NL Pennant Races

NL_East_Standings_2015NL_Central_Standings_2015NL_West_Standings_2015In contrast to the American League, where no team is more than 17 games behind a division leader, four such teams are so far out in the NL. Still, interesting division races remain in the East, where the Mets recently displaced the Nationals, and the West, where the Dodgers can’t quite drop the Giants despite spending most of the season in first place.

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Flush Royals, Part II

Kansas_City_Royals_Division_Lead_1995-2015

With Monday’s 9-4 victory at Cleveland, the Royals extended their AL Central lead to eight full games — their largest lead in the three-division era. Kansas City has been as much as 43 games out of first place (in 2005), and has led in the second half only twice in that span (2003, 2014).

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MLB standings, visualized

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I like to keep in mind just how small the gap in performance between MLB teams really is — even the historically greatest teams lost about 30 percent of their games, which is almost unique in sports. This chart of each team’s winning percentage (as of Saturday) shows how similar most teams are, as wins and losses that will decide pennant races are reduced to tiny slivers of a season-long pie. Baseball’s second-best team (Baltimore) and second-worst (Arizona and Colorado) are separated by just one win every five games.

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