Most and Least Favorable MLB Schedules Down the Stretch
It's finally here! The final month has come, and with the postseason just a few weeks away, teams are making their end of season surges so they can keep the dream alive come October. Nothing is set in stone, one thing's for sure: the remaining schedule does favor some teams more than others. Some teams might face weak opponents, some have rivals facing tough competition, or some might have a ton of home games in September. Out of the teams still eligible for the postseason, who's got it easy and who's unlucky?
AL Wild Card and the Yankees
So after Friday night's games, the New York Yankees (71-63), after losing to the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium, are still in top shape to take at least one Wild Card spot. Pre-Friday's match, the average winning rate of their remaining opponents was only .490.
The Minnesota Twins (70-63) are close behind though, but have a slightly tougher remaining schedule, with opponents averaging .492, which is still on the easier side of things. The Angels are on the outside looking in, but facing a tougher schedule at a .517 win rate for opponents, and playing 16 of their 28 games away from home, it looks like the Twins and Yankees are going to hold on, but remaining SOS isn't the only factor.
The Yankees are also close enough to Boston to take the AL East lead away from them. They're 5.5 GB, which isn't a good place to be, but have an easier schedule than their rivals for the rest of the season (.510). They also have the most home games waiting for them out of any contender in the AL, with 17 out of 29 games left in the Bronx, including Friday's bout. If the rest of this homestand against Boston goes their way, they've got an excellent shot of being division leaders.
NL Wild Card and the CubsÂ
The NL East should love September. All five teams in the division have are dealing with a remaining SOS less than .500. Out of contenders, the Marlins are in best shape with a SOS averaging .492, but they're not in good shape for the Wild Card, sitting at 6 GB. The Washington Nationals are already flying high, and are being rewarded with the easiest remaining SOS in all the majors.
The Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks hold the two NL Wild Card spots right now, but the Brewers could creep in. As of September 1, the NL West rivals get to play seven more games against each other, which could be beneficial for a Brewers club with a low .496 average SOS for the last month, and currently only 1.5 GB. St Louis will have a tougher time at 4.0 GB and an even .500 average remaining SOS, with the majority of their games being away from home.
You might have noticed that the Chicago Cubs were favored to win the division well before even leading the NL Central. This was because of their favorable schedule down the stretch. At an average .495 remaining SOS, they've currently got the 27th easiest rest of the campaign. With a healthy amount of home games included to boot, look for them to easily win the division, and maybe rest some stars in order to be ready to make another historic postseason run.
Who comes out on top?
In the AL, the Yankees have it best with their large number of remaining home games. Their strength of schedule isn't the easiest, but they can turn things around in this series against Boston. If not, they are still in a prime spot for a Wild Card Spot. The same goes for the Twins, who's remaining SOS is much easier than the Los Angeles Angels.Â
For the NL, the Rockies and D-Backs' head to heads leaves wins on the table, and the Brewers could take advantage. They aren't close to being out of it, and with their stellar play the first half of the year, they deserve it. It's clear that some teams have a much easier road ahead than others, but it's taking advantage of it that will be the real deciding factor for who's in/out come October.
Do you think any team's remaining SOS will affect who's in the postseason? Or is it too late? Be sure to comment what you think and share this article if you liked it! Get to Sports Interaction if you want to take advantage of some great bonuses, MLB future bets, and moneyline bets everyday!
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