Harris Private Bank July 16 released its annual financial analysis of Major League Baseball’s winners and losers at the unofficial half-way mark of the 2013 season.
“Major League Baseball is the closest thing to a free market in sports,” said Jack Ablin, Chief Investment Officer, BMO Private Bank. “Large market teams have financial resources to attract and cultivate the best talent and build the best rosters. While the wealthiest teams in the American League generally have the best winning percentages, the National League is pretty much up for grabs so far this year.”
With baseball’s annual all-star game taking place in New York tonight, Mr. Ablin’s Moneyball All-Star Break report examines whether money can buy a winning team. Here are his top and bottom performers of the 2013 season so far, based on payroll and performance:
— Boston Red Sox – At $150 million, the Red Sox have the second highest
payroll in the league, behind the $228 million New York Yankees. With a
winning percentage over .600, however, their results are superior to
that of their regional rival.
— Texas Rangers – This mid-size market team has a larger-than-expected
payroll and they are getting results. The Rangers are not scoring as
many runs as expected, but they’re managing to deliver the wins.
— Oakland Athletics – The preeminent “Moneyball” team usually delivers
respectable results and this year is no different. Not only are they
leading their division, they’re doing it with one of the smallest
payrolls in the league.
— Chicago White Sox – The Southsiders usually post respectable results in
our analysis. Not this year. The White Sox have blown huge leads, failed
to score runs and are among five teams that have scored fewer than 300
— Minnesota Twins – Minnesota, like last year, is not a good team. They’re
season is punctuated with losing streaks, leaving the Twins 11 games
under 500 and 10 games out.
— Seattle Mariners – Seattle has a terrible run differential and they’re 3
and 7 in their last 10 games. Besides King Felix, there’s very little
worth celebrating in Seattle.
The Toronto Blue Jays are in the middle of the pack – at least for payroll, but are underperforming at the plate.
— St. Louis Cardinals – This is a team that commands respect every year
and this year is no different. Granted, the Red Birds ramped up their
payroll, but they’re also getting results. They’re in the thick of a
playoff race and they sport the best run differential in baseball.
— Pittsburgh Pirates -The Pirates boast the best record in baseball so far
this season with a payroll that’s smaller than most. Pitching is
remarkable, giving up the fewest number of runs in the league. Offense
is impressive and keeps getting better. The Pirates are the team to
watch in the second half. Let’s hope they can keep the momentum going.
— Atlanta Braves – The Braves are continual favorites and this year is no
different. They lead the NL East as we cruise into the All-Star break.
It appears that they’re running away with the division. Their +72 run
differential is second behind St. Louis and their team ERA is in the top
2 in the National League.
— Milwaukee Brewers – The Brewers have fallen pretty hard this year. Their
incredible offense has folded like a card table, and they are suffering
a -57 run differential.
— San Francisco Giants – Oh how the mighty have fallen. The Giants lack
offense and that’s hurting them. It’s possible the team could turn it on
in the second half, but their current lack of momentum is a problem.
— Chicago Cubs – Here we are again, and again and again. The Cubs are
continual underperformers and this year is no different. It’s been 105
years without a championship and this year their dubious record will go
unbroken once again.