Where They Stand

With 23 games to go, the Red Sox have a record of 81-58, good for a .583 winning percentage. Their rivals for the wild card, at the moment, are the Texas Rangers, who over the same 139 games are 79-60, two games back. Should the Red Sox finish the season at the same .583 clip they will end up with 94 wins. The Rangers would therefore need to go 15-8 to match the Sox. For historical purposes, listed without comment, let's look at the Wild Card records over the past ten years, and the next-best team in the league (the wild card runner-up, if you will.

  • 2008 – 95 wins for the WC, 89 wins for the RU
  • 2007 – 94,88
  • 2006 – 95,90
  • 2005 – 95,93
  • 2004 – 98,91
  • 2003 – 95,93
  • 2002 – 99,93
  • 2001 – 102(!), 85
  • 2000 – 91,90

Should be an exciting fight to the finish.

16 comments… add one

  • Wow for all the talk about the WC keeping more teams in in it late & making the races more exciting, not many of those races have been particularly close.

    Mark-YF September 10, 2009, 10:06 am
  • You guys are fine…WAY too good to let the Rags catch you.
    ALCS Yankees vs Sox! I’ve been saying it all along! We may crash the server during that series…

    krueg reincarnate September 10, 2009, 10:13 am
  • Yeah, Mark. I’ve noticed that all the talk between the ASB and the trade deadline about half the league being “in it” always ends up being overblown. One month later, it’s almost always down to two or three for the Wild Card.

    Paul SF September 10, 2009, 10:58 am
  • I think the AL West race is going to heat up considerably and be a lot of fun to watch. The Angels visit NYS on Monday for a make-up game and then go to Fenway for a 3-game set before flying to Arlington to face Texas, who they are currently leading by 4.5 games in the AL West. When they return home they go straight into a series with teh Yankees. It’s the toughest imaginable road trip for LA made moreso by the fact that they have to squeeze in the make-up game vs. the Yankees and so get no days off on the way out to the East Coast or when they return home.
    Texas plays them very tough – they are 9-3 against the Angels this year including 5-1 in Arlington and after the games noted above the two teams have one more week before they end the season with a 3-game head-to-head match-up in LA. Unless Texas trips up against other opponents, they have a great shot at being very much in the AL West race right up to the last series of the year.

    IronHorse September 10, 2009, 11:06 am
  • “…I’ve noticed that all the talk between the ASB and the trade deadline about half the league being “in it” always ends up being overblown. One month later, it’s almost always down to two or three for the Wild Card….”
    yep, but timing has everything to do with it…all the teams are tied for first [or last depending on your perspective] on opening day…and fewer than half the teams are probably counted completely out by all star break…and we’ve seen how a trade deadline acquisition can dramatically change a team’s fortunes for the better…but with fewer and fewer games to go, even a small lead looms larger and larger with each missed opportunity…it’s about thinning the herd…

    dc September 10, 2009, 11:22 am
  • IH, I agree completely… I’ve been saying for a month now that the Rangers will catch the Angels, and it will be the best thing to ever happen to the Yankees!

    Atheose September 10, 2009, 11:51 am
  • Yes Atheose, that would be a very good thing. Though I have this slightly “slay-the-demons” fantasy for the Yankees where they beat both LA and Boston in the same post-season. Of course, it seems that scenario is unlikely for 2009 given that the Yanks are all but certain to play the Tigers in the ALDS, but I really would like to see the Yanks get the “last word” in October ball against those other two teams (which would only last until, of course, the next October match-up between them…)

    IronHorse September 10, 2009, 12:23 pm
  • I would think a more telling predictor of the WC outcome than overall winning percentage thus far would be to examine the schedules.
    Who does Boston play?
    Who does Texax play?
    What are those teams’ season records?
    And how has Boston/Texas fare against those particular teams this year?
    I’d do the math myself, but it’s dinnertime.

