MLB on Sling TV: Interleague Play & a Division Rivalry

Jun 15, 2015 by Robb Todd


Which league is better, the A.L. or N.L?

With the recent World Series success of the Giants and Cardinals, it would be easy to go with the National League. Those teams account for four of the past five World Series titles.

Then there’s the All-Star Game. Baseball nerds will point out that since the ill-fated tie in 2002, the A.L. has dominated, winning nine of 12.

But this week offers a good look at which league might be stronger. From Monday through Thursday, every team will play a two-game home-and-away interleague series (that’s four total games for those scoring at home) against the same opponent.

It’s been more than a decade since the N.L. had a better record against the A.L. in interleague play and, since its inception in 1997, the N.L. has only taken the season series against the A.L. four times.

So far this season, the A.L. leads 48-41 but there are still plenty of interleague games left, two of which are on Sling TV this week, as well as one very important division rivalry: Atlanta at Boston on Monday, Tampa Bay at Washington on Wednesday, and San Francisco at Los Angles on Sunday.

As of this writing, the rebuilt Red Sox find themselves at the bottom of their division, and they are the only team in the A.L. East with a losing record. Atlanta was supposed to be in the midst of a rebuilding year but is only 3.5 games back in the N.L. East.

The Rays were sellers last season at the trade deadline, shipping ace David Price to Detroit and Will Myers to San Diego. But Chris Archer has helped filled the void left by Price and the Rays have found enough offense in other places to be in a tie with the Yankees for the lead in the A.L. East. Washington topped a lot of lists as the preseason favorite to win the World Series after signing ace Max Scherzer but have found the N.L. East a little more difficult than expected.

The Giants-Dodgers rivalry goes way, way back to when both teams were in New York and it was a battle of boroughs. Now, it’s a war of NorCal vs. SoCal and both teams seem capable of winning it all this year—but they’ll have to go through each other first.

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Here’s this week’s schedule, with probable pitchers as of Monday.

Monday, June 15
Atlanta at Boston*, 7pm (ESPN)

Williams Perez vs Rick Porcello
*Subject to blackout in some areas

Wednesday, June 17
Tampa Bay at Washington*, 7pm (ESPN2)

Matt Andriese vs Jordan Zimmermann
*Subject to blackout in some areas

Sunday, June 21
San Francisco at Los Angeles Dodgers, 8pm (ESPN)

Tim Lincecum vs Brett Anderson

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