For years there was the belief that the baseball standings on the 4th of July meant something. Maybe it did before divisional play (1969), but it’s supposed impact has been lessened over the years.
Like fireworks on July 4th, there was an old-school belief that this was an important date in baseball. If your team was in first place on that day, you had a very good chance to reach the playoffs. But as more teams were added and divisions went from four to six, the rational lost its luster and its factual impact.
With today July 3rd, here are the six division leaders.
American League – Boston, Cleveland and Houston
National League – Atlanta, Milwaukee and Arizona
Here is a chart looking at the last decade of July 4th division leaders and – x – denotes which ones went on to win the division.
|AL East||AL Central||AL West||NL East||NL Central||NL West|
In the AL, 60 percent of the time, the division leaders at this juncture went on to secure a division crown and make the playoffs. Those number drops to 50 percent in the NL. Last season was a rarity, as for the first time in nine years, five of the divisional leaders advanced when leading on the American holiday.