18 August 2017

Ratings and Projections through 8/17: Three Teams Project to Tie for Second AL Wild Card Spot

The playoff field remains crowded with three teams projected to tie for the second American League Wild Card spot and wholly 19 teams either likely to reach the playoffs or miss by less than the margin of error.

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

Top Teams through 8/17:
  1. Los Angeles Dodgers (.639)
  2. Houston Astros (.594)
  3. Cleveland Indians (.581)

Projected AL Seeds:*
  1. Houston (99 - 63)
  2. Cleveland (92 - 70)
  3. Boston Red Sox (91 - 71)
  4. New York Yankees (89 - 73; 1st WC)
  5. Kansas City Royals, Los Angeles Angels or Texas Rangers (82 - 80; 2nd WC)

Projected NL Seeds:*
  1. Los Angeles Dodgers (113 - 49)
  2. Washington Nationals (97 - 65)
  3. Chicago Cubs (87 - 75)
  4. Arizona Diamondbacks (89 - 73; 1st WC)
  5. Colorado Rockies (87 - 75; 2nd WC)
  6. St. Louis Cardinals (85 - 77; 1st out)
*Margin of error (80% prediction interval): +/- 5.1 wins

Comments and Observations:
  • As noted above, the Royals, Angels and Rangers are all projected to tie for the second AL wild card spot.
  • The Minnesota Twins are projected to miss out by a single game.
  • The Baltimore Orioles, Seattle Mariners and Tampa Bay Rays project to miss by three.
  • The Toronto Blue Jays project to miss by four.
  • The margin of error (80% prediction interval) at the moment is just more than five games.
  • The Cardinals are also expected to miss the playoffs by two games, the Brewers by five.
  • In case you lost count, that's seven teams that are projected to miss the playoffs by less than the margin of error plus two more than there are wild card spots available.
  • In contrast, the Dodgers are projecting to win the NL west by 24 games over the likely NL Wild Card host Arizona.
  • The Dodgers still have a better than 10% chance of setting an MLB record by winning 117 or more.
  • They remain the luckiest team in baseball, playing 75 points above their RPScore.
  • The Phillies are the unluckiest, with a win rate 65 points below their estimated true record.
  • The home team has won 54.2% of games this season with a run differential of +315.

Good Links:
  • Rob Arthur and Greg Matthews find evidence that streakiness is baseball is a real thing, not just a statistical artifact.
  • Travis Sawchik shows how Giancarlo Stanton's new stance is reaping explosive dividends.
  • Eno Sarris asks how we can increase balls in play, and should we?
  • Michael Silverman writes that current Red Sox ownership is seeking to change the name of the street where Fenway Park resides to honor no longer the team's racist long-time owner, Tom Yawkey.

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