Which Division In Baseball Is The Toughest?

Matt OffermannCorrespondent IJuly 29, 2008

It has been the most frequent asked question in America. Whose division is harder? Well, for starters and im sure everyone knows its not the NL west  just to get that out of the way. the only real way to tell is to break down the teams.


NL West:

No, probably not the toughest division, but without a doubt the most challenging one. This year the Diamondbacks and the Dodgers are in a tight race, with Arizona out in front by a game with their 53-52 record.

The millions of dollars going to Andrew Jones will be going out the window if the choice of benching him because of recent slumps goes into effect. This division has got to be the weakest, but I do understand that they play a lot of good teams and it is hard for them to stay or to get over .500, but come on.

Arizona is the only team over .500, and the rest are down by one, 6.5, nine, and 12 games, and of course it's not only about standings because every team has its strengths and weaknesses, but Brandon Webb is basically carrying the team. LA has some solid players, but with the loss of Nomar they're trying to fill out the infield. I really can't go further into detail about the rest because it is kind of crazy.


NL Central:

Without a doubt the greatest division in the NL. The Cubs are having an amazing year on the 100th anniversary of the goat. The Cardinals are always good, and the Brewers are up there too. Houston, Pittsburgh and Cincinatti are 12.5, 13, and 13.5 games back and I don't think they will be making a comeback, but who knows.

The Cardinals have had a lot of problems, but they are still battling with injuries and players in slumps. It is currently the only division with three teams with 60 wins with the Cubs at 63 and Brewers and Cardinals at 60. With recent aquireage (yes, I just made that word up), of C.C. Sabathia the Brewers have been good of late, winning all of his starts except on the 28th, when he received his first loss.


NL East:

New York, Florida, and Philly are the teams in the race since Atlanta is 8.5 games out and Washington has the worst record in baseball. The Mets have a great lineup and look to continue with their lead and take it into the playoffs.

Having the league leader (tied with A. Dunn) in home runs on your team is always a good thing to have, and the great play of Chase Utley has put the quickest team to 10,000 losses into contention. The Marlins and the strong bat of Dan Uggla have brought the last year's 71-91 team back from the dead. The Braves just traded away their best player (my opinion) and Tim Hudson may be out for the year, so it is hard to believe they will make a run for it. The Nationals record is 38-68. Enough said.


AL West:

Here we find the best team in baseball up to date, as the Angels and their 66-40 league leading record are way out in front. Also, with today's trade that landed them Mark Texiera, and with K-rod on pace to stomp a mud hole into the save record, they are only going up from here.

The Angels have the best road record with a 35-19. This is the only division where I'm pretty sure 99.9% of people will agree that the Angels are a shoe-in for the playoffs.

Texas and rising star and RBI leader Josh Hamilton are trying their hardest to catch the Angels, but I think the effort will come up short. Oakland is battling Texas for the number two spot. And the Mariners are not playing up to potential.

Texas, Oakland and Seattle are 11.5, 13, and 26 games back. I know the 26 games back may make some people think that they are the worst team in the league, but you have to take the Angels into consideration, as the have a 66-40 record and it is basically every game they win and Seattle loses it's like they fall back five games. I don't think they totally suck, but the effort is for naught, as LA is just too strong.


AL Central:

This is where the most determined team, the Detroit Tigers call home. The White Sox and the Twins are in a dead race with a 59-46 and 59-47 record each, with the White Sox out in front by .5 games. The Tigers have scratched and clawed their way back from a horrible span of games.

Chicago and Minnesota have gotten in front and stayed out front, the Indians went from third to last, and the Tigers came back like a bat out of hell and of course the Royals are the Royals. This is a division that I think has finally cooled down, and nobody should move up or down too much, but like I said before this is baseball and anything can happen.


AL East:

Finally a winner. I hate to do this because I am a huge Yankee fan and I do like to be fair, but this has got to be the most challenging division. From the Rays coming out of nowhere and the fierce rivalry of the Yankees and the Red Sox to even the Blue Jays.

This is the only place where only one team is below .500. Tampa Bay has the best home record of 40-16. The AL East is the only place where for the most part every team has a chance to win the division. The Yankees just received Xavier Nady and Damaso Marte from the Pirates for some minor leaguers which they hope to add some good play to the outfield and another solid pitcher.


So in order we have

1. AL East   2. NL Central    3. AL Central  4. NL  East   5. AL West  6. NL  West


I'm sure a lot of people don't agree with the way I put it, but this is just the way I think it is.