Welcome to the latest episode of Hot Takedown, FiveThirtyEight’s sports podcast. On this week’s episode (Sept. 12, 2017), we discuss an American tennis champion finally not named Williams — Sloane Stephens, ranked 957th in the world earlier this summer, won the U.S. Open last weekend. We break down what her victory may mean for U.S. tennis and whether Serena Williams’s absence from the tournament played a role in Stephens’s win. Next, we discuss two remarkable streaks in the MLB — the 20 wins in a row by the Cleveland Indians and the recent stretch of 11 losses by the Los Angeles Dodgers — and whether we should take baseball more seriously just because it’s September. Plus, a significant digit on the MLB playoffs.
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Here are links to things we discussed this week:
- For quality John Starks content, be sure to follow Kate Fagan on Instagram.
- Kate’s Starky Bear.
- FiveThirtyEight’s MLB predictions.
- FiveThirtyEight’s Neil Paine writes that September baseball doesn’t matter more than any other month’s.
- Victor Mather in The New York Times tells a tale of two MLB streaks.
- Significant Digit: Zero, the number of teams supported by Chad, Kate and Neil — all devoted Mets fans — that will make the MLB playoffs this year. Is your favorite team out? We discuss strategies for how to choose the best bandwagon to join.