Archive for June 24th, 2011

(In addition to appearing at The Captain’s Blog, this post is also being syndicated at TheYankeeAnalysts.)

Heading into the second half of the interleague schedule, the American League holds a 66-60 advantage over the National League. If that winning percentage holds, it will continue the senior circuit’s gradual improvement since losing over 60% of interleague contests in 2006.

Historical Interleague Records, By League

Note: Data as of June 23, 2011
Source: MLB.com

Most experts agree that the American League’s recent dominance of interleague matchups has been the result of having better players and stronger teams. Less clear, however, is whether one league or another enjoys an inherent interleague advantage, all else being equal.

For a recent article, I compiled aggregate data for all interleague-related plate appearances, which were defined as follows: DHs hitting in an AL park; pitchers hitting in a NL park; and pinch hitters batting in the ninth slot in a NL park. Not surprisingly, American League DHs posted an OPS that was 0.084 points higher, while National League pitchers outperformed by 0.070 OPS points.  What was interesting, however, is that when all of the relevant at bats were totaled, the combined performance was nearly identical. In other words, it seems as if neither league enjoys an overall advantage during interleague play.


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