With play now completed for all AL Central teams today, their standings are as follows:
Notice anything odd … besides the .500 record of the prohibitive pre-season favorite Tigers? Well, every team has a losing record at home. The Royals may have started on a historic 0-for-10 skid in KC, but the rest of the division isn’t much better when they can sleep in their own beds each night. A combined 17-39 record at home is, well, incredible.
And its not like they’ve been beating up on each other in the other’s home park. There have been only 16 in-division matchups so far and 37 outside the division. Only the Royals have played more than 50% of their games within the division to this point:
I decided to see if an entire division has finished a season with each team no better than .500 at home. For simplicity and uniformity sake, I’ve limited this search going back to the start of the six division layout in 1994.
1994 was the strike-shortened season, and there was some associated quirkiness in the final standings in the American League. Only five of the 14 teams ended at or above .500. More importantly, none of the four teams in the AL West finished over .500. This was mostly because they were the first and only entire division to all finish <= .500 at home:
That’s the only instance we’ve had in the 18 years of six-division play. We have had some near-misses, with all but one team in the following divisions finishing at or under .500 at home, as follows: