardinals and made his debut in the Majors on April 2, 2001. He wasted exactly zero time fine-tuning himself into the baseball great he was destined to be, batting .329 his rookie season, lofting 37 home runs, and netting the Rookie of the Year award, a Silver Slugger award, and an All-Star appearance.

He didn’t slow down after that stellar rookie campaign, though, and continued to rock his batting average (over .300 for his first 10 seasons), RBI rate (over 100 during the same time span), and an incredible home run rate (hitting more than 40 long balls six different times during his first 10 seasons). He hit a National League-high 47 home runs in 2009 and again in 2010 with 42, and helped lead the Cardinals to World Series championships in 2006 and 2011.

After the 2011 season, he headed west to play for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, and while his numbers haven’t always been what they were during his career with the Cardinals, he’s shown he’s still capable of smacking homers. In fact, in 2015, he again went yard 40 times while maintaining a .244 batting average.

Driving Dingers


As the seasons went by, his home run numbers, of course, continued to climb. By the end of 2003, he had already topped over 100 after only three seasons of play, and by 2005, he was at 201. In 2006, he launched 49 homers, bumping him up to a solid 250, and conquered 300 just a couple of years later.

In 2010, he hit the 400 mark, and in 2014, he joined the 500 club – a huge accomplishment in and of itself, as only 26 other players in MLB history have hit 500 (or more) home runs. This exclusive list includes Hall-of-Fame legends Reggie Jackson, Ernie Banks, and Mickey Mantle.

#️⃣5️⃣9️⃣9️⃣ was fine 👌 #RoadTo600

A post shared by Los Angeles Angels (@angels) on

Now, just a few seasons later in 2017, he’s breaking that 600 homer barrier. Others who have accomplished this goal are Alex Rodriguez (696), Willie Mays (660), Ken Griffey Jr. (630), Jim Thome (612), and Sammy Sosa (609).

Welcome to the 600 club, Albert Pujols.

Whether you’ve been a fan of Pujols since his days as a Cardinal or are loving his play for the Angels, head over to Fanatics to get your Pujols gear and celebrate his inclusion as one of baseball’s best sluggers.


St. Louis Cardinals Home Run Hot Spots: Busch Stadium


Busch Stadium, St. Louis Cardinals, St. Louis, MO

The St. Louis Cardinals of the National League have reached the playoffs for the past five consecutive years. These crested, flushed fowls have done so because of a stalwart radiance of Cardinals at the core of the lineup: Adam Wainwright, Yadier Molina, and Matt Holliday. Add to the mix the addition of star center fielder (and World Series champion) Dexter Fowler who just agreed to a humble five-year $82.5 million deal with the Cards this past December, and well – St. Louis is frenzied.

St. Louis is a baseball town. Aside from the New York Yankees’ staggering 27 wins, the Cardinals have won more World Series championships (11) than any other professional baseball team in the history of the game. For pine tar’s sake, the franchise has been around since the Chester A. Arthur administration!

Since hoppy beverage giant Anheuser-Busch purchased the team in the mid-20th century, the Cardinal’s stadium has gone through iterations of “Busch.” Their current venue, Busch Stadium III, houses roughly 46,000 spectators. While the retro-style ballpark was built only a decade ago, it has already hoisted a World Series championship banner, as well as hosted an All-Star Game (2009) and a barrage of home runs.

It all comes down to this! #Game162

A post shared by St. Louis Cardinals (@cardinals) on

How would Cardinals legend Stan Musial fare in the new Busch Stadium? Would his 475 career home runs stand up against today’s National League pitching class? Probably. Plus, the left corner, right corner, and dead center of Sportsman’s Park are 20 to 25 feet farther from the batter’s box. Given that Musial played professional baseball for 22 seasons exclusively for the St. Louis Cardinals, we may safely assume he has faced just about every pitch that ever was. “Stan the Man” was fortunate enough to knock the cover off the ball in Sportsman’s Park from 1941 to 1952 (save for ’44-’45) and Busch Stadium I until 1963.
Today’s Busch Stadium is a gem and departure from the cookie-cutter stadiums of old. Its retro composition lends Cardinal fans a glimpse of Americana baseball played without the hulking restraints of an enclosed, towering bowl of a stadium. It’s also a healthy home run ballpark, with over 180 long balls launched during the 2016 season. We saw the deepest of the deep struck by first baseman Brandon Moss, cracking a 452-foot homer to deep right.


Thankfully (for all the St. Louis faithful parked in the outfield with an Anheuser-Busch product in one hand and another wrapped in a Rawlings), the glow of the city’s famous Arch won’t draw attention away from the action. Batters face directly northeast at the St. Louis Arch, like a colossal otherworldly bull’s eye to aim at.

