Division of Labor(ing Teams) at Home

With play now completed for all AL Central teams today, their standings are as follows:

Central W L PCT GB HOME ROAD
Cleveland 11 9 .550 4-7 7-2
Chi WSox 11 11 .500 1 4-7 7-4
Detroit 11 11 .500 1 6-7 5-4
Kansas City 6 15 .286 5.5 0-10 6-5
Minnesota 6 15 .286 5.5 3-8 3-7

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:

Central GAMES IN-DIV OUT-DIV
Cleveland 20 8 12
Chicago WSox 22 5 17
Detroit 22 6 16
Minnesota 21 2 19
Kansas City 21 11 10

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:

Tm W L W-L% GB Home
TEX 52 62 .456 31-32
OAK 51 63 .447 1.0 24-32
SEA 49 63 .438 2.0 22-22
CAL 47 68 .409 5.5 23-40
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/29/2012.

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:

Year LG DIV Tm W L W-L%
1995 AL CENT DET 35 37 .486
1995 AL CENT KCR 35 37 .486
1995 AL CENT MIL 33 39 .458
1995 AL CENT MIN 29 43 .403
1996 AL CENT DET 27 54 .333
1996 AL CENT KCR 37 43 .463
1996 AL CENT MIL 38 43 .469
1996 AL CENT MIN 39 43 .476
1999 AL CENT CHW 38 42 .475
1999 AL CENT DET 38 43 .469
1999 AL CENT KCR 33 47 .413
1999 AL CENT MIN 31 50 .383
1994 NL WEST COL 25 32 .439
1994 NL WEST SDP 26 31 .456
1994 NL WEST SFG 29 31 .483
2005 NL WEST ARI 36 45 .444
2005 NL WEST COL 40 41 .494
2005 NL WEST LAD 40 41 .494
2005 NL WEST SFG 37 44 .457

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: