2011 MLB Playoff Shifts - Week 1

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AccuScore updates player, team, and season forecasts after every game. Every week we will update how each MLB team has shifted in the projected playoff race. In the opening week the American League got turned on its head with all but four teams shifting at least 10 percent in playoff probability. The National League was the exact opposite with only five teams shifiting even eight percent or more.


The toughest division in baseball had a big shakeup this week with Toronto making the biggest jump in playoff odds in the AL, and Boston and Tampa Bay having the second and third worst drops in the league. The Yankees went just 5-4, but still gained more than 10 percent due to the poor play from the Red Sox and Rays. Even though Boston went 2-7 in the opening week, those two wins came against the rival Yankees. The Sox are still in solid shape with the fourth highest playoff probability in the league. Tampa Bay on the other hand isn't so lucky. Before the season the Rays were a fringe playoff contender, but now they have just a 3.6 percent shot at the postseason.

Texas was the one AL contender to start off the season hot, and took complete control of the AL West race. The Rangers already lead the Angels by three games, and now are the most likely playoff team at 83.1 percent. Los Angeles of Anaheim did well to win three road games however, and are in a jumble of teams competing for the Wild Card. Oakland seemed to show that some of that preseason buzz was premature while Seattle remains a distant fourth in the division.

The Central division might be crowning a new champion as the White Sox took advantage of an easier schedule and opened a three game lead on Minnesota. Chicago jumped 25.4 percent in playoff probability to 57.1 percent after one week. Minnesota's offense has yet to get going scoring just 24 runs in 9 games, and also must overcome the unfortunate injury to Tsuyoshi Nishioka. Cleveland and Kansas City might be the two biggest surprises in baseball going a combined 13-5, but AccuScore projections still don't buy in to the hot starts. The Royals playoff prediction barely changed while the Indians jumped more than 10 percent, but they still rank just 9th overall in the AL. Detroit had a tough week, but still project to be competitive this season.

American League Weekly Review Playoff % Chance
Team 31-Mar 10-Apr % Diff Win Div
Toronto Blue Jays 3.4% 30.0% 26.6% 21.2%
Chicago White Sox 31.7% 57.1% 25.4% 47.1%
Texas Rangers 60.1% 83.1% 23.0% 75.3%
Los Angeles Angels 23.6% 36.8% 13.2% 19.8%
New York Yankees 43.5% 54.4% 10.9% 44.1%
Cleveland Indians 0.6% 11.2% 10.6% 6.7%
Baltimore Orioles 3.3% 9.1% 5.8% 5.8%
Kansas City Royals 0.7% 1.1% 0.4% 0.6%
Seattle Mariners 2.8% 0.8% -2.0% 0.4%
Detroit Tigers 35.8% 32.9% -2.9% 22.7%
Oakland Athletics 28.2% 9.8% -18.4% 4.6%
Boston Red Sox 66.8% 37.5% -29.3% 26.8%
Tampa Bay Rays 34.8% 3.6% -31.2% 2.1%
Minnesota Twins 64.6% 32.7% -31.9% 22.8%


Unlike the AL which played nothing to form, the NL played mostly to form with only two teams more than one game under .500. As a result only five teams shifted more than five percent in playoff probability. One of those teams was the Cardinals who dropped nearly 20 percentage points and face an early 3 game deficit to the Reds. Cincinnati made a corresponding gain of almost the exact same percentage. St. Louis though does get back Matt Holliday from an appendectomy which will improve its league-worst offense. Houston is the other team sinking under .500, and it has little hope unlike the Cards. The Astros already have just a 0.4 percent chance at the playoffs.

The biggest preseason favorite, the Phillies, played up to expectation in the first week winning seven games behind those four pitching aces. Their offense has come through as well despite concerning as the team is batting .334 collectively. The Rockies were the other team to make a significant jump this week gaining 11.4 percentage points by getting 3 division wins and sweeping a road series from Pittsburgh. The West is shaping up to be a solid three team race with the Giants still the favorites at 40.4 percent to win the division, but Colorado and Los Angeles staying close at 28 and 21 percent respectively.

National League

Weekly Review Playoff % Chance
Team 31-Mar 10-Apr % Diff Win Div
Cincinnati Reds 45.7% 64.9% 19.2% 59.0%
Philadelphia Phillies 75.9% 87.4% 11.5% 78.4%
Colorado Rockies 26.8% 38.2% 11.4% 27.8%
Pittsburgh Pirates 0.6% 1.8% 1.2% 1.3%
Arizona Diamondbacks 6.2% 7.2% 1.0% 4.5%
Washington Nationals 1.7% 2.3% 0.6% 0.8%
Atlanta Braves 35.4% 34.8% -0.6% 13.8%
Chicago Cubs 6.4% 5.6% -0.8% 4.0%
San Diego Padres 10.5% 9.3% -1.2% 5.9%
Los Angeles Dodgers 33.0% 31.4% -1.6% 21.4%
Houston Astros 2.4% 0.4% -2.0% 0.4%
New York Mets 4.4% 1.6% -2.8% 0.5%
Milwaukee Brewers 33.6% 30.0% -3.6% 22.6%
San Francisco Giants 55.2% 50.5% -4.7% 40.4%
Florida Marlins 25.3% 17.3% -8.0% 6.5%
St. Louis Cardinals 36.9% 17.2% -19.7% 12.7%