Breaking down the 2013 interleague schedule for all 30 teams. What teams are forced to deviate from their regular roster/lineup construction for the longest stretch of the year?
With the Astros finally moved into the American League, we have a very different interleague schedule this year. Not only does it mean that there is now at least one interleague series happening each day of the season, from April to October, it also means that the "rivalry weekends" that were the highlights of the interleague schedule fifteen years ago have been re-shaped. Additionally, the newly balanced divisions mean that, outside of the rivalry games, all teams in a given division can play the exact same teams as their divisional opponents. No longer do the schedule makers have to worry about a six-team division matching up with a four-team division.
So how did the schedule makers do? Did the schedule turn out as balanced as can be? Were they able to ensure that teams from any one division would have the same opponents as their division-mates? Were all clubs given the same number of interleague matches or did some lucky squad or two end up a series short? One thing to remember here is that, with interleague games happening all year long instead of on two or three specific weekends, clubs are now on unequal footing when it comes to setting their rosters for the change in league rules. If one team, for example, only ever has to worry about forcing their pitchers to hit one weekend a month, they are probably in a better situation than the club forced to suddenly remove their all-star DH for nine straight games. National League clubs playing in American League ballparks will have similar problems in trying to add a DH for extended periods of time.
Stadium Tour continues with The Newberg Report in Texas
Baseball Prospectus, The Newberg Report and the Texas Rangers invite you to join us for a great day of baseball on Sunday, June 24 at Rangers Ballpark.Thanks to the fine folks in the Rangers front office, we are proud to be able to offer our guests the following:
A humor-tinged recap of one of the most exciting World Series of our generation
Track #1: Iron Maiden: “The Duelist” “Ready to start the duel begins the best man wins in the end.
A lunge and a feint, a parry too late
A cut to the chest and you're down
Seeing the stain then feeling the pain
Feeling the sweat on your brow.”
The rest of this article is restricted to Baseball Prospectus Subscribers.
Not a subscriber?
Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get access to the best baseball content on the web.
The Rangers downed the Rays in four games, and are now set to defend their American League title.
Despite spending the offseason waiting at the airport for Cliff Lee’s mystery plane to land, the Texas Rangers entered the 2011 season as favorites in the American League West. The Angels fumbled the snap in the Adrian Beltre sweepstakes, giving Texas a nice consolation price in the free-agent market, and through a series of well-executed trades during the season, the team was able to add several veteran relief arms to strengthen their roster. The 2011 Rangers were every bit as strong as the 2010 Rangers.
The rest of the division may be a dud, but the Rangers' red-hot run looks all the more impressive when compared to their past rotations.
I'm beginning to wonder if I’ve broken the AL West. I'm being facetious, of course, but the timing has caught me a little off guard. Since writing at length about how Seattle was making something of a spirited go at the division crown and might have a decent shot at swinging a .500 season, the Mariners have dropped from an even 38-38 (2 ½ games back) to 43-54 (12 ½ games), effectively crushing any lingering hopes of contending in 2011. Something similarly strange has happened to the Angels, as my efforts to paint them as legitimate contenders for the division crown just seven days ago had been rewarded by a sharp 3 ½-game drop in the standings and a one-week post-season odds plunge of 11.9 percent going into Wednesday night.
But rather than falsely attribute the coincidentally-timed struggles of the Rangers' competition to any of my work at Baseball Prospectus, let's just be brutally honest about what's going on here: Texas has gone into hyperdrive. Seriously. Before dropping a 9-8 heartbreaker in Anaheim during the waning hours of Wednesday evening (a game the Rangers led by an 8-3 margin after chasing Dan Haren early, leading to a peak win expectancy of 96.4 percent), Texas had collected 12 straight wins, a high-water mark for winning streaks among American League ballclubs since the Red Sox accomplished that same feat back in June 2006.
Commemorating the 50th anniversary of the oldest team without a title.
Believe it or not, most of our writers didn't enter the world sporting an @baseballprospectus.com address; with a few exceptions, they started out somewhere else. In an effort to up your reading pleasure while tipping our caps to some of the most illuminating work being done elsewhere on the internet, we'll be yielding the stage once a week to the best and brightest baseball writers, researchers and thinkers from outside of the BP umbrella. If you'd like to nominate a guest contributor (including yourself), please drop us a line.
Sowing the seeds of doubt about a Rangers dynasty.
Opening Day is two weeks away, and in the grand scheme of things, we really don’t know as much as we like to think we do… but it’s not like that has ever stopped anyone from voicing their opinions or issuing their proclamations on the upcoming season. Such is the nature of the annual lead-up to Game One. And depending on whom you choose to listen to, the Texas Rangers are either (a) runaway favorites who are destined to subjugate their AL West competition and claim the division title with relative ease, or (b) moderate favorites who will be tested to their limits by Oakland and Los Angeles (with Seattle playing a less consequential but potentially disruptive role in the proceedings), and quite possibly knocked down from their perch if enough things fail to break their way. That’s fine and all, but what are these vague and mysterious “things” that could conceivably subvert the Rangers’ post-season dreams?
The simplistic answer that anyone could toss out there boils down to something like this: “Texas could be overtaken by falling victim to harsh regression and attrition while Oakland and/or Los Angeles receive better performance than expected.” Unfortunately, this answer to the posed question is so broad and so reliant on generalities that it tells us essentially nothing. Here, then, we try to delve a bit deeper into the question of how this season could fail to produce the outcome that the Rangers are seeking:
Following in the steps of looking at how the Giants' roster was constructed, now we look at how the Rangers were put together.
Now it’s time to focus on GM Jon Daniels and former (arguably current) flamethrower Nolan Ryan’s creation, the Texas Rangers. We’ll start here with the one of the most potent and powerful offenses in baseball:
Team Salary: $55 million Average Salary: $1.9 million Total Years of Control: 90 Average Age: 28.6
The saber-savvy pitcher has made a successful transition from the pen to starting, and now he'll be pitching in his first World Series tonight.
It seems improbable that C.J. Wilson is starting Game Two of the 2010 World Series for the Rangers tonight against the Giants. That is not a slight against Wilson, who is a talented pitcher, but the number of relievers who became successful starters is not a high one. Wilson used to be a starting pitching prospect before a shift to the bullpen, and he kept the deep repertoire from his days as a starter—that is one reason why we should not have been surprised that, even early on, Wilson was able to make an impact in Texas' rotation.