Monday, June 24, 2013

The AL East is really really good

As we near the halfway point of the season, the Toronto Blue Jays have won 11 straight.  They're two games over .500, and only 5 back of Boston for 1st place.  The Jays' 38-36 record would put them 2nd in 3 of MLB's 6 divisions, but in the American League East it has them tied with the Rays for last.  In fact, Toronto and Tampa open up a "battle for the basement" series tonight (with one more win and one more loss than the Blue Jays the Rays currently trail them by percentage points; the opposite of what would normally be the case when last place teams have losing records).

Over in the NL East, the 2nd place Nationals (37-38) are 6 games out, a greater gap than the entire AL East combined.  ESPN lists a hypothetical "percent chance of making the playoffs" next to each team in the standings.  Here are the odds for each last place team:

AL Central: White Sox (31-42) - 2.4%
AL West: Astros (29-48) - 0.1%
NL East: Marlins (25-50) - 0.1%
NL Central: Cubs (31-43) - 3.1%
NL West: Dodgers (32-42) - 2.8%
AL East: Rays (39-37) - 34.9%

Before the season started I wrote a piece entitled "My opening thoughts on the 2013 Red Sox and the AL East."  In it I said the following:
"In my mind the entire division is a crap shoot. We could end up with 5 teams winning between 80 and 90 games."
So far, so good.


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