So I was sorting through the standings today and found (what I thought to be) some interesting stats. The Yankees expected win-loss, based on their runs scored and allowed, is 84-56. That would be 6 games better than they currently are and would give them the same record as the Red Sox. The Sox however, have an expected W-L of 90-50. So apparently, both teams have had an equal share of bad luck and the Sox have probably played better over the course of the season. This makes sense, especially given each team’s performance early in the season.
What I find even more interesting? The next best teams (with their corresponding ex W-L):
LA Angels: 79-60
So clearly the Red Sox and Yankees are the class of the AL.
Seattle? They are 68-70.
Do these expected W-L records really mean anything? Yes and no. They don’t account for “clutch play” and there is certainly something to be said for teams that win close games. However, take a look at the two teams whose run differential early in the season didn’t line up with their performance: The New York Yankees and The Chicago Cubs. Both currently have a claim on a playoff spot after being left for dead in June. So run differential is a good way of telling how good teams really are. So even more reason why the Yankees probably fear Detroit a lot more than Seattle when it comes to the wild card.
Another interesting note: The Arizona Diamondbacks are in first place in the NL West. According to expected win-loss, they should be last.