MLB Playoff Shifts: Red Sox, Yankees, Phillies, Braves, Cardinals

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The calendar is marching towards July, and Seattle is still hanging around.  The Mariners aren’t exactly winning games in bunches, but simply by staying above water they are staying in contention in the AL West.  They are just a half game behind the Rangers, and AccuScore predictions are starting to give them some credence.  Seattle’s playoff odd went up 8.9 percentage points this week while Texas’ went down 12.3 percentage points.  The Rangers still have the most talent in division and are the clear favorites, but they have not been playing good baseball recently allowing the Mariners to stay competitive.

Detroit is still the runaway favorite in the Central winning in 81.7 percent of simulations despite a one-game deficit in the real standings to the Indians.  Cleveland took advantage of a favorable interleague match-up at just the right time sweeping the Pirates.  It had lost 9 of its last 12 games before that.  As a result of the fortuitous scheduling, the Indians made a small 3.2 percentage point bump this week.  The big issue in the division though is Minnesota.  The Twins have won seven games in a row and nine of their last 10, but are making the playoffs in just 0.6 percent of the time.  There are four teams ahead of them in the standings, but an eight game deficit in June is not insurmountable.  The simulation is a result of how poorly Minnesota had played in the first two months of the season.

Each week the monsters of baseball, Boston and New York, tighten their grip on the standings.  Even against other quality teams, these two look a step superior on the field.  The Yankees swept the Rangers, and the Red Sox took series against the Brewers and Rays.  New York took a significant jump up to 85.4 percent likely to reach the playoffs despite having a relatively low 27.2 percent chance to win the AL East.  Boston is the favorite to win the division, but the Yankees are the overwhelming favorite to win the Wild Card.  Every year the sports experts pick these two teams to make the playoffs, and AccuScore agrees.  The Rays are the real losers against these two making the biggest drop in the AL of 20.5 percentage points.

American League Weekly Review Playoff % Chance
Team 13-Jun 19-Jun % Diff Win Div
New York Yankees 64.4% 85.4% 21.0% 27.2%
Seattle Mariners 6.3% 15.2% 8.9% 14.6%
Boston Red Sox 91.1% 95.8% 4.7% 70.6%
Cleveland Indians 16.2% 19.4% 3.2% 16.8%
Los Angeles Angels 6.1% 7.1% 1.0% 6.9%
Minnesota Twins 0.0% 0.6% 0.6% 0.6%
Oakland Athletics 0.0% 0.1% 0.1% 0.1%
Kansas City Royals 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Baltimore Orioles 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Toronto Blue Jays 0.9% 0.5% -0.4% 0.0%
Detroit Tigers 85.9% 82.9% -3.0% 81.7%
Chicago White Sox 4.2% 1.0% -3.2% 0.9%
Texas Rangers 91.0% 78.7% -12.3% 78.4%
Tampa Bay Rays 33.8% 13.3% -20.5% 2.2%

Injuries are really starting to catch up to the Cardinals.  St. Louis has been able to win plenty despite various injuries to both their hitters and pitchers.  The latest injury might be the worst of them all depending on how long Albert Pujols is out with a wrist injury.  The Cards dropped 10.7 percentage points this week with the Brewers gaining ground rapidly in the NL Central.  Milwaukee jumped 9.5 percentage points and is winning the division in 56.2 percent of simulations.  For now it looks like just a two team race with Cincinnati reaching the playoffs just 6.8 percent of the time.

The biggest changes in the National League came out of the East.  The Phillies are the closest thing to a lock making the playoffs in 95.4 percent of simulations gaining nearly 20 percentage points this week.  This is a result of their main competition struggling to stay afloat.  Florida has won just one game in June and is now predicted to make the playoffs just 0.1 percent of the time.  The Braves meanwhile lost four games at home this week to teams like the Astros and Mets.  The Braves made the biggest fall in baseball this week losing 30 percentage points in the projected playoff standings.

National League Weekly Review Playoff % Chance
Team 13-Jun 19-Jun % Diff Win Div
Philadelphia Phillies 75.9% 95.4% 19.5% 90.5%
Milwaukee Brewers 67.2% 76.7% 9.5% 56.2%
Washington Nationals 0.0% 7.2% 7.2% 1.0%
Cincinnati Reds 2.3% 6.8% 4.5% 2.5%
San Francisco Giants 50.4% 54.3% 3.9% 50.5%
Arizona Diamondbacks 44.0% 46.6% 2.6% 42.1%
Colorado Rockies 5.4% 7.6% 2.2% 6.6%
New York Mets 0.2% 0.9% 0.7% 0.1%
Houston Astros 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Pittsburgh Pirates 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Chicago Cubs 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Los Angeles Dodgers 1.7% 0.2% -1.5% 0.2%
San Diego Padres 3.0% 0.6% -2.4% 0.6%
Florida Marlins 5.6% 0.1% -5.5% 0.0%
St. Louis Cardinals 78.7% 68.0% -10.7% 41.3%
Atlanta Braves 65.4% 35.4% -30.0% 8.4%