Jul 20, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; A general view of the left field scoreboard showing the American League East standings prior to a game between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
The Cincinnati Reds are one of only six National League teams with a winning record at this juncture of the season. What is interesting about this also, is the fact that half of those teams are in the Central Division.
The Atlanta Braves lead the East Division and are the only one of the five teams with a winning record. Out West, the LA Dodgers and the Arizona Diamondbacks are the only ones who can boast an above .500 W/L pct.
Fact of the matter is that the three top teams in the senior circuit right now are doing battle in the hotly contested Central Division. The St. Louis Cardinals lead the Western Hemisphere with a record of 60-37. The second-place Pittsburgh Pirates have the second best record in all of MLB with a 59-39 mark. The Reds sport a record of 57-44, which would have them leading the division if they were in the East, West or even the AL Central.
I have said it before and it bears repeating, the geographical formations should have nothing to do with the playoff picture. The point I am trying to make is that the best five teams should be in the playoff, regardless of what division they are playing in.
As an example, it would not be impossible for the NL West champion to have a losing record at the end of the season. Should a team that wins their division be thrown into the playoffs with perhaps a team from one of the other divisions sitting home with a better record? Just saying.
What the lack of winning teams in the National League is saying, is that this season it is far inferior to the American League. That can be proven by any method you would choose to employ.
The AL is leading the head-to-head competition with a record of 109-97. The Reds contribute to that stat greatly with their 6-9 record. Oddly enough, the Chicago Cubs have more wins (13) than any other team in Inter-league play.
The NL was completely outclassed by the AL in the All-star game as they were recipients of a size 3 shutout.
Non-All-star participant Yoenis Cespedes ruled the home-run derby for the Junior Circuit as well.
The Reds are 4-2 since the mid-season break. The Cardinals are 3-1, and the Pirates looked like they were headed for their typical second-half nosedive when they lost the first two games to the Reds. They turned it around and have won three straight.
It looks like the Central Division will be a dogfight until the end.