First, the AL East:
It'll be interesting to see the 144-154 data for the Red Sox and Rays, who've gotten closer to one another in the last few days (this data is 2-4 days out of currency). The Sox did have a splendid run in the middle of the season (47-19, as shown in the portions of the data displayed in red); the rest of their season, however, is a good bit less impressive (38-38). The Yankees are shooting for ten straight .500+ 11-game segments, and they've been a more consistent team across the season.
While they clearly haven't won or lost the games in the same way as the Sox, the Rays have a similar profile: they've been vulnerable to "swoons," and one kinda figures they may be due for one more.
Next, the AL Central:
Since that 27-17 start, the Indians have been giving ground (42-56).
The Royals had a poor stretch in the middle of the year (18-37); when you place that on the side, the rest of their season is respectably mediocre (42-47).
The Tigers have played solid ball over the past third of a season (35-20) after a plodding start (46-42).
The Twins and the White Sox (but especially the Twins) will take a pass.
Rounding out the AL with the Western Division:
The M's hit a wall and now look like a team heavily into a "rebuilding phase" (17-38).
The A's had two bad weeks (games 67 through 77); otherwise they are a perfectly mediocre team (65-68).
The Rangers have more highs than the Angels, but they go negative more often (five sub-.500 segments as opposed to three).
On to the National League. Here's the East:
What a run for the Phillies: 54-23 over the past seven 11-game segments and only one sub-.500 segment for the whole year. Imagine if Roy Oswalt had actually been the Phourth Ace...
The Marlins have proved that they can play great and play abysmally for two different managers.
There's been a lot of deviation in the Braves' performance--and that's kept them from getting closer to the Phillies.
What did the Nationals do right in that portion of the year where they went 21-12? They were only able to win 21 games out their next 55...
The NL Central:
The Pirates (14-30 in the past seven weeks) just dropped to the track like that shot-up racehorse in The Killing...
Houston, however, had a more sustained period of freefall (17-49, as marked in red).
The opposite "behavior" has been exhibited by the Brewers (39-16) over the last third of the year.
A rotten year in Chicago--especially those first 99 games (39-60). They've played exactly .500 ball (22-22) since.
And, last (possibly least, too)--the not-so-wild West:
Someone (I think it was Dave Cameron) anointed the Rox after they opened the year 15-7. Overly oiled, they slipped on a prognosticative banana peel, losing 28 of their next 44. They haven't exactly rallied over the next 77 games (36-41).
The Dodgers had seven straight sub-.500 segments, but they might wind up over .500 anyway. They are 34-21 over the last third of the year.
The Giants have no offense, and the pitching finally couldn't get under the anemic performance of their teammates.
The Padres undid their only sustained performance of the year by bracketing it with two of their worst 11-game segments.
OK, how many times have teams had four straight winning 11-game segments this year?
The Red Sox, Yanks and Phillies have each done it six times. The Cardinals and the Brewers have each done it twice. The Giants did it once. So did the Diamondbacks. So did the Angels. And so did the Rays.
The Braves and the Rangers haven't done it.
We'll see if any of this means anything--anything at all--in the upcoming post-season.