I mentioned this before the playoffs last year and it only seems more evident in 2005. The AL is way better than the NL. If you don't believe me, check out the latest ratings by Baseball Prospectus. 2 through 9 are AL teams and I would aruge the notion that the Cardinals are the best team, considering they get to fatten up on baseball's Olsen twins. (translation-weak sisters) Further evidence, check out the dominant interleague record of the AL in 2005. Or how about the DC Expos being only a game behind the Cards and 5 and half games better than the 3rd best record in the NL? I don't care how many AL rejects thrive for the pitching staff (see Loaiza, Drese, Rauch), the Nationals are still only one year removed from San Juan and Northern France.
Want more, well let me offer up the worst division in the MLB, the NL West, where I suspect only one team will finish above a .530 percentage. There are only 3 NL teams, which could put up a decent challenge in the World Series, and 2 of them, the Marlins and Cubs are struggling to stay above .500. Sure, Roger Clemens has been unbelievable the past year and a half, but if he was still in the AL, I suspect his ERA would jump. I base this on his stats when with the Yankees and the formerly dominant NL hurler, Randy Johnson, struggles in NYC. I know this kind of rationale won't get me a job with Stats, INC., but it's the kind of analysis you get from a half-ass baseball blogger like myself.
Yeah, these things generally go in cycles and sure, there are more high salary rosters in the AL, but it's time to acknowledge how much better the junior circuit is. The White Sox, Red Sox, and Angels are the 3 best overall teams in 2005 and I would argue that the Twins and Yankees are in the Cardinals class. I would take any of these 5 AL teams to win the World Series, as they are currently composed, unless the Marlins put it together.