Monday, May 27, 2013


Here's a fact that might prove momentarily impervious to post-modern methods of research. In the new "slow drip" version of interleague play that's been introduced this year to riotous silence, there are as of this morning three teams in MLB who've yet to play a single cross-league game.

If you know where to look (and, really, why should we tell you--just because you read this blog? Good grief, we've a reputation to maintain...) you can find out the answers for your own bad selves. What we'll tell you is that these three "virgin" teams (in terms of interleague play only, we assure you...) are not all in the same league, and two of these teams have played each other already during the course of the 2013 campaign.

Earlier last week, the NL pulled even with the AL at 29-29, but then the schedule turned nasty and the Marlins were sent out to play the White Sox (with predictably dire results). So as we gear up for a four days in late May that will effectively double the number of interleague contests played in 2013, the AL has a slight lead.

It may or may not hold up (we are in the land of the small sample size here...) but so far the home-field advantage has been much more prominent in the "drip, drip, drip" mode of interleague play this year. Overall, home teams have won 40 of 61 contests (a .656 WPCT). That's a hundred points higher than the historical average. The AL, which set the yearly record for best interleague performance in home games back in 2006 (86-40, .683), is currently 18-7 (.720) at home in 2013. The NL, which set an all-time low in home interleague performance in 2012 (54-72, .429) is currently 22-14 (.611) at home in 2013.

It's been fashionable to declare that the AL is the superior league in part because of the interleague results, but the lack of comprehensive matchups, even over time, prescribes more caution in such an assessment than is often the case with the garden variety neo-sabe. The lack of balance in the team quality matchups in interleague games has intensified to the detriment of the NL in the past five years, and it doesn't appear that anyone is taking that into account prior to issuing their proclamations.

The matchups for late May (chart at left), which skew slightly in favor of the AL teams, reiterate the need for caution in such sweeping assessments.

This is the weirdest wrinkle in the history of interleague play, where the two teams will play "home and home" series in back-to-back two-game units. Buzzy the fly™ told us that we should have expected something like this, since he and his bunch of droning spies had noticed an increasing trend toward geometric patterns in the ties worn by BS during their ongoing surveillance of the Commissioner's Office.

Who are the three teams that haven't yet dipped their toe into the 2013 interleague drip? That's right: the Red Sox, the A's, and the Cardinals.

That will all change today.

[UPDATE: The AL took nine of sixteen interleague contests today. The chart shows the victorious team(s) in the 5/27 games in red so that the reader can see whether the visiting team (at left) or the home team (at right) was the winning team. Overall, the home team won in 12 of 16 games today, further bolstering the home team WPCT in '13--which now stands at 52-25, or .675.]