Trying to explain America without baseball is like trying to explain France without all that "surrendering." Considering that Baseball is America's Pastime, it should not be surprising that it contains lots of "data" that can be "weighed, measured, and analyzed" by evil republican's such as myself.
Therefore, it should not be surprising that there is a whole website devoted towards sifting through the data and explaining why all those GM's and owners are dopes. If you are really interested in baseball statistics, www.baseballprospectus.com is an invaluable resource.
One particular page on this site that I highly recommend is this page http://www.baseballprospectus.com/statistics/standings.html, which readjusts the standing utilizing various statistical mechanisms.
There are two divisions that really do not make much sense. Prospectus projects the Boston Red Sox to be leading the AL East by at least 3 or 4 games over the New York Yankees. In reality, the Yankees hold a 10 1/2 game lead and are posed to win their 8 division title since 1996. The Red Sox are doing -8.3 games worse than they should be while the Yankees are doing 6.6 games better than they should be.
The statistics here may be skewed, as the Yankees pitching is not as bad as the statistics are saying it is (this is because injuries have plagued the Yankees staff. For a good month and a half, the Yankees had to put 3 or 4 bums out on the mound.) The past week has seen stellar performances by Kevin Brown (2), Javier Vazguez (1) and Orlando Hernandez (3). If Mike Mussina comes back healthy, the Yankees staff is actually a bit above average on paper. Regardless, I cannot think of one reason why the Yankees should be this far out ahead of the Red Sox at this juncture.
The second division that makes the least sense is the AL East, where the New York Mets are projected to be in second place (albiet, all teams should be within a few games of eachother). The Mets have 2 of the highest rated pitchers in the league (Tom Glavine and Al Leiter) and a third ranked as above average (Trachsel). So why are the Mets so bad?
Well, understanding why the Red Sox and the Mets consistently underperform is an extra-statistical (perhaps even metaphysical question).