With a relatively uniform fence arc, sluggers at Busch Stadium are looking at a home run distance to dead centerfield of roughly 400 feet, with the left center and right center at about 385 feet each. True left and right field fences rest at about 330 feet from the batter. At Busch Stadium, the mass of long ball blasts end up in left-to-left-center, and right-to-right-center.

The left and right field bullpens see a bulk of home runs hit their way. In left field, seating section 172 will yield the likeliest odds of getting beaned with a round-tripper. Section LP3, or the “Left Field Porch aka The Bowtie Bar” just above 172, receives a healthy serving of home runs as well.

In right, cozy up in sections 127 and 128 near the wall with your glove in the air. Brandon Moss’ towering 452-foot bomber last year flew right over section 127, in fact.

While Busch Stadium leans toward being a pitcher’s park, over the past decade, it has become a welcome challenge for sluggers in the NL to reel-off and swing big. If you’re planning on heading out to the old ballgame at Busch in your dusty McGwire jersey, maybe it’s time to check out Fanatics to upgrade your home run catching equipment.


St. Louis Cardinals Walk-Up Songs


Located in downtown St. Louis, Busch Stadium serves up 81 regular season games for the St. Louis Cardinals. They’re the oldest Major League Baseball team West of the Mississippi and bring joy home in the form of World Series titles, second only to the New York Yankees. Together, this team and stadium provide plenty of entertainment to both home and away fans.

One way they keep the energy high is through walk-up songs, selected by each player as a way to psych them up as they head to the plate. From rock to country and beyond, these players chose songs from a wide array of musical genres to make that walk, from the on deck circle to home plate, more exciting.

More Than Birdsongs


There’s no clucks, chirps, or squawks echoing through the stadium’s PA system when the Cardinals players approach home plate. There is, however, plenty of hip-hop and rap followed closely by rock. Hip-hop and rap make up the most popular genre on streaming services within the United States, so it’s no surprise to see it be first in the lineup. Not far behind is rock, trailed by Latin to round out the top three genres for Cardinals players walk-up songs.

Three players – centerfielder Randal Grichuk and pitchers Jerome Williams and Jaime García – all stuffed the ballot box as each chose two different walk-up songs. Randal divided his love for rap and hip-hop, with Nelly’s “Here Comes the Boom,” and country, with Florida Georgia Line’s “This Is How We Roll.” Jerome doubled down on hip-hop and rap with Que’s “OG Bobby Johnson” and Eminem’s “’Till I Collapse.” Jaime brought some rap and hip-hop to the table with Sidelajus’ “Warriors” and a mix of Latin-Mexican Regional genres with La Arrolladora’s “Sabor Al Caldo.”

Those enjoying rock, like first baseman Brandon Moss and pitchers Jonathan Broxton and Zack Duke, opted to go with classics. Moss struts out to “Can’t Stop Rock N’ Roll” by AC/DC, while Broxton takes his steps to the sounds of “Iron Man” by Black Sabbath. Duke reaches back to “Magic Man” by Heart, first released in 1975 (eight years before he was born).

Squawking In Stereo

Sure, none of these players were willing to admit their love for Taylor Swift or Justin Bieber, but they’ve all selected a personally perfect track to get them ready for an at-bat. As long as it helps them contribute singles, doubles, triples, or even a few home runs, fans and coaches will be willing to put up with pretty much anything.

No matter what songs are on your playlist, you can get ready to cheer on your team with Fanatics – where you’ll find the very best officially licensed MLB apparel and merchandise.



The Evolution of the St. Louis Cardinals Jersey

Cardinals Jersey Evolution

The St. Louis Cardinals are known for their sportsmanship and following the unwritten rules of the field. They stick to the fundamentals of the game and create a sea of red in the stands at every game.

But if one thing about the team is transcendent, it is the Cardinals logo. It’s been pretty much untouched since 1920 – except for the late ’50s, when they gave the Cardinal a bat to swing.

Much like their fellow founding members of the National League, the Chicago Cubs, the Cardinals received their present nickname from a local sports writer.

Before the Big Red: The Perfect Browns

Under their first name, the Browns, the St. Louis ball club entered the American Association before switching over to the senior circuit in 1892. A few years later, the team played under a new name – the Perfectos.

The Perfectos wore red-striped stockings and jerseys with a red trim. Willie McHale, with the St. Louis Republic, wrote, “Oh, what a lovely shade of Cardinal.” In 1900, the team name was officially changed from Perfectos to Cardinals.

Twenty years later, the team began using the Cardinal bird as their logo. Over the years, their uniforms remained remarkably consistent, except for a small stretch of wackiness during the late ’70s – powder blue road uniforms. Overall, though, no team in baseball history has kept a stricter adherence to similar home and away kits as the Cardinals.

