Numbers show AL West is clearly the best

The AL West extended its lead atop ESPN Stats & Information’s Divisional Power Rankings after taking the top spot from the AL East last month.

Our most recent check of the rankings is through games played on Thursday. Our methodology is explained here.

Divisional Power Rankings
Through September 6

The AL West went 64-41 (.609 win pct) in games outside of its division after July 31, including consecutive sweeps by the Los Angeles Angels and Oakland Athletics over the Boston Red Sox.

Overall, the AL West has won over 56 percent of its games outside of its division, which is the highest percentage of any division.

The division has been nearly unstoppable since the All-Star break with three of the top four second-half records in the AL coming from the AL West (Oakland won 33 of its first 50, Seattle was 31-20 and Texas was 30-21).

The AL West’s strong second half of the season has resulted in all four of its teams being ranked in the top 18 of the ESPN.com Power Rankings.

Every other division has at least two teams ranked below the Mariners, the lowest ranked team in the AL West.

The AL East continues to slip in the rankings after the Red Sox and Blue Jays went a combined 12-31 in games outside of the division after July 31.

For the first time this season, Boston does not have a player ranked in the top 30 of the ESPN pitcher or batter player ratings. Baltimore and Toronto each have only one ranked player.

The NL West made the largest jump this month after ranking as the worst division in baseball at the end of July. The key to the NL West’s success was every team except the Arizona Diamondbacks winning over half of its games against non-divisional opponents after July. That includes a 12-4 record for the Los Angeles Dodgers, the second-best record in the majors during that time span (Washington Nationals were 15-3).

The remainder of the season features many intra-divisional games but there is still room for movement in the ranking in the final month.

The Dodgers have the toughest remaining schedule in the NL with series against the St. Louis Cardinals, Cincinnati Reds and Washington Nationals. In the American League, the Athletics have remaining series with the Angels, Baltimore Orioles, Detroit Tigers, and New York Yankees, as well as two series with the Texas Rangers.