From SABR member John Dewan at ACTA Sports on September 9, 2014:
The baseball season is a marathon. When teams like this year’s Athletics get off to fast starts and gain sizable leads in their divisions, it is easy to take for granted that they are clearly among the best teams in baseball, even if their recent play does not support the assertion.
To see which teams have played the best baseball lately, let’s take a look at team performances in the second half of the season. First, here are the hypothetical playoff teams if the season started after the All-Star Break.
The hottest teams in the NL have all needed their recent winning ways to enter the playoff mix. The Dodgers were 10 games back for a time in June but are currently ahead in the West. The Cardinals went from three down in the Central to four and a half up in the last month thanks to the Brewers’ collapse, which has also aided the Pirates’ efforts to control a Wild Card spot. The Nationals have been on top for longer than either the Dodgers or Cardinals after seizing control of the East from the quick-starting Braves in June. The Marlins have gained four and a half games on the Braves, as well, and now loom in the Wild Card race.
Read the full article here: http://www.statoftheweek.com
Originally published: September 9, 2014. Last Updated: September 9, 2014.