The 15th season of Interleague Play between the American League and the National League begins today. Major League Baseball’s 2011 schedule features 252 Interleague games to be played in two segments: the first this weekend (May 20th-22nd) and the second from June 17th-July 3rd.
In the first weekend of interleague play across Major League Baseball last season, ballparks had an average attendance of 33,172 compared to an average of 29,404 for weekend games for the same hosting teams over the course of the 2010 season leading up to that point, an increase of 13 percent. When looking at more recent periods, when weather is improving, interleague attendance sees a mixed bag.
(See Inside the Numbers: MLB 2010 First Interleague Attendance)
In looking at the last weekend of play before interleague began in 2010, average attendance was 33,371 compared to interleague’s average of 33,172, a decline of less than 1 percent (-0.63%).
The biggest match-up to watch will be the Cubs visiting the Red Sox. The series which begins on Friday will mark 93 years since the clubs’ last matchup at Fenway Park.
The Red Sox and Cubs last played at Fenway Park on September 11, 1918, in the sixth and final game of that year’s World Series. Concluding a season that was abbreviated because of the ongoing World War I conflict, the Red Sox won two of the series’ first three games in Chicago. Boston returned home to take Game Four, before the Cubs staved off elimination in Game Five. The Red Sox then closed out the series in Game Six with a 2-1 victory, clinching their fourth title of the decade and their third championship in the preceding four years.
In terms of win-loss records, the American League posted a 134-118 record in Interleague Play in 2010. The 2010 season marked the seventh consecutive year in which the A.L. earned the edge in the season series, extending its all-time advantage to 1,808-1,652 (.523). The A.L. went 127-125 in 2004, 136-116 in 2005, 154-98 in 2006, 137-115 in 2007, 149-103 in 2008 and 138-114 in 2009 before the 134-118 mark last year.
In 2010, A.L. Clubs compiled a .269 batting average with 233 home runs, 1,168 runs scored and a 4.16 ERA. N.L. Clubs batted .251 with 242 home runs, 1,098 runs scored and a 4.37 ERA. The Chicago White Sox posted the best record in Interleague play in 2010 at 15-3 (.833), followed by the Texas Rangers at 14-4 (.778) and the Boston Red Sox and New York Mets, each at 13-5 (.722). The New York Yankees hold MLB’s best all-time Interleague record at 144-102 (.585), followed by the White Sox at 143-104 (.579).
The Florida Marlins own the N.L.’s best all-time Interleague mark at 127-107 (.543).
SELECT READ MORE TO SEE PLAYER STATS ALL-TIME FOR INTERLEAGUE
Click to see Interleague player stats (PDF)
Source: Major League Baseball
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