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Parity in the Major Leagues 2006

by Jason Vernon
2006-04-17

American League Parity
After two full weeks of play the parity of the American League standings resemble the National Football League's annual standings. Of the fourteen teams in the American League, eleven fall between .400 and .600 winning percentages. No team in the AL appears to be unbeatable at this moment and the only team with an extreme record is the Kansas City Royals who appear to be facing a season of horrors as they sit at a 2-9 record.

In the American League East no team is under .500 and all five teams are within two games of each other. The American League Central has three teams tied for first at 7-5 records respectively and a fourth team one game behind them. The American League West is even more tightly contested with all four teams within 1.5 games of each other.

If this parity plays out over the course of the season astute handicappers will look for opportunities where underdogs are greatly undervalued by the betting public at large. For instance, the Seattle's, Tampa Bay's and Minnesota's of the world will probably enter many of their games as severe underdogs while in reality in an American League swimming in parity their chances for victory will be much greater than what the line shows.

National League Parity?
Not at all. The three divisions in the National League are experiencing more of a lengthening of distance between front-runners and their competition. The National League East features baseball's best team in the New York Mets who are sitting at 9-2. The rest of the division finds itself between four and six games back. The National League Central is the tightest National League division with the Houston Astros on top by no more than one game over four other teams. The Pittsburg Pirates are the outlier in the division sitting five games back. The National League West is the most balanced division in baseball in the sense that there is one team with a .600+ winning percentage, three teams between .400 and .600 and one team below .400.

I can't draw any general betting conclusions on the National League teams as a whole at this point. But one team that has caught my eye is the Cincinnati Reds who just may be the surprise team of baseball this year. If this holds true the Reds are sure to be a very nicely valued underdog throughout the season.

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Updated: 10/27/12

NEW: Pitcher Home/Road Disparities

Bold indicates team falls into that angle today.

Overall
Orioles 93-69 +41.76
Athletics 94-68 +40.30
Nationals 98-64 +27.78
Giants 94-68 +23.57
Reds 97-65 +20.87
Full Table >>
Home
Athletics 50-31 +20.95
Orioles 47-34 +14.14
Nationals 50-31 +12.19
Reds 50-31 +8.39
Giants 48-33 +8.34
Full Table >>
Road
Orioles 46-35 +27.62
Athletics 44-37 +19.35
Braves 46-35 +16.83
Nationals 48-33 +15.59
Giants 46-35 +15.23
Full Table >>
vs Righty
Athletics 64-39 +34.98
Orioles 67-52 +28.93
Braves 65-38 +25.38
Nationals 70-45 +21.99
Reds 65-49 +6.64
Full Table >>
vs Lefty
Giants 41-20 +24.22
Reds 32-16 +14.23
Orioles 26-17 +12.83
Cardinals 31-17 +9.96
Nationals 28-19 +5.79
Full Table >>

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