Which baseball team ranks highest?

By Staff | July 16, 2013 | Last updated on July 16, 2013
3 min read

While we’re only halfway to the 2013 World Series, BMO Financial has released its own list of baseball’s winners and losers – based on payroll and performance.

Read: For portfolios in need of pinch-hitting

“Large market teams have financial resources to attract and cultivate the best talent and build the best rosters,” says Jack Ablin, chief investment officer, BMO Private Bank. “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.”

Read: Prospecting at the T-ball game

So can money buy a winning team? Here are Albin’s top and bottom performers of the 2013 season so far:

American League The Top:

  • 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 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.

Read: Ravens and 49ers to pay “jock tax”

The Bottom:

  • 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 runs.
  • 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.

Read: How athletes and investors are alike National League The Top:

  • 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 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.

Read: Should your clients buy a sports franchise?

The Bottom:

  • 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 – 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.
Advisor.ca staff


The staff of Advisor.ca have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.