A Reason Why It’s Still Early: Only One $100+ Million Team Is In First Place

May 28, 2012 by

Now that almost one-third of the 2012 baseball season is in the books, the standings shouldn’t look nearly as displaced as they did in April, right? But heading into June, I noticed something pretty quirky for this stage of the year– out of the nine teams with $100M+ payrolls, just one is in first place.

Team 2012 Payroll Games Back
New York Yankees $192,962.321 2.5
Philadelphia Phillies $174,538,938 4.0
Boston Red Sox $173,186,617 5.0
Detroit Tigers $154,485,166 4.0
Los Angeles Angels $132,300,000 6.5
Texas Rangers $120,510,974
Miami Marlins $118,078,000 2.5
San Francisco Giants $117,620,683 7.5
St. Louis Cardinals $110,300,862 0.5


New York somehow trails Baltimore by two-and-half games. The Phillies and Red Sox are actually tied for last place in their respective divisions. The Tigers opened the year strong but have stumbled below .500, a mark the Angels haven’t even reached yet.

Then you have Texas, a team on the other side of the spectrum. The Rangers have murdered their competition (outscoring opponents by nearly 100 runs already) and have a 99.2% chance of reaching the postseason according to BP’s Playoff Odds Report.

While I’m on the topic of odds, I’d still be pretty confident betting that at least four of these nine teams are going to be division winners. And I wouldn’t be surprised at all if all nine are in healthy contention for a postseason spot come September.

Contending $100M+ teams are the norm in a 162-game baseball season (profound, I know). Just like random variation in the standings is still the norm at this juncture of the year.  It’s a little too early to hit the panic button.

$100M Payrolls


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  1. Jarred

    Noticed this came out on the heals of an 8 game losing streak by the barves.. does this mean I won’t be getting a “Fire Freddi and make Chipper Jones a player/manager” post anytime soon?

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