03 October 2019

Projections 2019: Astros and Dodgers Big Favorites as Division Series Commence

JD's Lock of the Week

After one Wild Card and one Mild Card, the field of eight is set. The Tampa Bay Rays will take to the road to try to upset the top-seeded Houston Astros after halting the Oakland Athletics' 2019 surge. In this evening's performances, the Atlanta Braves will host the St. Louis Cardinals and the NL-best Los Angeles Dodgers will hold the fort against the Washington Nationals. Good times will be had by some.

With their win, the Rays boost their World Series chances to 7%, tied with the Minnesota Twins as the least likely AL victor and surpassing only the Cardinals' chances to win it all.

Projections as of 02 October 2019

RPScore's measure of the Cardinals and Braves has them as relatively even teams. Personally, I think my system has been underrating Atlanta all year, but my simulator has St. Louis as only slight underdogs owing mostly to Atlanta's home field advantage in games one, two and (potentially) five.

My system takes no account of historical NLDS fecklessness or my own gut feeling that the Nationals are weaker than RPScore estimates. Nevertheless, my numbers have the Nationals as nearly 2-to-1 underdogs against Los Angeles, being the weaker squad and having to win at least one at Dodger Stadium to advance.

Much as at the start of the previous round, my numbers mostly agree with the positions of bettors, this time at Pinnacle. The big discrepancy involves the Yankees, which RPScore has been bearish on all year (at least relative to Houston and Los Angeles). My heart and my gut both have more faith in the Bombers, but my spreadsheets and my code heavily favor the Astros and Los Angeles, both of whom are likely to be New York's biggest obstacle to a record 28th title.

Due to the much greater spread of performance in baseball this year, with four 100-win teams and four 100-loss teams, the most likely World Series outcomes are dominated by just a few squads. In descending order of likelihood, the top 25 results, comprising the top 46.3% of likely outcomes, all feature either the Astros or Dodgers. The top 30/51.6% feature either those two teams, the Yankees or the Nationals. It's a top-heavy field for sure, but that doesn't mean we can't still have some surprises.

Stay tuned as we get deeper and deeper into October, the hopes and fears of each fanbase surging with every pitch and every swing, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.

No comments: