Friday, June 23, 2006

AL vs. NL

We all agreed before the season that the AL was much better than the NL. Interleague play seems to be confirming that. Right now the AL holds a 77-49 advantage in interleague play. After two straigt World Series sweeps and many consecutive All-Star games the NL is not representing itself well.

A 77-49 record is a .611 winning percentage. Or if the AL and NL played a full season, it would make the AL a 99 win team while the NL wins 63. Ouch.


Sully said...

And some people, like Mike Hargrove, are still bitching about inter-league play not being fair because the NL has too big a home field advantage. Well gee, Mike, did you ever stop to think that maybe you're just not a very good manager?

Warren said...

This article claims that the Red Sox believe the AL teams are 10 wins better than their NL counterparts:

Among the statistical devices Red Sox management has at its disposal is a program that simulates a major league season. One thing the Sox brass has done: place American League teams as presently composed in the National League and simulate a 162-game season. The club's conclusion: There is a 10-game difference (which is considered gigantic) between leagues. In other words: An AL team that projects to win 85 games in the AL this season projects to win 95 in the NL, according to general manager Theo Epstein.

10 wins seems high to me (would the White Sox and Tigers really be on pace for something like 110 wins in the NL?).

Ross said...

As large a difference as the 10 games may be, it's not hard to argue that that is correct. So far the way it has played out in interleague play supports that.

Plus, I never remember going into a season and talking about the huge disparity between the leagues like we did this year. There has to be a very large difference for it to be noticable. Since most of the games are intraleague, it's hard to tell.

This time it was easy to tell before the season. And no, the Tigers aren't a 110 win team in any league, they've just played way over their heads so far.

As far as the White Sox, they did sweep the NL in the World Series last season, so why not?

Sully said...

After what the White Sox just did to the Cardinals, I wouldn't doubt that they'd be that much better. And the Tigers... I'm not sure yet. Their young pitchers have been awesome, but let's see how they hold up in the second half.

The Red Sox have historically been really bad in interleague, but they've stormed through it so far this year. Even the worst team in the AL, the Royals, just swept the worst team in the NL, the Pirates.

Warren said...

I can't vouch for these numbers, but:

Total AL payroll for 2006: $1167 million
Total NL payroll for 2006: $1095 million

Given that the NL has two more teams than the AL, that's a substantial difference in payrolls. So that might help explain *why* the AL is better right now.

Ross said...

Interleague play may only continue the payroll trend. It's possible that the difference between the leagues will cause a larger than normal amount of teams in the AL to finish over .500 and a larger amount in the NL finish under .500.

Teams that finish over .500 may be more likely to spend in the offseason figuring they are close as far as being a playoff team.

It will be interesting to see where players go this offseason. It may be a really good time to spend if your an NL team (like the Mets did) and take advantage of a weak National League (like the Mets are doing).

Sully said...

The average salary of a DH vs. the average salary of a 25th man on an NL roster probably has a lot to do with that as well...