View Full Version : The Interleage Play Effect

09-18-2006, 10:27 AM
I knew that the Sox were greatly helped by interleague play this year, but I ran the number to see how much they benefited. I removed all 18 interleague games from their schedule to determine their record against the A.L. The Sox went 14-4 against the N.L., but only 70-61 against the A.L. Here is how they compared with the Tigers and Twins in this regard:

Sox 70-61 (.534)
Tigers 74-57 (.564)
Twins 72-59 (.549)

Obviously, the Tigers and Twins outplayed the Sox by a few games against the rest of the A.L. What this really shows is how much all three teams benefited from interleague play toward what will be their final records and how much tougher the American League really is (which we knew).

Here is how the winning percentages above would translate over a theoretical 162 game season played against the A.L.:

Tigers=91 wins
Twins=88 wins
Sox=86 wins

The Twins and Tigers had slightly better records than the Sox (14-4) in interleague play. It's hard to believe you can do much better than 14-4, but the Tigers went 15-3 and the Twins went 16-2.

This year, the Central Division winner will probably win 95-99 games and the Wild Card winner will likely win 93-96 games. The third place team will likely win at least 90.

Anyway, what this really shows is the win inflation that results from playing a weaker N.L. It seemed to me that winning in the low-90s was usually enough to secure a playoff spot. This perhaps shows why A.L. teams must win in the mid-to-high 90s to make the playoffs anymore.