On Wednesday night, the Toronto Blue Jays and Kansas City Royals punched their tickets to the American League Championship Series. Both outcomes (a home team victory in five games) were the third most likely outcomes out of six possibilities. At the moment, the model has the Jays as heavy favorites over the Royals, with KC 2:1 underdogs despite their home field advantage in games one, two, six and seven.
Now, ordinarily, I wouldn't expect a playoff team to be true 33% underdogs in a seven game series—especially not the league's top seed—so take this projection with a grain of salt. The RPScore model just loves Toronto (RPScore .627) and is not so hot on Kansas City (.547), but that's a big difference from the Vegas line which puts the series closer to 60-40 (after roughly adjusting for the vigorish).
Nevertheless, the story is the same: the money and the stats heavily back the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Blue Jays soared to 44% favorites to win the World Series for the first time since Joe Carter walked off against Mitch Williams, while their AL rivals improved their odds to 6:1. The Houston Astros, who were my simulator's favorites from 10/8 to 10/11, end their run with their elimination by Kansas City. The Rangers end their run having peaked at second place on October 9th.
There is one spot still open in the National League and, as noted in yesterday's post, my simulator picks the Los Angeles Dodgers over the New York Mets. Both clubs rank better than the Royals, worse than the Blue Jays and Cubs, and somewhat close to one another on RPScore. It is therefore unlikely that the result of tomorrow's contest will have a significant impact on the World Series odds of the victor's rivals.
Also, this happened.
This also happened.
Houston, which once dominated the World Series outcomes leaderboard, falls off with their elimination, leaving the Blue Jays and Cubs to dominate it.
The conflict of interesting but contradicting potential match-ups concluded this evening.
Stay tuned to see what odds the Dodgers or Mets face to take the National League pennant following tonight's conclusion of League Division Series play.