Congratulations to the Cleveland Indians who became the first team to clinch a division championship in 2018. The Baltimore Orioles had become the first team to clinch a position, last in the AL East, about ten days ago. The Boston Red Sox were the first team to clinch a playoff position. They are assured of at least a wild card.
Division baseball is working well in the NL and poorly in the AL. If the AL had no divisions CLE would be behind BOS (by 18.5 games), HOU (10), NYY (8), and OAK (6.5) with SEA and TB right on their heels. Instead, they can spend the last 14 games getting ready for the playoffs.
Sidebar: CLE’s seed is set at three. Their last 14 games don’t matter to them. This is potentially a huge problem for baseball. What is they play there scrubs against one contender and their starters against another? End Sidebar.
The AL has the four best records in baseball but they are currently losing the inter-league series (for the first time in many years) by two [data entry error: NL was 12 ahead]. We don’t know the final outcome as there are three of those games today. Competition is the key. The AL doesn’t have much of it and the NL does. When you have competition almost any organization will provide drama but without competition there can’t be much drama during the regular season.