If so, then 14 of 15 American Conference teams have a chance to qualify for the 2016 tournament. With the two wild cards in each conference in recent years that means if a team in early September has a chance to win 85 games, it is in contention.
If 14 teams have a chance to win 81, half their games, at the start of the season, then they have a chance to be plus or minus 81: 86 to 76. Obviously, the more teams that win 86, the more that need to win 76.
Does any American Conference (AC) team stand out? The Kansas City Royals, which reached the finals in each of the last two seasons and won the championship in 2015? Are the Royals the current model for success? They came into existence in 1969 and have won two championship, thirty years apart.
It may have been inevitable but with the Steinbrenner Kids running the Yankees, they have become just another team. None of the AC teams seems dominant. In the National Conference (NC) Washington had the best player (Bryce Harper) and one of the best starting pitchers (Max Scherzer) and that team flopped in 2015. Does any AC team have anything like that combination? Mike Trout is the best player in the entire Major Baseball League (MBL) but his Angels team lacks much else.
And why is Oakland the only AC team unlikely to contend?
Billy Beane traded a player voted MVP the next season: Josh Donaldson. Sunday, November 22, 2015
Billy Beane is a general manager who traded a player who then was voted league MVP for his new team the very next season. There was another: Parke Carroll, GM of the Kansas City Athletics. Who would have guessed that a GM would be so dumb a mere 55 years later? And for the same team...
... Oakland general manager Billy Beane traded his best player, third baseman Josh Donaldson ...
In his first two seasons with the Yankees Roger Maris was voted AL MVP and he hit 100 HR (39+61) ...
KC GM Parke Carroll died Feb. 4, 1961 so he was spared seeing Maris break the single season home run record in 1961 and be voted league MVP again. We'll have to wait to see if Beane's ex-player wins a second consecutive MVP award.