Report From The Fort: How Weak Is The Al Central?
Image courtesy of © David Richard-USA TODAY Sports“Mid to high 80s. The AL Central is just so bad. Three teams – the Royals, Tigers and White Sox – are just phoning it in this year. You play each of those teams 19 times, so you figure you go 12-7 against them each and now you’re 15 games above .500 before you start playing the rest of the American League. Even if they give a few back against Cleveland, they’re already an 86 win team. ”
It’s simple, but I know it doesn’t ring true. I’m almost surely overestimating, but let’s get an exact number. Just how much does being in the AL Central help the Twins? Let's do a little back-of-the-napkin figuring.
Here’s how I’m going to figure it out (in case you want to play along at home):
1. I’m going to find out the over/under for each team from Vegas and turn it into a win percentage.
2. I’ll multiply that percentage times the 19 games the Twins play against each one of them. That will give me the average number of times the Twins will win versus the number of times the opponent wins.
That seems pretty straight-forward. Here are the results:
I’m not off by SO much. Vegas thinks it’s likely the Twins go about 11-8 versus the trio of downtrodden AL Central teams, ending up about eight games over .500 instead of 15. Then the Twins give back three versus Cleveland, leaving them about 5 games over .500, or on pace for 83-84 wins.
Plus, this exercise assumes the Twins are about a .500 team, because that's what Vegas assumes. If they're better than that, then my numbers would be a few games better.
Of course, that leaves the rest of the American League to consider, which still has at least three very good teams and fewer bad teams. So tomorrow we’ll look at the Twins overall strength of schedule, and see how well this natural advantage holds up.
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