The Atlanta Braves have a 2.5 game lead thanks to their 5-1 week and they picked up over 25 percentage points this week. They had quality wins over Tampa Bay who has had a dominant road record this year. The Mets nearly kept pace going 4-2 and their road sweep in Cleveland and even winning one vs the Yankees helped NY pick up 9 percent in the playoff race. Atlanta and the Mets’ improvement kept directly at the expense of the Marlins (-9 percent) and the Nationals (-11 percent). The Phillies went 3-3 and managed to go the week relatively unchanged.
The Cardinals were a solid 4-2 but their playoff chances improved +11 percent because Cincinnati was just 1-5. The Reds were swept by the lowly Mariners and dropped 2 of 3 at home to the Dodgers, a team they are competing with for a possible Wild Card. The NL Central is the only team in the league with 6 teams but they are also the only division with 4 teams that have a combined 5 percent chance of making the playoffs. This division is clearly a two team race which is why front-running St. Louis has the highest playoff odds in the NL by far despite having a projected win total not much higher than the rest of the NL division leaders.
The Dodgers were a bad 2-4, but they still improved their playoff chances by +4.2 percent. At first glance this seems like a calculation error, but when you realize their 2 wins were on the road vs Cincinnati you realize that road wins over a playoff competitor while the rest of the league is playing AL teams really count for much more than 3 losses to AL Boston. The Padres also improved their chances thanks to the Rockies dropping nearly 13 percentage points. Colorado was a respectable 3-3, but 2 of their 3 wins were at home vs the Brewers. Milwaukee is just 29-40 this year and a playoff contender like Colorado needs to sweep teams like Milwaukee at home if they want to keep up in the highly competitive NL Playoff race where 9 teams have better than a 20% chance of making the playoffs.
WEEK 11 REVIEW
St. Louis Cardinals
New York Mets
Los Angeles Dodgers
San Diego Padres
San Francisco Giants
You cannot have had a better week than the Boston Red Sox did going 6-0 and picking up a whopping 32.8 percentage points in the playoff probability race. They actually caught Tampa Bay and are now sitting pretty at a 56.6 percent chance of making the playoffs. A perfect week would typically not have this big of an impact when it comes in Inter-League games, but with the Yankees going just 3-3 and the Rays 2-4 Boston pulled to within 1.5 games of the best record in the league. The reason why Tampa Bay is slipping is their relatively weak home record. They are forecasted to win just 58% of their remaining home games while Boston and New York are at over 60%.
The Texas Rangers also had a perfect 6-0 week which were all on the road. The Rangers have had the easiest schedule in the AL based on the combined winning percentage of their opponents. Despite this fact, their remaining schedule is not any harder than the rest of the AL West so they are in good shape to win the division at 80.8%. The Angels are the other major threat to win the division. They need to win the AL West to make the playoffs as their chances of earning a Wild Card is just 0.3%. Oakland went 2-4 to fall further back (their playoff chances dropped in half this week) and Seattle is down to their last 0.1 percentage points. It is probably time for them to trade Cliff Lee and try to re-stock the team.
Even though Detroit had a better win-loss record at 5-1 than the Twins at 4-2, the Twins were the team to slightly improve their playoff chances. The Twins took 2 of 3 from Colorado and 2 of the 3 on the road in Philadelphia (beat Roy Halladay). These wins were much more impressive than Detroit’s wins over Washington and Arizona which is why Detroit did not improve as much as Minnesota. The White Sox went 6-0, but only picked up 0.9 percentage points. They are still 5.5 back of Minnesota and like Detroit, their wins over Pittsburgh and Washington were not high quality wins like Minnesota’s.
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