14 July 2017

If the Season Ended Yesterday, 7/13: Dodgers Face Astros in Powerhouse Series

With the All-Star Break putting regulation baseball on hold for the past few days, there are no updates to the RPScore leaderboard or end-of-season projections. Instead, let's take a look at what would happen if the season ended today (or last Sunday).

Probability of Series Victory for Teams Occupying Playoff Spots as of 7/13/17

Comments and Observations:
  • The Houston Astros have a slight edge over the Los Angeles Dodgers in RPScore, but if the season were over the Dodgers would have won home field advantage in the World Series by percentage points.
  • This is partly why LA would have a 31% chance of winning the 2017 World Series while Houston haCettle for a measly 27%.
  • The NL would be the weaker group, thanks to the sub-.500 (in RPScore) Colorado Rockies and Milwaukee Brewers taking the NL Central crown and second wild card spot, respectively.
  • This is part of the reason why the Dodgers would be somewhat more likely to win their first pennant since 1988 than the Astros would be to return to the series for the first time since 2005 (and their first time as an American League squad).
  • My model would favor the New York Yankees to reach the division series for the first time since 2012.

More Comments and Observations:
  • The most likely individual outcome would be a Dodgers win over the Astros in seven games.
  • The top 10 most likely outcomes involve either Houston or Los Angeles winning it all.
  • The first winning outcome that does not project favorably for the two RPScore leaders is a Washington Nationals win over Houston in seven games, 14th overall.
  • Every team has a chance, even the Boston Red Sox (over LA in seven, #20), Cleveland Indians (over LA in seven, #31), Yankees (over LA in 7, #52), Arizona Diamondbacks (over Houston in seven, #58), Milwaukee (over Houston in seven, #61), the Tampa Bay Rays (over LA in seven, #96) and Colorado (over Houston in seven, #111).

Just because there wasn't any real baseball this past week doesn't mean there wasn't any real baseball writing. Here's a sample of the good stuff:
  • There's no point in beating around the bush, here. Matt Swartz is doing a month-long residency at FanGraphs and it's awesome, because he's one of the best and most readable baseball economists out there and this means he'll be writing more great, readable baseball economics. Dr. Swartz is writing about free-agent valuations again. If you're curious about how much a win is worth on the open market, this is a series you'll want to delve into.
  • Only free agents get to sell their labor on the the MLB (somewhat) open market, but what would baseball look like if first year players could, too? Even better baseball and more parity, writes Jack Moore.
  • The Astros and Dodgers may be playing at a blistering pace, but some pitchers are just blistering. Ben Lindbergh has the story.
  • I'm glad baseball (that counts) is back, but that was a heck of a show that Aaron Judge put on during the much-anticipated Home Run Derby. Maury Brown has the ratings bump data to prove it.

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