It seems like the majority of people generally accept that the AL East is the best and/or toughest division in baseball, and rightfully so in most seasons. Not this year, however, as the combined division standings show:
W L W% AL West 322 268 .546 AL East 378 357 .514 NL East 380 359 .514 NL West 363 374 .493 NL Central 422 464 .476 AL Central 347 390 .471
Not only does the AL West have by far the best record of any division, it has three teams with 80-plus wins already despite only having four teams, period. Texas leads the league with 87 wins, Oakland ranks second with 84 wins, and third-place Los Angeles has the same number of wins (81) as first-place Chicago does over in the AL Central. As a division the AL West has a .555 winning percentage against the other AL teams and a .611 winning percentage against NL teams.
It’s pretty amazing that the NL Central avoids having the worst combined record considering the Astros are 48-100 and a full 10 games worse than any other team in baseball. Having a total of six teams certainly helps dilute the Astros’ impact, but mostly it’s a testament to just how underwhelming the AL Central has been … again. As a division the AL Central has a .449 winning percentage against the other AL teams and they went just .500 against NL teams despite the other two AL divisions getting fat off interleague play.