06 October 2016

Giants Burn Mets Late to Finalize Division Series Match-ups, Sox and Jays Likely to Advance

This post is one in a series about the 2016 MLB Playoffs and World Series.

Yet another exciting Wild Card playoff effectively ended with a three-run blast in a win-or-go-home inning. Unfortunately for Mets fans, this means that New York's scrappy run to the playoffs has come to an end as the San Francisco Baseball Giants advance to the NLDS. San Fran will open the NLDS against the MLB-best Chicago Cubs in the Windy City as 30-70 dogs.

By winning the National League Wild Card Game, and by virtue of improving their RPScore with the victory, the Giants have tripled their World Series expectancy from 2% to 6%. The win had a minor impact on the chances of San Francisco's upcoming opponent, pushing the Cubs' World Series expectancy down from 31% to 30%.

NLDS play begins Friday. In the meantime, both ALDS series begin today with the Texas Rangers taking on the Toronto Blue Jays and the Boston Red Sox facing off against the Cleveland Indians. In both AL contests, the simulator favors the lower seed.

RPScore considers the Red Sox the second best team in baseball and the best in the American League with a true .604 record; the Indians rank fourth at .550. This is more than enough to make up for Cleveland's home field advantage. The simulator has the Sox winning 59% of the time with the modal outcome being a Boston win in four. The Tribe's best chance is to force a fifth game at home.

In one of the biggest gaps between RPScore and a division winning-record in recent memory, my model ranks the top-seeded Texas Rangers 14th in all of baseball and eighth in the AL. The Blue Jays, on the other hand, rank third in MLB and second in the AL, with a rating 63 points higher than Texas'. Accordingly, the simulator picks the Jays to advance six times out of 10, most likely winning in four. The Rangers' best shot is to clinch at home in five.

Odds on the betting markets have shifted following the results of the play-in games. There is (relatively) significant disagreement (compared to past postseasons) between my simulations and Vegas Insider's Pinnacle's lines in 2016. The biggest discrepancies favor the Giants and Dodgers and Rangers and disfavor the Red Sox.

As per usual, I share the top individual predicted World Series results disaggregated by winner, loser and number of games played. Boston and Chicago still dominate the top of the board. There are 63 outcomes more likely than any individual winning outcome for San Fran.

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