Are the Top 2 Teams in Baseball from the Same Division?

By: Matty Simo | Thursday, July 17, 2014

Now that the MLB All-Star break is officially over, there look to be some exciting division races to watch as baseball returns on Friday with a full slate of games. As Don Best COO Kenny White pointed out nearly three weeks ago when the Oakland Athletics jumped to the top of the Don Best Advantage MLB Power Ratings, the A's lead the Majors in run differential by a wide margin (now at +145). And that was before Oakland shored up its pitching rotation by acquiring Jeff Samardzija from the Chicago Cubs.

At the end of June, White had said the A's didn't have any dominant starting pitchers, and it would be up to second-year player Sonny Gray (10-3, 2.79 ERA) to carry them. But right now, it's veteran Scott Kazmir who leads the staff with 11 wins to go along with three losses and a sparkling 2.38 ERA. Samardzija has been a nice addition as well, going 1-1 in two starts with a 2.40 ERA, one walk and 10 strikeouts in 15 innings of work so far. It remains to be seen if Oakland can match the top three starters of the Detroit Tigers in a playoff series this year, but the team definitely seems better equipped to do so.

Not only are the A's still atop the DBA Power Ratings at -182, but they also have the most expected wins according to the Don Best Trading Team with 109.9 (see graphic at right). In fact, the DBA Power Ratings and the Don Best Trading Team also agree that the Los Angeles Angels are the second-best team in baseball with a -156 rating and 97.5 expected wins. Click here to join DBA and view MLB Power Ratings.

If you're scoring at home, that's two power teams from the American League West, as the Angels have won five straight games and 10 of 11 overall to pull within 1.5 games of Oakland for the division lead. LA is 6/5 to win the AL West at the LVH SuperBook in Las Vegas compared to 2/3 for the A's, who are also 9/2 co-favorites to win the World Series. The Tigers and Los Angeles Dodgers are also 9/2 to win the World Series while the Angels are 8/1. Click here to read more about MLB Division Odds.  

Interestingly, the Don Best Trading Team has yet another AL West team as its third-ranked team in MLB - the Seattle Mariners, who are projected for 94.1 wins. That's not too much of a stretch considering the Mariners (-113) are just outside the Top 10 in the DBA Power Ratings at No. 11. Seattle sits eight games behind Oakland in the division and ranks fourth in MLB in run differential (+57), behind only the A's, Angels (+89) and Washington Nationals (+61) in the National League. The Mariners are 15/1 to win the AL West and 25/1 to win the World Series, and you can view more MLB future odds from the SuperBook by clicking here.

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