2011 MLB Playoff Shifts After Week 4

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By Jonathan Lee

Cleveland continues to surprise finishing April with the best record in all of baseball. After taking a dip last week, the Indians swept two division rivals this week (Kansas City, Detroit) to further take control of the Central jumping a whopping 59.3 percentage points. It helps that their main competition continues to struggle as the Twins and Tigers went a combined 0-12. Those two teams combined to drop 59 percentage points in playoff probability which virtually mirrored the gains made by the Indians. Only the Indians are even above .500 in the division, and AccuScore doesn't see them as a viable threat to reach the playoffs.

The Angels and Rays took part in a three-game series in Tampa Bay this week, and while L.A. of Anaheim won two of three, it could have been an early playoff preview. Both teams took significant jumps this week with the Angels jumping 26.2 percentage points and the Rays 21.2 percentage points. L.A. has the edge over the Rangers because of the strong pitching duo of Dan Haren and Jared Weaver as well as much better luck in the health department. The big blow to Texas this week was getting swept at home by the Blue Jays who are not projected to be in the playoff race. As a result, Texas fell over 20 percentage points. Tampa meanwhile continues to take advantage of Boston€™s continued struggles to get a head start in the chase for the Wild Card.

American League

  Weekly Review   Playoff   % Chance  
Team   25-Apr   1-May   % Diff   Win Div  
Cleveland Indians   23.3%   82.6%   59.3%   80.2%  
Los Angeles Angels   42.9%   69.1%   26.2%   59.8%  
Tampa Bay Rays   34.5%   55.7%   21.2%   30.2%  
New York Yankees   70.3%   75.8%   5.5%   56.3%  
Kansas City Royals   2.2%   3.4%   1.2%   2.2%  
Toronto Blue Jays   1.2%   1.6%   0.4%   0.6%  
Seattle Mariners   0.1%   0.4%   0.3%   0.3%  
Baltimore Orioles   0.9%   0.7%   -0.2%   0.2%  
Oakland Athletics   16.9%   7.9%   -9.0%   5.0%  
Chicago White Sox   14.2%   4.2%   -10.0%   3.0%  
Boston Red Sox   44.4%   30.2%   -14.2%   12.8%  
Texas Rangers   69.4%   47.7%   -21.7%   34.9%  
Minnesota Twins   30.9%   4.6%   -26.3%   3.2%  
Detroit Tigers   48.9%   16.2%   -32.7%   11.4%  


As it has most of the season, the senior circuit has displayed more stability in the projected playoff odds compared to its junior counterpart. Only three teams shifted more than 10 percent as compared to 6 AL teams that changed over 20 percent. The biggest gainer in the NL was St. Louis which added nearly 20 percentage points in playoff probability. The Cardinals though will have to continue battling injuries with third baseman David Freese out possibly a significant amount of time after breaking his hand Sunday. The gains made by the Cards were made mostly at the expense of the Reds. Cincinnati was the biggest loser in the league dropping 13.5 percentage points. The Reds are only six percent likely after the first month of the season to win the Central division.

The only two other NL teams to drop a significant amount were the Dodgers and Giants, both from the West. Los Angeles continues to struggle with ownership issues as well as with its offense aside from Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier. L.A. also was one of only five teams in the league to not go at least .500 this past week. The Giants are struggling even worse than the Dodgers at the plate averaging just two runs per game over the past week, and getting shut out twice. The Dodgers fell 8.7 percentage points while the Giants dropped 10.8 percentage points. Both teams lost ground to the Rockies who moved to 43.5 percent likely to win the division. Every other team in the National League made minor shifts aside from the Phillies who continue to pull away in the East behind their superior rotation.

National League   Weekly Review   Playoff   % Chance  
Team   25-Apr   1-May   % Diff   Win Div  
St. Louis Cardinals   54.7%   74.4%   19.7%   63.4%  
Colorado Rockies   41.6%   48.0%   6.4%   43.5%  
Philadelphia Phillies   79.2%   85.3%   6.1%   71.9%  
Arizona Diamondbacks   2.9%   6.3%   3.4%   5.4%  
Milwaukee Brewers   42.2%   45.3%   3.1%   30.1%  
Atlanta Braves   26.4%   28.5%   2.1%   10.8%  
Pittsburgh Pirates   0.2%   0.0%   -0.2%   0.0%  
New York Mets   0.6%   0.2%   -0.4%   0.1%  
Washington Nationals   1.4%   1.0%   -0.4%   0.3%  
Houston Astros   0.6%   0.0%   -0.6%   0.0%  
San Diego Padres   2.6%   1.3%   -1.3%   1.2%  
Chicago Cubs   3.0%   0.6%   -2.4%   0.4%  
Florida Marlins   42.9%   40.2%   -2.7%   17.0%  
Los Angeles Dodgers   26.0%   17.3%   -8.7%   14.6%  
San Francisco Giants   50.8%   40.0%   -10.8%   35.3%  
Cincinnati Reds   24.9%   11.4%   -13.5%   6.0%