You could be sitting around a crystal ball with Aladdin and still have no idea what lies ahead in the second half of the MLB season.
Nobody predicted that the Baltimore Orioles would be hanging around in the AL East this deep in the season and everybody left the St. Louis Cardinals for dead before they put together an incredible run to win the title last season.
There’s a lot to factor in when you’re trying to determine which teams have the toughest schedules. For example, if you go strictly by the numbers and look at remaining opponents’ current winning percentage, we could just list the entire AL East.
It’s easily the most competitive division in baseball, but what’s the fun in that? These are the three teams that face the toughest road in the second half.
All stats compiled before Thursday’s action.
Baltimore Orioles: 44-37, +13.70 units
The winning percentage of Baltimore’s remaining opponents (.515) is actually a touch lower than that of the Tampa Bay Rays (.522), but we need to take a look at the O’s considering they rank second in MLB money standings. Plus, their strength of schedule in games played to date (.524) tops the bigs.
The Orioles sit in second place in the division at five games back of the Yanks and don’t catch any breaks for the rest of the season. They have 42 road games compared to 39 home dates and finish the year with 12 of their last 18 games on the highway. It’s going to be vtough, but it’s worth noting the O’s have earned almost 12 of their units to date on the road.
Oakland Athletics: 41-42, +7.48
The A’s are in third place in the AL West, 9.5 games back of the Texas Rangers. They’re going to have a tough time cutting into that deficit. Oakland’s remaining opponents’ winning percentage checks in at .520 and the club will face a major grind at the end of the season.
The A’s have a 10-game road trip on the schedule at the end of September with stops in Detroit, New York and Texas. They then go home for a three-game set against the Mariners before getting another kick in the face with the Rangers coming to town for another trio of contests to end the season. Not looking good for A’s supporters.
New York Mets: 42-38, 11.29 units
The Mets’ remaining opponents check in with a .498 winning percentage, which is the highest among any playoff contenders in the National League. They are in a dogfight in the NL East, trailing the division-leading Nationals by 4.5 games.
New York will need to keep it together on a 11-game western road swing that spans from July 26 to Aug. 5. The Mets then finish the season with three games in Atlanta followed by three more in Miami.
Sources: ESPN stats , ESPN’s Hunt for October