Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Divisional Play

At the time of this post, the entire NL West is under .500 and the entire NL East is above .500. This means that the last place team in the East has a better record than the first place in the West. Truly amazing. For the dismal Giants and their sewer of a season, with only 4 teams in all of baseball with worse records, this normally would be a write-off. But they're only 6 1/2 games out of first. The ticket office actually has a reason to send out playoff ticket invoices to their season ticket holders... at 15 games under .500.

This says a few things about the current division and schedule format. Since there are 3 divisions in each league plus interleague play, even an unbalanced schedule results in an overwhelming majority of games being played outside the division. As bad as the NL West is this year, I don't expect the winner to be under .500 because the end of the season is heavily weighted with divisional rivalries playing each other. When one team loses, another has to win. This ought to push somebody over the .500 mark by default. But stranger things could happen.

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