(In addition to appearing at The Captain’s Blog, this post is also being syndicated at TheYankeeAnalysts.)
Even though the Yankees’ series against the Brewers is the only interleague matchup featuring two teams in first place, the showdown between the Phillies and Red Sox is the one being indentified as a “World Series Preview”. Such an oversight likely roles off the back of the Yankees, but you can’t blame the Brewers if they feel just a little bit slighted. Of course, the “preview” distinction shouldn’t be too much of a cause for concern, at least not if history is a barometer.
Since interleague was established in 1997, there have only been five seasons during which the eventual World Series opponents met in the regular season (see chart below). Interestingly, in four of those five years, the team that lost the regular season series not only went on to win the Fall Classic, but did so rather easily. Therefore, if the Yankees and Phillies continue their opening game dominance, the Brewers and Red Sox shouldn’t take their respective losses too hard. In fact, the outcome of the All Star Game will likely hold much greater sway over the World Series than an interleague matchup.
World Series Interleague Previews, Since 1997
|Year||AL||NL||Regular Season Result||World Series Result|
|1999||Yankees||Braves||Braves win 2-1.||Yankees win 4-0.|
|2000||Yankees||Mets||Yankees win 4-2.||Yankees win 4-1.|
|2006||Tigers||Cardinals||Tigers win 3-0.||Cardinals win 4-1|
|2007||Red Sox||Rockies||Rockies win 2-1.||Red Sox win 4-0.|
|2009||Yankees||Phillies||Phillies win 2-1.||Yankees win 4-2.|
Will we see the Brew Crew back in the Bronx during the post season? Or, will it be a Red October between Philadelphia and Boston? Both matchups are certainly plausible, but the 162-game marathon usually finds a way to offer up at least one surprise. So, while everyone’s attention is diverted back east, the real World Series preview could be taking place between the Indians and Diamondbacks in Arizona.