11 August 2017

Ratings and Projections through 8/10: Dodgers Aside, Playoff Race Wicked Tight

Eighteen MLB teams project to finish with a spot in the 2017 postseason or within five games of earning one. The margin of error for my projections this time of year is between five and six games. The playoff race is damn close.

Projected End-of-Season Win Totals with 80% Prediction Intervals

Top Teams through 8/10:
  1. Los Angeles Dodgers (.648)
  2. Houston Astros (.605)
  3. New York Yankees (.577)

Projected AL Seeds:*
  1. Houston (100 - 62)
  2. Boston Red Sox (90 - 72)
  3. Cleveland Indians (89 - 73)
  4. New York (88 - 74; 1st WC)
  5. Tampa Bay Rays (82 - 80; 2nd WC)
  6. Seattle Mariners (81 - 81; 1st out)

Projected NL Seeds:*
  1. Los Angeles (113 - 49)
  2. Washington Nationals (97 - 65)
  3. Chicago Cubs (87 - 75)
  4. Arizona Diamondbacks (90 - 72; 1st WC)
  5. Colorado Rockies (89 - 73; 2nd WC)
  6. St. Louis Cardinals (86 - 76; 1st out)
*Margin of error (80% prediction interval): +/- 5.6 wins

Comments and Observations:
  • Grant Brisbee confirms: this year's playoff race is the most crowded ever.
  • Of the 18 teams within the margin of error of a playoff spot or better, 11 are in the American League.
  • The Seattle Mariners, Kansas City Royals, Los Angeles Angels, Minnesota Twins, Baltimore Orioles and Texas Rangers all project to finish one-to-three games out.
  • In the NL it's a different story, with only the St. Louis Cardinals getting that close to the postseason but not quite making it.
  • Perhaps it's more understandable with one of the teams is pulling so far away from the pack that they're posting ridiculous numbers along the way (via Mark Simon).
  • As far as I'm concerned, one of those crazy numbers is 63: the number of points by which the Dodgers are outplaying their already league-beating RPScore.
  • That puts LA in line to win about 113 games, give or take 5.6.
  • There's still a better than 10% chance that they win 117 and set a new MLB record.
  • Colorado projects to take on the Diamondbacks in Arizona to decide who will represent the wild card in the National League, thanks to their playing 73 points above their estimated true record.
  • The projected two-seed Washington Nationals still lead MLB in double-digit games with 19.
  • The stingy Dodgers have allowed not even a third as many.
  • The home team is .541 this season with a run differential of +283.

Good Links:
  • Jen Mac Ramos is dead right: MLB needs to get off its ass and do more about sexual violence.
  • As a baseball fan and a Nutmegger, Neil deMause's story about the Bridgeport Bluefish departing to make way for outdoor concerts makes me sad.
  • Mike Trout missed nearly a quarter season on the DL. Craig Edward says he may still be the AL MVP. Cy Morong helps us understand why.
  • Baseball's collective bargaining agreement (CBA) is... weird, Mary Craig points out.

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