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Regional Rivalries Drive Premiums as Interleague Play Kicks Off This Weekend
Since its introduction in 1997, fans league-wide have debated the pros and cons of annual interleague play. While the average baseball fan might revel in the previously unseen matchup between classic franchises, the purists might dismiss the whole thing as a gimmicky money-making ploy set up by the owners and baseball. Either way, interleague play enters its 15th season and this weekend’s matchups bring some interesting data into the conversation.
The top 4 matchups, based on the series premium over the home team’s regular season price, are Cards vs Royals, Mets vs Yankees, A’s Giants, & Cubs vs. Red Sox (in that order). At a 38% premium, the I-70 rematch of the ’85 Royals/Cards World Series takes the top spot for the weekend followed by the Subway Series in New York with a 22% premium, and the Bay Area series comes in at a close 3rd with a 21% premium. However, the lone non-regional series in the graphic, with the Cubs coming into Fenway for a matchup between two of the MLB most storied franchises is up just 9% in the midst of a Sox torrid hot streak. So, even after 15 years, the jury on interleague play is still out and the debate is sure to continue.
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