Sunday, February 14, 2016

Interleague play: The great inequity

It's everyone's favorite time of baseball season. Interleague play is upon us.

Interleague play: The great inequity

So why are the Phillies seeing this guy in the regular season?
So why are the Phillies seeing this guy in the regular season? PAUL J. BERESWILL / Associated Press

It's everyone's favorite time of baseball season. Interleague play is upon us.

Over the last few days and coming weeks, you'll read plenty about the merits of Interleague play. So we'll keep our take brief:

It is simply not fair.

With Interleague play, the schedule is unbalanced. At least in 1997 when Bud Selig's concept began in earnest, one division in the National League played every team from another division in the American League. There was no mixing and matching.

Now, the schedule has become just as random as picking names out of a hat.

The Phillies have their "natural" rivals, the Boston Red Sox, whom they play six times. So do the Mets, with the Yankees. The Marlins have the Rays and the Nationals have the Orioles. The Braves don't have a "natural" rival in 2010.

Most of the NL East is facing teams from the AL Central. But because Major League Baseball wants ratings, well, the Phillies are playing the Yankees in the Bronx. And the Blue Jays (now in Philadelphia).

So take a look at this, the Interleague opponents with records entering Friday's play:

BOS          22-20
@BOS      22-20
@NYY     25-16
MIN          24-17
CLE          15-24
vs. TOR    25-18
TOTAL: 133-115    .536 winning %

@MIN      24-17
TB            30-11
KC           17-25
@CWS    16-24
DET         24-17
TOTAL: 111-94    .541 winning %

@CWS     16-24
@TB        30-11
TEX          24-18
TB            30-11
@BAL      13-29
TOTAL: 113-93    .549 winning %


NYY         25-16
@BAL       13-29
@CLE      15-24
@NYY     25-16
DET          24-17
MIN         24-17
TOTAL: 126-119    .514 winning %

BAL          13-29
@CLE       15-24
@DET       24-17
CWS         16-24
KC            17-25
@BAL       13-29
TOTAL: 98-148    .398 winning %

Everyone in the division except the Nationals plays teams with a combined winning record. The Marlins are screwed over the most, simply because they face the red-hot Rays six times.

Washington doesn't play a division foe until June 28 again. By then, we'll see if their favorable Interleague schedule has had any effects.

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