08/25/2005: Time to start rooting for Houston (and possibly Milwaukee)....
Over at The Hardball Times, Dave Studeman clues us into one of the ten things he didn't know last week:
The NL West is now officially the worst division ever.My reasoning should be obvious on a moment's reflection. If the NL wild card comes from the NL Central, the seeding for the playoffs will most likely have the Cardinals facing the winner of the NL West. Barring some sort of catastrophic implosion, that will basically make the Cards' round in the NL Divisional Series a set of warm-up games to prepare for their matchup with the winner of the NL East champion (Atlanta yet again? *sigh*)-NL wild card matchup in the NL Championship Series.
As of this writing (August 23), no team in the National League West is playing even .500 ball. As we reported earlier, this is the latest point in the season a division has "reached" such a level of ineptitude. Even the Padres' owner thinks 81 wins may be enough to win the division.
Andy Dolphin's website can be a bit difficult to understand, but at the bottom of the page he rates the NL West as the worst division by far (and the AL West as the best). NL West teams are playing .443 ball overall, but only .413 outside of the division. To put that in perspective, only four teams in the majors are playing worse than .413 ball this year.
One more data point: the NL West is 5-7 against the Kansas City Royals.
Len on 08.25.05 @ 06:47 AM CST