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In An NL-Only Alternate Universe

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With the Phillies in the midst of a 9 game win streak, it's hard to think back to interleague play.  After all, why ruin such a great run by recalling the Phillies' utter helplessness against the AL?  Well, at the end of this short column, you'll understand why.

Let's imagine an alternate universe where there was no interleague play, and where teams were judged just based on how they fared against their own league.  So, wipe away the Phillies' 6-12 interleague record.  In this alternate universe, the Phillies have a 46-26 record against the NL, good for a .639 winning percentage.

Let's expand this thought experiment just a bit and look at the entire NL East.  And, let's take the winning percentage each team has against the NL and translate that to the number of games the team has played so far this year.  In this pre-1997 world, the NL East standings would like like this:

W L Win % GB
Phillies 58 32 0.644 --
Braves 48 45 0.516 11.5
Mets 47 45 0.511 12
Marlins 46 48 0.489 14
Nationals 24 68 0.261 35

In this alternate universe, the Phillies would increase their lead over the Braves by 5 games, over the Mets by 3 games, and over the Marlins by 7 games. An 11.5 game lead on July 21 would be almost insurmountable.

Which leads to this question: given that interleague play is over and the rest of the schedule more closely approximates this alternate universe, do the Phillies need to trade for Roy Halladay?