    Hudson September 10, 2009, 6:10 pm
  • I posted this in the game thread from two days ago, here it is again (I call “good” teams those 10 or more above .500, “okay” teams those within 10, and “bad” 10 or more below .500):
    BOS
    23 to play, 13 at home, 10 on road
    Good teams: LAA @ BOS, @ NYY
    Okay teams: TB @ BOS
    Bad teams: @ BAL, @ KC (4), TOR @ BOS, CLE @ BOS (4)
    6 good match-ups, 3 okay, 14 bad, glad we face the good teams mostly at home
    TEX
    23 to play, 12 at home, 11 on road
    Good teams: LAA @ TEX, @LAA (4)
    Okay teams: SEA @ TEX, TB @ TEX, @ SEA
    Bad teams: OAK @ TEX, @ OAK (4)
    7 good match-ups, 9 okay, 7 bad, though I don’t have much faith in Seattle who have really endured a beating at the Rangers’ hands this year.
    I think the schedule slightly favors Boston and goes more in their favor after the next week of tough match-ups for the Sox, but of course that means nothing in the face of the actual games.
    After next Thursday it will be (17 to play for both teams–all in a row, no off-days):
    3 good match-ups (0 okay), and 14 bad for the Sox (7 at home, 10 on the road).
    7 good match-ups, 6 okay, and 4 bad for the Rangers (6 at home, 11 on road).
    As far as annoying travel (night game before travelling): Sox have a night game at home before travelling to Baltimore (not so bad), and a night game at KC before travelling to New York (pretty annoying).
    Texas has all day games before their travel, annoyingly.

    Devine September 10, 2009, 6:36 pm
  • I did the calculations and the winning percentage of teams Boston plays against is something like .470, while Texas plays teams with a combined winning percentage of like .520. Definitely favors the Sox.

    AndrewYF September 10, 2009, 9:08 pm
  • Cris Collinsworth needs an undershirt.

    I'mBillMcNeal September 10, 2009, 9:41 pm
  • As part of my far-reaching hatred for Bud Selig, I’ve pined for years for many changes (adios, interleague, unbalanced schedule) including a return to the old two-division set-up but keeping the four playoff teams. For the playoffs, the divisions winners advance, as well as the two teams with the next best records.
    I believe that such a set-up WOULD make the playoff races more exciting to the end.
    Keep the East and West the same, giving Detroit and Cleveland to the East, and Minn, KC and Chisox to the West.
    With that set-up this year, Anaheim, Texas, Boston and Detroit would be in the WC race, and Texas, Ana and Det would be in the West race.
    I really believe that would work better. In some years, it would eliminate the chance that a team with the third- or even possibly fourth-best AL record would not make the playoffs because a division winner would have an automatic berth.

    I'mBillMcNeal September 10, 2009, 9:52 pm
  • In the AL, if the winning percentages stayed the same, swap Texas for Detroit. The NL would stay the same.
    I still hate Bud Selig.

    I'mBillMcNeal September 10, 2009, 9:59 pm
  • I like the cut of your jib, IBM. I would love to see two divisions in each league. Destroy inter-league play with great vengeance and furious anger.

    attackgerbil September 11, 2009, 2:17 am
  • i agree IBM…
    2 divisions would be better…especially like your proposal that you take the 2 teams with the best records after the div winners, regardless of the div those 2 teams belong to…you could still get a team shut out even though they had a better record than the other div winner, but it would be less likely under your proposed format…
    while i like the unbalanced schedule because it sets up more stress-filled games with the sox, it is a bit unfair, because there is no other rivalry like it, and i think it takes a toll on both our teams…ask the managers…but i vote to keep it…
    i hate interleague play…
    i hate that the all star game “counts” now…
    i hate that i have to pay for out of market yankee games only to have them blacked out on sat anyway…
    i hate bpud…

    dc September 11, 2009, 8:47 am
  • Thanks for that rundown, Devine… Excellent.
    The other consideration might be momentum: With 23 games left, what are Texas and Boston’s records over the previous 23 games?
    Any of these stats can easily deceive (e.g. the Sox still have a winning record against the Yanks this year).

    Hudson September 11, 2009, 10:37 am

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