FanPost

Buster Olney Ranks Contenders' Schedule Strength


I was going to just post a link in a fanshot, but since this is an ESPN insider article and I realize many people may not have Insider, I'll just paste the important bits here.

Olney listed the second half strength-of-schedule rankings from toughest to easiest. Here are the rankings that effect us:


1. Kansas City Royals
Games against teams with records of .500 or better: 35
Home/road: 37 of 71 games at home
Schedule quirks: Between the rain makeups that have squeezed out their off days and 20 games remaining against Detroit and Cleveland, the Royals have a major challenge ahead of them -- and it starts right away, with seven games against the Tigers and Orioles right out of the break. From July 30 through Sept. 11, Kansas City will play 44 games in 44 days.

In mid-September, the Royals will play four consecutive series against the Tigers and Cleveland, so they will have an opportunity to run down the teams in front of them.

The big finish: The Royals close out with a week on the road -- three games at Seattle, then four games against the White Sox.



17. Cleveland Indians
Games left against teams with records of .500 or better: 19
Home/road: 32 of 67 at home
Schedule quirks: They would appear to have a chance to do some serious second-half damage because of how light their schedule appears to be. (The Royals are something of an X factor, because they can be tough.) Cleveland’s final 23 games -- all 23 -- are against teams with records under .500: the Mets, Royals, White Sox, Astros and Twins. The Indians will finish their season series with Detroit on Sept. 1.
The big finish: After six games at home against the Astros and White Sox, the Indians close out the regular season with four games in Minnesota.

18. Detroit Tigers
Games against teams with records of .500 or better: 19
Home/road: 32 of 68 at home
Schedule quirks: The Indians might feel really good about their schedule -- if not for the fact that the Tigers' is almost identical. The final 22 games of the Detroit schedule are against teams that currently have records under .500, including the Mariners, White Sox and Marlins. The question will be whether they face Felix Hernandez, Hisashi Iwakuma and Chris Sale in some of those games.
The big finish: They play their final six games on the road, with three at Minnesota and -- oddly -- three in Miami.

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