Strength of Schedule - Twins v. White Sox

Every team makes its own destiny and there are so many factors to consider that its pretty tough if not impossible to make a comparison of team's schedules. But before things get rolling next week I thought I'd waste a bit of my time looking at which team's the Twins and White Sox will play more relative to each other.

I didn't consider the Tigers because frankly they finished 13 games back last year and - in my mind - they would've had to sign another stud (Carl Crawford, Cliff Lee, or Adrian Beltre) in order to be right around the same level as the Twins and Sox. I still think they're a completely plausible if slightly darkhorse contender though - especially considering the turn-over and youth in their rotation.

Anyway back on point.. after tabulatin' the schedules the following are the only differences in games played against specific teams. (Note: You can mix and match which games to match against which but I think you'll agree the result is the same) 

TWINS                                                          WHITE SOX

 - (1) more game against Red Sox              (1) more game against Mariners

- (6) more games v. Brewers                        (6) more games v. Cubs

-  (3) more games v. Giants                          (3) more games v. Rockies  

- (2) more games v. Rays                            (2) more games v Athletics

- (3) more games v. Padres                         (3) more games v. Nationals

- (1) more game v. Angels                            (1) more game v. Blue Jays


More than anything its the difference between the "all-in" 2011 Brewers and the Cubs continued futility thats gonna hurt. Obviously the Red Sox are going to be much stiffer competition than the Mariners but that 's just (1) game. I think most people would agree that the Giants and the Rays will be better than Rockies and the Athletics this year too but I don't think those teams are terribly far apart. Finally differences in the last (4) games on the list seem negligible.. if there's an advantage in playing the Pad's v.  Nationals or Angels v. Blue Jays I don't see it. 

So on the whole it looks like our squad drew the short stick this time. Ultimately  I see (7) games where the Sox have a much easier opponent and (5) games where they have a slightly easier opponent. The result of which is maybe something like spotting the Sox 2-3 games in the standings? 

That's a big difference in the Central but for what its worth the Twins finished with a 6 game lead over the Sox last year.  



2010 schedule differences (inspired by cmathewson)

                       TWINS                                                     WHITE SOX


- (6) more games v. Brewers                        (6) more games v. Cubs

-  (3) more games v. Rockies                        (3) more games v. Marlins  

- (3) more games v. Phillies                           (3) more games v Pirates

- (3) more games v. Mets                               (3) more games v. Nationals

- (1) more game v. Blue Jays                         (2) more games v. Angels


- (1) more game v. Rangers                           (2) more games v Red Sox

- (1) more game v. Rays

- (1) more game v. Orioles


I don't know if there was much of a significant difference between the Cubs and Brewers last year. I'd also say (4) games v. Jays, Rangers, Rays, and O's is pretty equivalent to (4) v. Red Sox and Angels.

So really the difference was the interleague schedule as cmathewson noted.  The Twins won (5) of the (9) games v. Rockies, Phillies, Mets while the Sox won (8) of their (9) games against Marlins, Pirates, Nationals.

It looks roughly like the Sox had about the same schedule advantage last year as they'll get this year (about 2-3 games worth) which could easily be erased by any number of circumstances. 

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