Which National League Teams Are Worth the Price of Admission?

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Prices in baseball aren’t uniform across the league. Bad teams in big markets can have ticket prices more expensive than a good team in a smaller market. If you’re looking to catch some baseball games this summer, below is a list of some of the best and worst values in the league, broken down by average ticket price and winning percentage into four different categories.

On the graph, the top right and bottom left teams are playing on pace with their secondary market averages. The teams at the bottom right are outpricing their play, while teams at the top left are some of the best deals in the league.

*note the Miami Marlins are not listed because of a lack of secondary market for Marlins tickets.

Expensive, but Winning
San Francisco Giants
Milwaukee Brewers
San Francisco Giants tickets are far and away the most expensive in the National League, but the Giants have also been the best team in the NL on the field. Home games on the SF Giants schedule have an average price of $119.95 while no other team has an average price above $90. The Brewers have only seen a 2.8% increase in ticket price since getting off to a hot start to the season. The wins early on the Brewers schedule has helped them build a comfortable lead in the NL Central. They are only half a game behind the Giants for the best record in the National League and have an average ticket price way below the Giants at $83.76

Overpriced and Losing
Chicago Cubs
New York Mets
Philadelphia Phillies
The Chicago Cubs, Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets have some of the most tortured fanbases in the league. The Cubs haven’t won a World Series in over a century, and sit at the bottom of the NL Central. While the Mets and Phillies have each won two titles in that same time, neither one has many stretches of sustained success. And both reside at the bottom of the relatively weak NL East.

The Cubs and Phillies have turned things around a bit recently. The Cubs schedule in June has offered some hope for the club. The team is 10-7 after starting the season 20-33, and Philadelphia has gone 7-3 in their last ten games. The Mets have been a different story. The Mets schedule in May produced an 11-18 record, the worst in the league and they are just 6-11 so far in June.

But despite all the problems the three teams have had this season, all have ticket averages over $80. Cubs tickets are the most expensive of the three at $88.60. The Mets are just a bit cheaper averaging $86.63, and the Phillies round out the list with an average of $83.49 for all home games on the Phillies schedule.

Get What You Pay For
Pittsburgh Pirates
Colorado Rockies
San Diego Padres
Arizona Diamondbacks
These four teams haven’t fared much better than the last three, but their ticket prices are cheaper. Like the previous list, these teams haven’t had much recent success, as only the Pittsburgh Pirates have made the postseason last year, and that was after over a decade of futility. This season the Pirates have the best record of the four, but at 34-37 and eight games back in the NL Central. Granted a lot of that has to do with a 9-16 record compiled during the Pirates schedule in April. The team is three games over .500 since.

The San Diego Padres, Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies all occupy the NL West. The Diamondbacks and Padres have the worst records in the National League, and only the Tampa Bay Rays have a worse record in baseball. While the Rockies 34-38 record isn’t awful, it’s after two months of sporting a record under .500. They were 12-14 in May and are 6-11 so far in June.

The Rockies are also the cheapest ticket of the group, and one of the cheapest in all of baseball with an average of $57.63. The Diamondbacks tickets are a little more expensive at $61.12, and the Padres and Pirates are neck-and-neck with Pirates tickets averaging $65.36 and Padres tickets averaging $66.27.

Most Bang For Your Buck
Atlanta Braves
Cincinnati Reds
Los Angeles Dodgers
St. Louis Cardinals
Washington Nationals
The final list is filled with the best values in baseball. All five teams have at least a .500 record and have average prices under $65. The Nationals have the cheapest tickets of the bunch at $54.45. They have also taken first place in the NL East thanks to a 10-6 record during the Nationals schedule in June. Surprisingly the Cincinnati Reds have the most expensive tickets of the group at $64.62, even though they have the worst record at 35-35.

The Atlanta Braves used to be in first place in the NL East, but after a rough stretch they’ve fallen 1.5 games behind. Braves tickets are averaging $64.19 for all home games on the Braves schedule, and the Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals round out the list. The two teams met last season in the NLCS, and could easily meet there again this year despite both teams trailing in their division. Dodgers are in second in the NL West with a 40-34 record, while the Cardinals are in second in the NL Central with a 39-33 record. Dodgers tickets are averaging $61.90 while Cardinals tickets are averaging $62.52.

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