St.Louis Cardinals Pennant

St. Louis Cardinals WinCraft 12” x 30” Premium Pennant With Mylar Accents

Notable Uniform Changes

Cardinals Jersey

Cardinals Logo History

  • 1900–1919 – The first logo fans associated with the Cardinals: an interlocking STL design.
  • 1922–1926 – The team’s second logo features two cardinals that are perched on a baseball bat. The bat is crossed by the word “Cardinals” in red.
  • 1927–1928 – The logo shifts to a simpler, red-tinted design of a single cardinal perched on a bat.
  • 1929–1948 – The team reverts back to the dual-bird logo that they wore from 1922 to 1926.
  • 1949–1955 – The team updates their logo with newly illustrated and colored birds, a light baseball bat with a blue cloud swirl, and a new font. The team’s name and city top it off.
  • 1956–1966 – The team personifies the single cardinal logo: The bird begins swinging the bat, possibly a Wiffle ball bat.
  • 1967–1997 – The Wiffle bat again hosts the cardinal, where he is neatly perched. But the logo is now within a circle featuring the laces of a baseball. “St. Louis Cardinals” curves around the edge.
  • 1998–Present Day – The Cardinals opt for a return to the design that was used from 1922 to 1926 and 1929 to 1948. The design features a more modern illustration with brighter colors and a new font.

Cardinals Uniform History

  • 1903 – The team’s first uniform, after changing their name from the Browns, features a prominent collar with four buttons down the front and a block-lettered “St. L”.
  • 1909 – Minimalist to the max: The “St. Louis” script is removed from the front, and the script logo is taken off the cap. The gray uniform features a plain, white cap with a red brim, and the “STL” logo on the left sleeve.
  • 1919 – A pinstripe pattern appears with the team name printed over it – similar to the design of today’s Phillies. A striped cap is also introduced.

St. Louis Cardinals Hat

St. Louis Cardinals New Era 2015 All-Star Game Authentic Collection Diamond Era On-Field 59FIFTY Fitted Hat – Red

  • 1922 – The plain script “Cardinals” is replaced by the team’s new logo. The pinstripe pattern remains, and the hat is replaced.
  • 1927 – As is the tradition of the day, the World Series champions write “World Champions” across their chest, replacing a nickname. The ’27 Cardinals are the first to incorporate the accomplishment into the design of their logo somehow. The Cardinals choose to place their logo inside the looping text “World Champions.” They adorn the left sleeve with a patch.
  • 1929 – The Cardinals replace the uniform’s pinstripes with a solid design that features an outlined button line. They add the old logo to the front in place of the previous one.
  • 1931 – They swap the city name with the team name.
  • 1940 – The city name is changed back to the original logo, the button outlining becomes bolder and longer, and a new cap is used. It displays the “STL” script logo.
  • 1955 – The team switches to a new logo with more stoic, detailed cardinals.
  • 1956 – The button outlining and logo is removed for a script version of “Cardinals” that’s underlined. A patch is also added back to the left sleeve.
  • 1969 – The uniform resembles the modern design with a player’s number appearing below the logo, albeit on a grayer fabric. The hat is similar to today’s cap.
  • 1971 – The team ditches the button-down design for a T-shirt pullover. A simple red-on-blue stripe is added to the sleeves and collar.
  • 1976 – The powder blue road uniform follows the trend of the late ’70s, and a redesigned cap featuring white stripes on a red base with the “STL” logo is added.

Molina Cardinals Jersey

Yadier Molina St. Louis Cardinals Majestic Cooperstown Collection Cool Base Player Jersey – Light Blue

  • 1980 – The players’ numbers are removed from the front of the uniform and placed on the sleeve.
  • 1981 – The collar of the uniform is converted to a V-neck.
  • 1995 – The powder blue road uniform changes to a gray button-up, which features the return of a button-down look. The red and blue stripes on the sleeves are removed.
  • 2000 – The modern home uniform is a plain, white look with the logo and a number below to the left side.
  • 2012 – The team incorporates gold lettering to commemorate the 2011 championship season.
  • 2013 – The Cardinals unveil a Memorial Day uniform – which is still broken out every year – that uses the traditional gray-road coloring. They opt for camouflage shading on the numbers and the cap and stick with the traditional Cardinals logo.

Memorial Day Cardinals Jersey

St. Louis Cardinals Majestic 2016 Fashion Memorial Day Cool Base Jersey – Gray

  • 2013 – The Cardinals also unveil a special throwback uniform, which is a nod to the 1909-1919 design.
  • 2013 Cardinals Alternate – The Cardinals announce an alternate uniform, which is another throwback design. Incorporating the 1930s city name idea, it combines modern coloring and clean, red stripes.

Looking Back to Look Forward

With an established pattern of consistent, classic uniforms, no drastic changes seem on the horizon. Perhaps the best bet would be to retire the numbers of some of the past decade’s World Series champions. Yadier Molina comes to mind – whenever he decides to hang it up.

