(Revised 2 November 2010)
I incorrectly picked Texas to take the World Series.
I based my pick on evidence of American League (AL) superiority. The AL has won 9 of the past 15 World Series and 12 of the past 19. Leaving aside the 11-inning tie in 2002, the AL has won 13 of the last 14 all-star games to reach a decision and 18 of the last 22.
AL teams finished 134-118 or 52.3% against their National League (NL) rivals in 2010 interleague play.
2010 marked the 7th consecutive year of AL superiority starting in 2004. However, 2010 was the best year for the NL since 2004 when they took 49.8% of all interleague contests. And, kudos to the NL for finally winning an all-star game for the first time since 1995. And, if we also consider San Fran's World Series win, perhaps there is preliminary evidence that the NL has found its long-lost mojo.
But, it remains true that the AL sports a 56% record against National League (NL) opponents in over 1,500 regular season and post-season inter-league contests from 2005 through 2010.
I calculate that the AL will win more than 50% of inter-league contests 19 out of every 20 years. I still think that management of NL teams is way behind the more scientific approach implemented by the more advanced and successful AL franchises – Red Sox, Rays, Yankees, Twins, As and even the Indians (who admittedly haven't been getting good results the past few years).
It's not just a matter of money. The LA Dodgers, Chicago Cubs or NY Mets could generate the same revenues as the Yankees and Red Sox if they put the right minds to it. Too bad the scarecrow's song in the Wizard of Oz is the motto for most NL franchises: "If I Only Had a Brain".
Interesting to note that San Diego's owners handed management over to a bright spark trained in the Red Sox organization and the Padres got far better results in 2010.
Good move for the Toronto Blue Jays to hire John Farrell, one of the Boston brains, as their new manager.
Implications for Pool Players
Official Godiva toy boy and fiance Archibald participates in a friendly, non-profit office pool picking major-league baseball winners in all games over the course of the season.
His pool works like this. He gets:
• 1 point for a win backing an overdog;
• -1 point for a loss backing an underdog;
• +1.x points for a win backing an underdog with 1.x based on the posted odds;
• -1.x points for a loss backing an overdog with 1.x based on the posted odds.
I advise Archibald to pick the AL team in all inter-league games.
Over 260+ games each year, my system generated a net gain for Archibald of 30.75 points in 2008 and 18.45 in 2009.
And, these gains were generated almost entirely by AL road teams visiting NL hosts – 20.95 points in 2008 when AL visitors won 55% of the time against their NL hosts and 20.45 points in 2009 when AL visitors won 54% of the time.
In other words, oddsmakers and their customers may not perceive that the AL is so much better than the NL that AL teams should be favoured most of the time even on the road against the NL.
I was so busy this summer that I did not have time to analyze Archibald's results in 2010 interleague games. Given the NL's slightly better performance this year, I suspect that he broke even at best with my all-AL strategy. But, my guess is that Archibald will do well most years with a consistent all-AL approach until NL managements show signs of catching up with their AL counterparts.
Archibald failed totally with his pre-playoff prediction that the Yankees would defeat the Braves in the 2010 World Series.