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MLB Influence Rankings

My semi-hiatus from blogging is over! Today I'll release what might be the final influence rankings of the year. We'll see. I'm just not sure it will be interesting after today. As usual, click on the image below for a closer (in other words, bigger) look:


All the previous rankings can be found here. An explanation of what the bubble sizes and positions mean can be found here. Click "continue reading" for a few thoughts on the rankings.
It doesn't look like we will have much for pennant races this September. Six of the eight playoff teams, if the season were to end today, have strong chances to make the playoffs, to say the least. There are six mortal locks, and two more spots with clear favorites. If I were to publish another relevancy rankings in mid-September, I would expect it to look pretty much like this, except with all the teams hanging on by a dear thread moved into the "out" category with the likes of the Cubs, Mets, Mariners (*sigh*), and others.

With that said, one mildly interesting trend popped up in the bubble sizes. All but two grew, which really is a slap in the face at the Athletics. I calculate the sizes so that the smallest bubble is always a certain size. So, really, the bubble sizes are all relative to the smallest one, no matter how relevant that team happens to be. Therefore, what we really learned is that every team besides the Orioles and Dodgers shrunk less in Google hits this past month than the A's.

Still, bubble for playoff contenders grew much more than the pretenders. It seems that in the past month, changes in interest correlated with a team's chances of making the playoffs. Since using this data, this month is the first time that has been true.

Lastly, looking at the bubbles up top, we might be in for some badly unbalanced playoff coverage. For instance, it is close to a guarantee that the Red Sox or Yankees will play the Rangers in the ALDS, and both of them generate much more interest. Even with Texas defending its AL pennant, I would anticipate the media focus being on their opponent.