I don’t see any reason to turn this into a full-length post, when something very short should suffice. You know that not every team in baseball has an identically-difficult schedule. I mean, even most simply, the Padres have to play against the Dodgers, but the Dodgers never have to play against the Dodgers, which gives them an advantage. There are other advantages and disadvantages, for other reasons. Things are unbalanced. You know how it works.
Differences between schedules are frequently tough to notice, and it’s easy to downplay the significance. A team’s schedule will never be the major factor behind said team making or missing the playoffs. That doesn’t make it irrelevant, though, especially now, with higher-leverage baseball games left to be played. Who’s looking at the toughest schedules the rest of the way? Who’s looking at the easiest? I can give you some very simple estimates. I’m following the same method as always.
This is our projected standings page. That includes a projected winning percentage, that does not factor in opponents. This is our playoff odds page. That includes a projected winning percentage, that does factor in opponents. In other words, the latter projection is schedule adjusted, so to get an idea about schedule strength, you can just subtract the former winning percentage from the latter, and see what you have.
That’s what I’ve done below, splitting apart the American and National Leagues. These are expressed as differences in winning percentage, where a positive number implies an easier schedule, and a negative number implies a more difficult one. Note that this is based entirely on the team projections, so if you have a particular disagreement with certain projections, that’ll make a difference here. Like, the Brewers are projected to play a lot worse than the Cubs from here on out. If you think that’s not how it’s going to go, then, well, take these with a grain of salt. I just want to show you what our numbers say, at this moment in time. Don’t flame the messenger.
Here’s the AL picture:
Good news for the Indians! Worse news for the White Sox. But the White Sox probably don’t care, so, let’s just move one over, and say, worse news for the Orioles. And for the Yankees, and for the Red Sox, and for the…the AL East is a tough division. Here’s the NL picture:
I don’t think the Marlins are going to play themselves into the race, but at least they have one thing working for them. The Diamondbacks apparently don’t, so it’s good for them they have such a massive lead. I’m not going to write anything else. Anything left, I leave to you.
Jeff made Lookout Landing a thing, but he does not still write there about the Mariners. He does write here, sometimes about the Mariners, but usually not.