After three full months of baseball, the AL East remains atop our Divisional Rankings, a performance metric derived to measure relative divisional strength.
The AL East holds the lead, or share of the lead, in every major category measured by the rankings, and gained six more points since the end of May rankings were released.
The AL East was 55-39 in games outside their division in June, the highest non-divisional win percentage of any division during the month. In particular, the New York Yankees finished 18-5 in games outside the AL East.
Overall, the division has won 54.6 percent of its games against non-divisional opponents.
The AL East is followed closely by the NL East, which saw strong individual performances by members of its division in June. Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Cliff Lee went 5-0 with a 0.21 ERA (tied for fourth-lowest ERA in a month since World War II) and New York Mets shortstop Jose Reyes hit .385 with 14 extra-base hits.
These performances, as well as consistent pitching from the rest of the Phillies’ and Atlanta Braves’ rotations, helped the NL East tie for first in the category measuring individual player performances. Overall, the NL East remains in the top two of every category despite the Florida Marlins going 5-23 in June.
Since the last divisional rankings, the gap between the AL and NL East and the other four divisions has widened. There is now a 22-point difference between the NL East and the next closest division (AL West), and the top five teams in ESPN’s Power Rankings are all from either the AL or NL East.
The AL West dropped more points than any other division in June. The division struggled to produce runs, as three of the four lowest-scoring teams in baseball in June were from the AL West.
The lack of run production is apparent in the rankings as only one batter from the entire division is ranked in top 25 of ESPN’s Player Ratings.
As the AL West shows, much can change for a division in a month. Look for the rankings to change in July as interleague play ends on July 3 and teams return to face familiar divisional foes.