11 October 2014

MLB Postseason Projections 2014: Royals Check Lord Baltimore, Pretend to the Throne

This post is part of a series tracking the postseason series win probabilities throughout the 2014 MLB Playoffs. Click here to enjoy the full series of posts.

Busch Stadium • Photo credit: Ron CogswellCreative Commons 2.0

The Kansas City Royals' strategy of waiting until extra innings and then hitting a home run on the road continues to work marvelously for the American League's wild card representative. For the first time since the beginning of the postseason, Kansas City is the most favored team in the field; for the first time since October 2, Baltimore is not.

Meanwhile, in St. Louis, the series to decide the National League Pennant begins, with the San Francisco Giants slight favorites over the St. Louis Cardinals.

Kansas City's win was a minor boon for the NL according to the Rational Pastime model, as the Senior Circuit's winner figures to perform better against Kansas City. In contrast, Baltimore's odds are worse than they've been since October 3.

A Royals win in Game 5 at home is now the modal outcome, slightly edging out an Orioles win at home in seven.

The San Francisco Giants are slightly favored despite the St. Louis Cardinals' home field advantage. For what it's worth (and this postseason, I'm not sure how much that is), the Cardinals still rate as the weakest playoff team in the field. Home field will be especially helpful for the Cards, which is why their best shot—and the modal outcome for the series—is a win in Game 7 in St. Louis. The Giants' best hope is a win in six, their away disadvantage only marginally undercutting their superior rating.

All-in-all, this series looks awfully close, and though the "Gateway to the West" looks to play gateway to the NL West's last surviving representative 54% of the time, that still leaves plenty of chances for the Cards.

For the first time in the postseason, the most likely individual World Series outcomes include Kansas City. The Paris of the Plains looks to beat either St. Louis or San Fran at home. Speaking of a Kansas City-St. Louis World Series, the likelihood of that match-up currently stands at 28%—highest this October.

Stop by tomorrow for updated ratings, probabilities and charts following today's LCS action.

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