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MLB Playoff Shifts: Indians, Yankees, Cardinals, Braves, Giants

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AMERICAN LEAGUE
The bubble has burst in the Central division.  While Cleveland still holds a 2.5 game lead in the actual standings, it has lost 4 in a row and even more ground in AccuScore’s projected standings. 

The Indians dropped 33.3 percentage points in playoff probability, and for the first time in weeks are on the outside looking in at the postseason.  They are just the fifth most likely AL team to make the playoffs well behind division rival Detroit.  The Tigers went 5-1 this week, and are now 74.6 percent likely to win the division.  The White Sox, Royals, and Twins though still combine to make the playoffs in only 1.8 percent of simulations.

While Detroit made a significant leap this week, the Yankees made an even bigger one.  New York takes over the projected lead in the best division in baseball gaining 38.4 percentage points.  Boston fell 13.4 percentage points, but is still the Wild Card favorite ahead of Cleveland and Tampa Bay.  The Rays have played good baseball this season, but face long odds against the two powerhouses in the East.  Baltimore and Toronto are in even worse position combining to make the playoffs just 6.9 percent of the time.

The AL West is the one division in baseball that has the look of a finished race less than halfway through.  Most sports experts picked the Rangers to win before the season, and with Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz back the lineup has taken off.  Texas is making the postseason in 98 percent of simulations.  AccuScore doesn’t take Seattle seriously as a contender.  Despite the Mariners playing solid baseball and creeping three games over .500, they have just a 2.4 percent chance at grabbing a playoff spot.

American League Weekly Review Playoff % Chance
Team 30-May 5-Jun % Diff Win Div
New York Yankees 38.4% 76.8% 38.4% 49.1%
Detroit Tigers 48.7% 79.8% 31.1% 74.6%
Texas Rangers 73.6% 98.0% 24.4% 97.2%
Toronto Blue Jays 6.1% 6.9% 0.8% 1.8%
Baltimore Orioles 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Minnesota Twins 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Chicago White Sox 1.7% 1.6% -0.1% 1.2%
Kansas City Royals 1.3% 0.2% -1.1% 0.1%
Oakland Athletics 2.3% 0.0% -2.3% 0.0%
Seattle Mariners 5.4% 2.4% -3.0% 0.5%
Boston Red Sox 81.2% 67.8% -13.4% 39.3%
Los Angeles Angels 27.1% 8.5% -18.6% 2.3%
Tampa Bay Rays 47.4% 24.6% -22.8% 9.7%
Cleveland Indians 66.8% 33.5% -33.3% 24.1%

NATIONAL LEAGUE
Buster Posey wants everyone to move on from the controversy over his injury, and his team has done so – at least on the field.  The Giants have been the experts pick most of the year, and have returned to the top of the West projections after a week off by gaining 19.8 percentage points after winning 5 of 7 games.  San Francisco is actually the only team in the National League to gain more than 1.2 percentage points in the projected playoff standings this week. 

It was an unusual week in the NL as the only two teams to drop more than 3.5 percentage points after another week of games were San Francisco’s divisional rivals in Colorado and Arizona.  The Rockies fell 6.2 percentage points while the Diamondbacks lost 7.5 percentage points.  Four teams – the Astros, Mets, Nationals, and Cubs – did not make the playoff in over 10,000 simulations.

National League Weekly Review Playoff % Chance
Team 30-May 5-Jun % Diff Win Div
San Francisco Giants 37.2% 57.0% 19.8% 53.1%
Florida Marlins 21.5% 22.7% 1.2% 10.5%
St. Louis Cardinals 82.6% 83.3% 0.7% 67.8%
Pittsburgh Pirates 0.1% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0%
Houston Astros 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
New York Mets 0.1% 0.0% -0.1% 0.0%
Washington Nationals 0.1% 0.0% -0.1% 0.0%
Chicago Cubs 0.2% 0.0% -0.2% 0.0%
Cincinnati Reds 3.8% 3.6% -0.2% 1.2%
Milwaukee Brewers 58.5% 58.3% -0.2% 31.0%
San Diego Padres 2.6% 2.3% -0.3% 2.0%
Los Angeles Dodgers 1.7% 0.8% -0.9% 0.7%
Philadelphia Phillies 84.0% 81.5% -2.5% 68.2%
Atlanta Braves 44.3% 40.8% -3.5% 21.4%
Colorado Rockies 8.4% 2.2% -6.2% 2.0%
Arizona Diamondbacks 55.0% 47.5% -7.5% 42.2%