There’s a reason for that—they almost have been.
The idea that neither team can gain any ground is more than a feeling (Boston pun intended).
Thanks to a savvy reader, a very interesting correlation was pointed out Tuesday morning. They obviously share the same overall record and winning percentage or there would be no tie, but the numbers tell a more interesting story.
The Cardinals and Pirates have identical home and road splits.
As of Tuesday, Sept. 17, each team is 48-27 at home and 39-36 on the road. Like I said, that feeling that every time the Cardinals win so do the Pirates isn’t a feeling, it’s fact.
But the similarities don’t start there. Following are a number of interesting stories within the numbers.
• Each team’s biggest lead in the division has been by only four games. For the Cardinals, that happened on Sunday, June 9. For the Pirates, it was on Saturday, Aug. 10.
• Each team’s biggest deficit under first place is also only four games. For the Cardinals, that was on Aug. 10, the same day the Pirates had their widest margin. For the Pirates, that day was on Sunday, June 20.
• Both the Cardinals and the Pirates longest game this season was 16 innings. For the Cardinals, it’s happened twice—once on April 3 and once on Sept. 4. The Pirates 16-inning game was on Sunday, Aug. 18.
• Each team has been shutout by opponents 11 times this season.
• The Cardinals first half record was one game better than the Pittsburgh Pirates. To date, the Pirates second half record is one game better than the Cardinals.
• The Pirates own the season series against the Cardinals by only one game (10-9.)
While there are a lot of similarities, there are also many differences. Just for fun, here are a few of those.
• The Cardinals are considerably better in—and have been involved in more—blowout games. The Cardinals are 32-17 in games decided by more than five runs. The Pirates are 17-14.
• Despite their close records, the Cardinals have scored far more runs. In 149 games, the Cardinals have scored 715 runs, while allowing 556. The Pirates have scored 580 runs and allowed 534.
• In extra innings, the Cardinals are 5-5 with a .500 winning percentage. The Pirates are 9-8 with a .529 winning percentage.
• The Pirates have a slight edge in one-run games (28-21) over the Cardinals (17-15.)
As the season winds down, each team is well aware that everything is on the line. Each win, run and even pitch could be the difference in a division championship and Wild Card play-in game.
As tight as it has been so far, don’t be shocked if this race comes down to the last night.
Stats current as of Sept. 17, 2013, via http://baseball-reference.com/