Thursday, May 19

One "Funny" Thing

Of the 7 Worst Teams in the National League so far, 4 of them are in the NL Central. Of the 13 teams currently below .500, 8 are in the NL and 5 (!) of those are in the NL Central.

(NL Central in Bold Italic)

1 -- Kansas City (11-29, .275)
2 -- Colorado (11-26, .297)
3 -- Tampa Bay (14-27, .341)
4 -- Cincinnati (14-26, .350)
5 -- Houston (15-24, .385)
6 -- Seattle (16-24, .400)
6 -- Oakland (16-24, .400)
8 -- Cleveland (17-22, .436)
9 -- Philadelphia (18-23, .439)
10-- Pittsburgh (17-21, .447)
11-- Chicago Cubs (18-20, .474)
12-- Milwaukee (19-20, .487)
12-- San Francisco (19-20, .487)

Why is this? Well, simply put, the NL Central is kicking the shit out of each other so far this season. With the exception of the St. Louis Cardinals (boooo hisssss -- 16-4 vs. NL Central), every other team is splitting series after series more or less, and while this is true for most other divisions as well, the NLC is noticeably more extreme in this parity. Except for the poor poor Reds, that is.

(NL Central Record, Record vs. Everyone Else)
1 -- St. Louis (16-4, 9-9)
2 -- Milwaukee (13-12, 6-8)
3 -- Cubs (12-11, 6-9)
4 -- Houston (10-11, 5-13)
5 -- Pittsburgh (10-14, 7-7)
6 -- Cincinnati (6-15, 8-11)

Compare this, just as an example, to the AL Central where the teams are fairly evenly spaced about back from the White Sox.

(ALC, Record outside ALC)
1 -- White Sox (18-4, 11-8)
2 -- Minnesota (12-9, 10-8)
3 -- Detroit (10-11, 9-8)
4 -- Cleveland (9-13, 8-9)
5 -- Kansas City (5-17, 6-12)

It will even out eventually as the season goes on, but it definitely explains the early-season discrepancies in having almost every team in one division below .500. I would like to think the NL Central is better than this, and over time it will be.

It is kinda like the NFC last season - so many teams breaking even at .500 or thereabouts over the course of the season, with teams at 7-9 even making the playoffs (compared to the AFC where the playoff teams were head-and-shoulders above the rest, more or less).

Sorry if this was boring to anyone, I just can't wait for the Cubs/White Sox series and I'm killing time.

Comments, thoughts? (On something other than how boring this may have been?)


At 11:51 AM, Blogger Jim said...

If you don't love arcane statistics, you are not a true fan. Great players may be oblivious, but we fans eat this sort of thing up. Makes us feel like poker players. Now if I've got two aces, the odds are …

I find it interesting that the stinking Cards are not doing that well against teams outside of the division. Makes me think they won't fare all that well in October. Looks to me like Atlanta, Florida or the Dodgers could take them in a playoff series. And the Pale Hose would take them apart like an Alaskan brown bear ripping into a salmon.

At 12:04 PM, Blogger JT said...

I think it's the Cards' poor form vs. anyone but the NL Central is one of the things I'll be clinging to this season and hoping it continues -- it spells playoff doom.

I think even the Padres could dismantle them...... if they win the West. You pick the Dodgers in the long run in that division?

At 1:23 PM, Blogger Hyposquasher said...

I pick the Dodgers in that division. And I agree that any of those three teams could take the Cards at least right now. With their inner division success, it basically leaves the Cubs in control of their own destiny. If the Cards can't win outside the division, and the Cubs can dominate the Cards in the last three months of baseball, the Cubs will win this division.

At 12:17 PM, Anonymous Lazlo said...

The Cubs cannot count on anyone in the division to beat the Cards, so the Cubs are going to have to do their own dirty work. If the Cards beat the Cubs when they face them, I have to believe that would be the end of playoff hopes for the Cubs. Cubs are going to have to knock them down a peg.

At 12:39 PM, Blogger JT said...

It's crazy that the two teams don't meet again until the 22nd July (a weekend series in St. Louis, of course)... by then, the division might well be over. Talk about a rough hand - given that between now and then we play many times against everyone else in the division, it doesn't seem fair that we must wait for 2 months to play our biggest rival.

Oh, and thanks Nationals for beating the Brewers again....and again.

At 11:27 AM, Anonymous Lazlo said...

JT- it actually may turn out to be a blessing that the Cubs do not play the Cardinals again for a while. That may give us time to get back our injured and possibly to make a trade or two to strengthen the roster. I don't really want to play the Cards until we've got Walker and Wood back.

At 12:12 PM, Blogger JT said...

Lazlo - that may be true, but looking at the interleague schedules, I get scared!

Cubs - 6 games vs. White Sox, 3 vs Yankees, Red Sox, Blue Jays

Cards - 3 games vs. Royals, Devil Rays, Yankees, Red Sox, Blue Jays

aside from the 3 common foes, they're getting a 6-game head start! I worry!

Can't wait for this afternoon...

Contreras vs. El Torro

At 10:23 PM, Anonymous Lazlo said...

I agree, the Cards play a much weeker interleague schedule. They seem to have the advantages this year.

And as far as trades go, I worry there too. I'm afraid that if Nomar can't come back for the end of this season we may not see him play in a Cubs' uniform again. In fact, I'm afraid that if the cubs do not pull off another playoff appearance this year, the ownership will revert to old business models, meaning; We can make money off of a losing team in chicago, so why spend money on expensive players. I hope not though. Todays game does not leave me with an optimistic view on the Cubs, but a win tomorrow could turn me around again.

At 10:29 PM, Anonymous Lazlo said...

Remember those forearm cramps Carlos has been experiencing lately? Well, it's been stated that they may possible be a result of the extra batting practice he's been taking. That's our Torro.

Related note: WHY WAS HE TAKEN OUT OF TODAY'S GAME??!!!!!! Sorry, aggravated fan here.


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