Yahoo Sports MLB writers Hannah Keyser and Zach Crizer hop on The Bandwagon to discuss the extreme parity in the National League postseason picture, and debate if there will be a lot of movement in the standings based on the extreme variation in run differentials.
HANNAH KEYSER: No team is more than five games out of the NL postseason picture. So the National League is a crowded field of mediocrity. They are not the best team, because they're not the Rays, in baseball. And they're not the worst team. And everybody is just kind of hanging in the middle.
The Dodgers have a 0.600 winning percentage currently. Nobody else has above a 0.600 winning percentage. And nobody has below a 0.426 winning percentage. They are all just right in the middle.
And the current NL Wild Card teams are the Diamondbacks, the Marlins, and the Giants. That just doesn't even feel right. I am not necessarily saying, it'll be exactly five games. But I do kind of think that we are stuck with this level of--
ZACH CRIZER: Extreme parity?
HANNAH KEYSER: Yeah, but in a bad sense kind of. Actually, you know what? Let me not judge it. Let me just ask you. Do you think this is good or bad, this extreme parity?
ZACH CRIZER: I don't think it's good. I don't know. I don't think it's good or bad. I think it's going to be-- I disagree. I think it's going to be short-lived, I'll say that.
HANNAH KEYSER: Oh, OK.
ZACH CRIZER: I think it'll be short-lived.
HANNAH KEYSER: We disagree.
ZACH CRIZER: I think the bunchiness of this league has a chance to make the people who are really against the bigger playoff format angry again.
HANNAH KEYSER: Me!
ZACH CRIZER: This could really tee up some--
HANNAH KEYSER: You're talking about me!
ZACH CRIZER: --anger about the larger playoff format. So one of my favorite things right now is we are very close to the NL Central having the exact opposite standings from what the run differentials would indicate. So the St. Louis Cardinals, who are dead last in the NL Central and tied for dead last in the National League, they have the best run differential in the NL Central, plus-6.
HANNAH KEYSER: Yeah. I sent you just a screengrab of the run differential. So this is if you take out the three division leaders. So just reading down from best record, which is the Diamondbacks, to worst record, which is the Nationals, the run differentials in the NL go like this, plus 13, minus 41, plus 9, minus 13, exactly 0, minus 38, minus 24, minus 5, minus 51, plus 5, plus 6, minus 26.
The sort of screwy of their current hierarchy in relation to the run differential makes me think they will switch places a whole bunch, but no one will pull away from the pack in a meaningful way. I also think that the expanded postseason killed the trade deadline. And I have absolutely no idea who is going to be a buyer and who is going to be a seller in the National League specifically, and that the end result of that is that no one will get meaningfully better or worse.