The National League Lacks Star Power, But It Might Be Than the American League
The National League has a chance to win interleague play for the first time since 2003.
According to WAR (wins above replacement), the most valuable offensive player in the National League is Cincinnati Reds third baseman Eugenio Suarez.
Suarez, who has 19 home runs, 68 RBI, and is hitting .314, may be a good offensive player, but he is far from a household name.
By contrast, the top players in the American League as dictated by WAR – Mike Trout, Mookie Betts, Jose Ramirez, J.D. Martinez, and Jose Altuve – are all names baseball fans will know.
However, just because the AL seems to have better players, it doesn’t appear that it is actually the better league as the NL is currently on pace to win interleague play for the first time since 2003.
The NL currently leads interleague play 91-79 through 57 percent of the interleague schedule, thanks in large part because the AL has three terrible teams (the Orioles, Royals, and White Sox) that have gone a combined 13-28 in interleague play.
Still, good AL teams like the Red Sox (12), Astros (12), Indians (nine), and Mariners (15) have some interleague games remaining on their schedules, so the balance of power between the two leagues could shift again.
“So, which is the better league?,” ESPN asks. “The AL has the edge in superstars and has the three strongest teams in the Red Sox, Yankees and Astros. The NL has the edge in depth and interleague play. Who do you have?”
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