Currently, the 12 retired numbers include the following:

No. 1 – Ozzie Smith

No. 2 – Red Schoendienst

No. 6 – Stan Musial

No. 9 – Enos Slaughter

No. 10 – Tony LaRussa

No. 14 – Ken Boyer

No. 17 – Dizzy Dean

No. 24 – Whitey Herzog

No. 42 – Bruce Sutter

No. 45 – Bob Gibson

No. 85 – August Busch, Jr. (Owner)

RH – Roger Hornsby

JB – Jack Buck (Broadcaster)

Gibson Cardinals Jersey

Bob Gibson 1964 St. Louis Cardinals Mitchell & Ness Authentic Throwback Jersey – Cream

For more history about the Cardinals, or to purchase your own throwback jersey, visit Fanatics.com.



Cubs vs Cardinals Rivalries Analyzed

Chicago Cubs vs St. Louis Cardinals NLDS rivalries

The St. Louis Cardinals/Chicago Cubs matchup in the National League Division Series proved to be the most cantankerous of the postseason so far. The 128-year-old rivalry – referred to by some as the Route 66 Rivalry – has been played out over 2,365 games, but no team has earned a winning streak greater than two. While the Cubs lead the rivalry 1,198-1,147-19, the Cardinals lead in World Series titles (11-2) and National League pennant wins (19-16). As the franchises have overlapping markets, it’s not uncommon for the same fans to visit both Wrigley Field and Busch Stadium in the same season or for neighbors to cheer for opposing teams.

Among Cardinals and Cubs fans, passions run hot. Consider the 1928 Wrigley Field riot, where 5,000 fans swarmed the field during a home game against the Cardinals; 1984’s “Sandberg Game”; and the 1998 single-season home run record chase between the Cardinals’ Mark McGwire and the Cubs’ Sammy Sosa. These incidents have inflamed passionate debate and conversation throughout the Central Midwest baseball markets.

However, not all the conversation have been negative.

Friendly Opposition


Despite the fact that the Cubs won their NLDS matchup against the Cardinals 3-1 – which includes a Game 3 postseason record-breaking six home runs – there has not been a great deal of negative cross-talk between the two host cities on social media.

A cursory look at the hashtag #CardsCubs produced tweets such as these:

‏@britttdmruddd Oct 9

May the best team win #cardinals #cubs #CardsCubs

@PohlmanUSA Oct 9

#CardsCubs tonight right outside our windows in #StLouis. What #rivalry – our teams in #StLouis & #Chicago are ready for it @Cardinals @Cubs

‏@Jacob_Lindley94 Oct 9

One of the best MLB rivalries is about to get a whole lot more AWESOME tonight!!! #CardsCubs #CardinalNation

Conversely, hashtag #CubsCards produced tweets such as these:

@jakewalk11 Oct 13

This is gunna be an extremely fun rivalry to watch for so many years to come #CubsCards

@KurtEdwardL Oct 13

Apparently, all the individual #Cubs want a “moment”. What an unbelievable team. Truly. #CubsCards #CubsTwitter

While negative talk is inevitable on Twitter – such as the Cubs’ official account tweeting “Wait were we supposed to give @kschwarb12 a curtain call? @cardinals?” following the team’s six home runs in Game 3 – the positive will between these two perennial opponents’ fanbase is noteworthy. A sentiment analysis of words used in social media posts originating in Illinois and Missouri found that the two had comparable numbers when it comes to how the Cubs and Cardinals are seen by the opposing homebase. Cardinals mentions in Illinois had a .36 positive sentiment score, while Cubs mentions in Missouri had a .30 sentiment score.

This finding defies previous analysis that found the Cubs have the highest positive sentiment scores of any team in the league. The positive feelings for the Cubs’ freshman team may be – in fact – tempered in Missouri by the teams’ long-standing history and rivalry.

Tracking Sentiment


Among the highest-ranking positive sentiments terms on social media were “missouri,” “mlb,” and “cubs crowne plaza hotel” – a reference to the Crowne Plaza Chicago Metro Downtown, which overlooks Wrigley Field and has run promotions in the past offering Cubs tickets to room residents. Other high-ranking terms are “rizzo bryant” – a reference to the “bromance” between the Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant – and Cardinals outfielder Tommy Pham.

The lack of Chicago terms on the positive sentiment list may reflect the fact that the Cubs have had a tortured past with its fans. However, this season has shown Cubs lovers a different side of the team, which may well carry over to future seasons and lead to more positive talk about the franchise online.



We pulled every tweet from the 2015 MLB Season with #cardinals in the state of Illinois and #cubs in the state of Missouri, and using the Alchemy API, we looked at the targeted sentiment score of the most commonly used terms throughout. The targeted sentiment looks at the words around a particular term and determines on a scale of -1 to 1 how negative or positive these words are, with 0 being neutral.