Second-half 'strength of schedules'

How tough is the road ahead for Bobby Valentine's Red Sox? (Getty Images)

The unbalanced sked in tandem with interleague play means that teams competing for the same goals (i.e., postseason berths) can wind up playing schedules of substantially different strengths. That's especially the case when you isolate to, say, just one half of a given season.

And speaking of "just one half of a given season" let's take a quick look at the road each team faces over the balance of the 2012 season.

Below you'll see a table for each league, and listed alongside each team will be the average winning percentage of its remaining opponents and then the number of home games and road games left on the schedule. Teams will be sorted by descending order of remaining-opponents' winning percentage (all data courtesy of the most excellent CoolStandings.com).

First up, the American League ...

Team Remaining opponents' WIN% Home games/road games
Boston Red Sox .530 35/41
Toronto Blue Jays
.529 39/37
Oakland Athletics .524 37/39
Seattle Mariners .524 40/35
Tampa Bay Rays .519 38/38
Los Angeles Angels .513 38/38
Baltimore Orioles .513 39/38
Detroit Tigers .513 39/37
Kansas City Royals .512 44/34
Minnesota Twins .510 39/38
New York Yankees .507 40/37
Texas Rangers .503 36/40
Cleveland Indians .500 36/41
Chicago White Sox .492 35/42

Believe it or not, just three of the 14 AL teams enter the second half with losing records, and that explains all those relatively high opponents' winning percentages you see above.

As for specific teams, the Red Sox are bound to jump out. Boston is getting healthy and finds itself just 2.5 games out of playoff position, but that's a rough docket ahead. Elsewhere, the Yankees have a fairly easy go of it by AL East standards, and the Central-leading White Sox are also well poised.

Now to the National League ...

Team Remaining opponents' WIN% Home games/road games
Philadelphia Phillies .513 37/38
Miami Marlins .510 37/40
New York Mets .506 35/41
Houston Astros .503 36/40
Chicago Cubs .500 42/35
San Diego Padres .498 37/38
Milwaukee Brewers .493 38/39
Colorado Rockies .490 38/39
Atlanta Braves .488 39/38
Washington Nationals .487 41/38
St. Louis Cardinals .485 38/38
Los Angeles Dodgers .485 38/37
Arizona Diamondbacks .475 37/40
San Francisco Giants .464 39/37
Cincinnati Reds .464 42/35
Pittsburgh Pirates .462 38/39

So the Phillies are done, right? Over in the Central, the Reds and Pirates have a notably easier go of it than do the Cardinals. More specificially, Cincy will play just six more road games against teams currently with winning records. The Astros, meanwhile, look like strong bets to land the top-overall pick for a second-consecutive draft. Tonight, Houston, you may celebrate.

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