With interleague play opening up this coming weekend, I thought it would be interesting to take a quick look at the relative strengths of the different schedules of the AL East teams. One of the things that infuriates the anti-interleague segment is the fact that teams within the same division play different opponents, sometimes creating a much easier road for one team. I think you'll find that this is the case this season.
Here is a quick rundown of each team's schedule along with the corresponding opponents' combined record and combined Pythagorean record through the games of 5/16. (note: all series are 3 games)
Orioles: PHI, @PIT, @CIN, HOU, COL, @ATL
opponents' records: 95-128 Pythagorean: 102-121
Boston: ATL, @STL, @CHC, CIN, PIT, @PHI
New York: @NYM, @MIL, @STL, PIT, CHC, NYM
Toronto: WAS, @CHC, @HOU, STL, MIL, @WAS
If the early records are any indication, the Orioles definitely lucked out this year. While Boston and New York play St. Louis and the Cubs, the Orioles get to face Houston and (inexplicably) Colorado. If the AL East turns out to be as close as it looks to be right now, this difference could be a huge advantage for the O's.
Question: Can anyone explain how the Rockies ended up on the Orioles schedule? Isn't this year supposed to be a East vs. Central interleague year (minus the "rivalry" games, of course)?
Also, forgive me for disregarding the Devil Rays, but I think we can all agree that, even at this early juncture, they won't be in the division or wild card race.