As we near the halfway point of the season, the Toronto Blue Jays have won 11 straight. They’re two games over .500, and only 5 back of Boston for 1st place. The Jays’ 38-36 record would put them 2nd in 3 of MLB’s 6 divisions, but in the American League East it has them tied with the Rays for last. In fact, Toronto and Tampa open up a “battle for the basement” series tonight (with one more win and one more loss than the Blue Jays the Rays currently trail them by percentage points; the opposite of what would normally be the case when last place teams have losing records).
Over in the NL East, the 2nd place Nationals (37-38) are 6 games out, a greater gap than the entire AL East combined. ESPN lists a hypothetical “percent chance of making the playoffs” next to each team in the standings. Here are the odds for each last place team:
AL Central: White Sox (31-42) – 2.4%
AL West: Astros (29-48) – 0.1%
NL East: Marlins (25-50) – 0.1%
NL Central: Cubs (31-43) – 3.1%
NL West: Dodgers (32-42) – 2.8%
AL East: Rays (39-37) – 34.9%
Before the season started I wrote a piece entitled “My opening thoughts on the 2013 Red Sox and the AL East.” In it I said the following:
“In my mind the entire division is a crap shoot. We could end up with 5 teams winning between 80 and 90 games.”
So far, so good.
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