Thursday, May 15, 2008

Interleague Play Winners and Losers

The rest of the season is completely balanced and equitable. The 16 teams in each league play each other 10 times so that both divisional and wild card spots are truly filled by the most deserving teams. But then along comes interleague play to shake things up, everything is still equal for divisional opponents who play the same four teams, but a major advantage can be had in the wild card races if the opposing league's division is weak.
That appeared to be the case going in and indeed held form in the case of the South divisions as the AL steamrolled the NL with a combined record of 31-17. The biggest shocker of all of this was that the team who led the way was the lowly Texas Rangers, holders of the worst record in baseball entering interleague play, who finished a surprising 9-3.
The other major surprise of interleague play was in the performance of the division with the best record going in, the AL West. Other than the Anaheim Angels, who took advantage of the time with an 8-4 record to jump right back into the division title race, the AL West was outmatched en route to a disappointing 19-29 record against their NL foes. At the lead of the NL charge were the Arizona Diamondbacks, whose 10-2 interleague record was the best, and launched them back into first place in the NL West.
The overall league tally for interleague play saw the NL take the advantage this season with a 98-94 victory.

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