The Toronto Blue Jays head to Arlington, Texas, with their season on the brink. Despite coming in as big favorites to win the World Series, Toronto dropped the first two games at home to the Texas Rangers. A Rangers win today would mean advancing to the ALCS and the Toronto Blue Jays flying north for the winter. My postseason projector gives the Rangers an 82% chance of advancing and a 16% chance of winning it all.
Yesterday's big story was the performance of the two clubs who had dropped game one to their rivals. The Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers both bounced back to even the series against the St. Louis Cardinals and New York Mets, respectively. With their victory, the Cubs moved back into second place on the World Series probability leaderboard at 17%. Their AL counterparts, the fifth-seeded Houston Astros, remain the favorites to win it all at 4:1.
Having evened up the series, the Cubs return to their superior position at the start of the NLDS. The projections once again decisively favor Chicago, with the most common outcome being a Cubs win in game four at home. The Cardinals' best bet is to force a return to Busch Stadium in St. Louis for game five.
Unlike the Cubs, the victorious Dodgers must hit the road before they get a chance to move on. With the series tied 1-1 heading to Flushing, Queens, Los Angeles and New York are basically equals. To the extent that either is favored, it's Los Angeles by a percentage point or two. The Mets enjoy 3:1 odds of winning the series and advancing before the Dodgers have a chance to bring the series back to LA.
Having split the first two games in Kansas City, the wild card Houston Astros are well positioned to advance to the ALCS. My projections have the Astros winning 58% of the time, with the most likely outcome being a series win in four. The Royals' best bet is to force game five at home. Even in that case, my model still slightly favors Houston.
As well all know, the Blue Jays have their backs up against the wall as they head to Texas for game three. Their odds of winning the World Series have dwindled from 2:1 to 13:1, and there is only an 29% chance that they will make it out of Arlington alive. If they do, however, the model still favors Toronto to pull off the comeback.
Stay tuned to find out what chances the Blue Jays have of staying alive, should they win, or how likely a Texas Rangers World Series appearance is should they advance to the ALCS.