More on the end of the baseball season
After writing last night on the Sox and Yankees records throughout the season, Bob Ryan of the Globe had a column with some of the same information in the Globe this morning. The online version doesn't include the table from the paper that shows the records before and after May 29. Bob Ryan ranks the AL playoff teams this way:
2. New York
3. Los Angeles/Anaheim
I think that what really matters is head-to-head records. Usually, Los Angeles/Anaheim plays the Yankees very tough, regardless of overall records. The match-ups dictate this. So, here are the head-to-head records:
New York vs. Boston -- Yankees won season series, 10-8 (3-6 before May 29, 7-2 after)
New York vs. LA/Anaheim -- LA/Anaheim won, 6-3, with most of the games AFTER May 29
New York vs. Cleveland -- Yankees swept Cleveland, 6-0, including 3 wins in April!
Boston vs. LA/Anaheim -- Sox won the season series, 6-4
Boston vs. Cleveland -- Sox won the season series, 5-2, including back-to-back 1-0 games (win and loss) in July
For completeness, LA/Anaheim vs. Cleveland -- Series split, 5-5
So, based on this, it's hard to say that Cleveland is the best if there was a round-robin. The match-ups won't be determined until the AL East is decided and the best record is decided (all pretty close right now). But, I think that the match-ups favor the Red Sox more than Bob Ryan gives them credit for. The Red Sox beat LA/Anaheim and Cleveland. And, any Red Sox-Yankees series has got to be a toss-up, despite the Yankees winning 7 of the last 9.
If the Yankees have to play LA/Anaheim, they are in for a struggle. If they have to play Cleveland, they should have the upper hand. LA/Anaheim can only play Cleveland in the ALCS as the Yankees and Red Sox can't play each other in the first round since they are in the same division.
If the Yankees win the East, I want LA/Anaheim to have a better record than Cleveland, forcing them to play the Wild Card Red Sox. If the Red Sox win the East, I want Cleveland to have the better record so that the Yankees get to play them.