There was very little change in the American League this week with all of the action happening against the National League. The only team to have a significant change in its playoff prospects was Tampa Bay. The Rays took advantage of interleague play winning five of six games to improve 11.2 percentage points in AccuScore’s projected playoff standings. They are still on the outside looking-in competing in the AL East, but they did gain ground on both the Yankees and Red Sox.
The Angels were the only other team besides Tampa to jump up even a couple percentage points. Anaheim gained 5.1 percentage points in playoff probability, the exact same amount that Seattle fell by this week. The Mariners lost two games in the real standings to the Angels, and most likely their offense as currently constructed will hold them back from competing in the AL West. They do have several completely empty spots in their lineup so a good trade could make a big difference for Seattle to keep them in the race.
The Tigers continue to be the big favorite winning the Central in 79.4 percent of simulations. Many experts continue to believe in the White Sox, but Chicago is predicted to win the division just 2.2 percent of the time. The Indians are still the second forecasted choice, but they keep on sliding back to reality after another poor week (1-5 record).
Tampa Bay Rays
Los Angeles Angels
Chicago White Sox
Kansas City Royals
Toronto Blue Jays
New York Yankees
Boston Red Sox
A week after suffering a dramatic fall of 30 percentage points, Atlanta bounced back in the projected standings. The Braves are now one of the four predicted playoff teams in the National League after a 4-2 week that included an interleague sweep of the Blue Jays. The Phillies are still the best team in the National League, and the runaway favorite in the NL East winning the division in 81.7 percent of simulations. The Braves however, are the favored pick to win the Wild Card this week reaching the playoffs in 51.8 percent of simulations.
Much of the gains made by Atlanta come at the expense of St. Louis. The Cardinals pitching staff has really struggled especially in the bullpen with a constantly rotating cast of characters. The offense also must cover the loss of Albert Pujols for about six weeks. St. Louis took the biggest fall in baseball this week losing 23.2 percentage points in the AccuScore projections. Milwaukee is firmly in control of the NL Central this week winning the title in two-thirds of simulations.
The one other National League team to make a solid gain this week was San Francisco. The Giants actually have a negative run differential for the season (-4), but a five-game win streak has led to a 1.5 game lead in the real standings. They gained 8.2 percentage points in playoff probability, and are up to 57 percent likelihood to win the West.
San Francisco Giants
Los Angeles Dodgers
New York Mets
San Diego Padres
St. Louis Cardinals