This is the Boston team we expected before the season even started. The Red Sox have won nine games in a row, and sit atop the AL East with the best record in the American League. They also made the biggest jump in the projected standings going up 23.1 percentage points.
Those gains mean the Sox are the most likely team in baseball to make the playoffs at 91.3 percent of simulations. This appears to be one time that the expert picks were dead on; it just took a little time. Tampa Bay won five times on the road this week to gain a solid 8.8 percentage points in playoff probability. The Yankees did fall 10.8 percentage points, but they are still favored to make the postseason at 65.5 percent.
The early season feel good story of the Indians meanwhile appears all but over. Cleveland has won just once in its last 10 games as it faces tougher competition. The Indians made the biggest drop in baseball this week losing 18.4 percentage points. They are now winning the Central division in just 11.8 percent of simulations with the Tigers now the clear favorite. Detroit gained 7.6 percentage points, and are 85.2 percent likely to win the division. Chicago and Minnesota were favored preseason picks, but they are making the postseason in just four percent of simulations combined.
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Boston Red Sox
Tampa Bay Rays
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Chicago White Sox
Kansas City Royals
Los Angeles Angels
Toronto Blue Jays
New York Yankees
As it has all season, the National League has proved to be much more stable week to week than its junior counterpart. The only two NL teams to shift double digit percentage points were both from the East. The Braves used two road sweeps to jump 64.9 percentage points in the projected standings to stay right behind the division-leading Phillies. Conversely, the Marlins continued their slide down the actual and projected standings by winning just once in the past week. Luckily, star Hanley Ramirez is expected back from the disabled list.
The Central looks like it could be the most exciting divisional race in either league with two quality teams going head-to-head. Milwaukee used a home sweep of St. Louis to take a 0.5 game lead, and gain 8.5 percentage points in the playoff forecast. The Cardinals are probably the more talented team on paper, and Albert Pujols has found his swing to return to the hitting-machine everybody knows and loves. Injuries however have been mounting for the team all season. St. Louis though is still winning the division in three out of five simulations. The Brewers are slightly favored ahead of the Braves for the Wild Card spot making the playoffs in two out of every three simulations.
San Diego Padres
Los Angeles Dodgers
New York Mets
St. Louis Cardinals
San Francisco Giants