MLB Interleague Trends
by Matt Foust - 05/23/2008
Last weekend marked the first cycle of 2008 MLB Interleague Play, did anybody notice? Well, we did, and now that we have a little information to work with, we're going to get you ready for the next round of interleague jostling.
Once again, American League teams generally proved to be more dominant than their National League brethren, particularly those AL squads playing on their home turf. American League teams that played host over the weekend went 11-6 and every AL home team won their series with the exception of the lowly Yankees (yes, I just said lowly Yankees), who were pounded by their Metropolitan neighbors.
The National League fared better as host too, going 13-11 in home games. However, of the eight NL teams playing an interleague home series, only four of those teams won the series.
Overall, the American League was 22-19, making the National League 19-22. American League teams scored 194 runs over the weekend for an average of 4.73 runs per game. The National League cranked out 184 runs for an average of 4.49 runs per game.
AL teams averaged 5.59 runs per game at home and only 4.13 runs per game in NL parks. The impact of location was not as stark on National League run production numbers. NL teams averaged 4.38 runs per game at home, while producing a slightly higher 4.65 runs per game road average.
Obviously, not having a designated hitter in the lineup was more important to AL road teams than having the ability to use a designated hitter was to NL road teams.
The average game score at American League stadiums was 10.24, at National League stadiums? 8.51 runs per game. Both above the current league average of 8.36 runs per game.
Do not let the lower NL stadium average totally throw you a curve, though. Remember, matchups are always the key. Just because the average was lower does not mean that every series was UNDER the total. For example, every game in the series between the Royals and Marlins, which Florida hosted, was OVER the total (the average game score was 11.67).
Speaking of totals, the UNDER finished a decisive inter-league winner, going 23-17-1. As expected, despite the KC/Florida anomaly, the UNDER was 14-9-1 at NL parks, and - while still a winner - a much closer 9-8 at AL parks.
Some other interesting things to take note of: AL teams went 3-1 in game one of a series at AL stadiums and 5-2 in game two at AL parks. Things were much more even in NL locations with the exception of game threes. NL teams held a slight edge here, going 5-3 in game three at their home digs.
The next round of interleague games begins in early/mid-June. Although the matchups will be different, the first cycle of games at least gives the bettor some indicators relating to location.
The next round of games will also feature the annual interleague standoff between the Royals and Cardinals. I mention this not only because is it a pretty bitter rivalry (at least between the cities anyway), it also has some pretty sound betting trends attached to it.
Here are just a few numbers to keep in mind regarding this series. The OVER is 13-6-1 in the last 20 between these in-state foes. The average games score in the last 24 series games is 11.96 and 12.47 in the last 15 games at Kauffman Stadium. Finally, St. Louis is 11-3 in the last 14 games played in Kansas City.