Interleague Play Begins on Friday

The 16th season of Interleague Play between the American League and the National League will begin on Friday, May 18th.  Major League Baseball’s 2012 schedule features 252 Interleague games, to be played in two segments: the first this weekend (May 18th-20th) and the second from June 8th-June 24th.

Interleague Play drew 8,468,620 fans in 2011, averaging 33,606 fans per game.  The average 2011 Interleague attendance was 12.1 percent higher than the season’s final intraleague average of 29,985.  Since its inception in 1997, Interleague Play has drawn an average of 33,285 fans per game, which is 11.8 percent higher than the intraleague average of 29,774 during the same span.

The American League posted a 131-121 (.520) record in Interleague Play in 2011.  The 2011 season marked the eighth consecutive year in which the A.L. posted a better record in the season series, extending its all-time lead to 1,939-1,773 (.522).  The A.L. went 127-125 in 2004, 136-116 in 2005, 154-98 in 2006, 137-115 in 2007, 149-103 in 2008, 138-114 in 2009 and 134-118 in 2010 before the 131-121 mark last year.

In 2011, A.L. Clubs collected a .258 batting average with 1,074 runs scored, 255 home runs and a 3.56 ERA, compared to the N.L.’s .250 batting average, 993 runs scored, 208 home runs and 4.00 ERA.  The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the New York Yankees finished tied for the top 2011 Interleague record at 13-5 (.722), followed by the Tampa Bay Rays at 12-6 (.667) and the Atlanta Braves and San Francisco Giants, who were each 10-5 (.667).  The Yankees have MLB’s best all-time Interleague record at 157-107 (.595), followed by the Chicago White Sox at 154-111 (.581).  The Miami Marlins, who went 8-10 in Interleague Play last year, hold the N.L.’s best all-time Interleague record at 135-117 (.536), followed by the Braves at 129-112 (.535).