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BP's Playoff Odds Report

Simulating every team's chances of reaching October

Posted: Monday September 17, 2007 12:29PM; Updated: Tuesday September 18, 2007 12:51PM
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By Derek Jacques, BaseballProspectus.com

Since we introduced the Playoff Odds Report last week, there's been volcanic movement in the National League's playoff picture. The Cubs and Brewers may still be tied in the loss column -- a distinction that sounds impressive but really isn't -- but they've gone from a fairly even heat in the Playoff Odds (50 percent-43 percent, favoring the Cubs) to a fairly commanding lead for the Chicagoans, 71 percent-29 percent.

Much of the difference in the two teams' chances going forward is based on the strength of their schedules -- the Cubs' remaining games look like a dregs of the National League tour (Cincinnati, Florida, Pittsburgh), while the Brewers have to play eight games against teams with winning records (San Diego and Atlanta). The Cubs' success last week was achieved on the backs of the Cardinals, against whom they took three out of four over the weekend. The Cardinals haven't flatlined yet, but with seven games left against the Phillies, Brewers, and Mets, it's just a matter of time.

In the NL West, the Rockies' surge into contention was a little like a meteor shower-- no sooner do you notice it's happening than it's over. The Dodgers suffered a tough loss against the Diamondbacks on Sunday, with waiver pickup Esteban Loaiza imitating Steve Blass with seven walks (only one intentional) over 4 2/3 innings. That loss, combined with wins by all their division opponents and the Phillies' continued surge dropped the Dodgers' playoff odds by almost 16 percent in a single day. The big winner in the West last week was San Diego, who picked up much of the ground that Colorado and Los Angeles lost.

Meanwhile, the American League is down to a single race, Yankees versus Tigers for the Wild Card. New York's huge edge in the playoff odds is built on the system rating them as a significantly better team than Detroit; the Tigers' three-game set against Cleveland aside, they have a somewhat easier schedule than the Bronx Bombers down the stretch -- Kansas City and Cleveland at home, the Indians and White Sox on the road. Meanwhile, the Yankees' stretch drive features six games against the Orioles, a team that's played them extremely tough all season long (Baltimore's 8-4 against the Yankees in 2007). So hang on to your hats, because this one isn't quite finished, not yet.

For more on the methodology of the Report, click here. (Updated on the morning of Tuesday, Sept. 18.)

American League
East W L Pct3 Avg W Avg L Champs Wild Card Playoffs
Red Sox 90 60 .625 97.5 64.5 97.38455 2.59507 99.97962
Yankees 85 64 .580 92.6 69.4 2.61545 84.81478 87.43022
Blue Jays 74 75 .529 80.3 81.7 .00000 .00000 .00000
Orioles 64 84 .490 70.5 91.5 .00000 .00000 .00000
Devil Rays 63 87 .467 67.8 94.2 .00000 .00000 .00000
Average wins by position in AL East: 97.5 92.6 80.3 70.7 67.6
Central W L Pct3 Avg W Avg L Champs Wild Card Playoffs
Indians 87 62 .541 94.2 67.8 94.08770 1.81489 95.90260
Tigers 83 67 .536 89.8 72.2 5.91230 10.74662 16.65892
Twins 72 77 .490 78.1 83.9 .00000 .00000 .00000
Royals 64 84 .430 70.3 91.7 .00000 .00000 .00000
White Sox 64 85 .425 69.9 92.1 .00000 .00000 .00000
Average wins by position in AL Central: 94.2 89.7 78.1 71.4 68.8
West W L Pct3 Avg W Avg L Champs Wild Card Playoffs
Angels 87 62 .538 94.3 67.7 99.96685 .00147 99.96832
Mariners 78 70 .475 84.4 77.6 .03315 .02718 .06033
Athletics 74 77 .515 79.3 82.7 .00000 .00000 .00000
Rangers 70 79 .462 76.1 85.9 .00000 .00000 .00000
Average wins by position in AL West: 94.3 84.4 79.4 76.0
National League
East W L Pct3 Avg W Avg L Champs Wild Card Playoffs
Mets 83 65 .570 91.6 70.4 94.63930 3.14488 97.78418
Phillies 80 69 .530 87.3 74.7 5.32180 29.01642 34.33822
Braves 76 73 .535 83.2 78.8 .03890 .64527 .68417
Nationals 66 83 .436 71.1 90.9 .00000 .00000 .00000
Marlins 65 84 .465 70.5 91.5 .00000 .00000 .00000
Average wins by position in NL East: 91.7 87.4 83.1 71.8 69.8
Central W L Pct3 Avg W Avg L Champions Wild Card Playoffs
Cubs 78 72 .506 84.6 77.4 70.69646 .08044 70.77690
Brewers 76 72 .500 83.1 78.9 29.25606 .08617 29.34222
Cardinals 70 78 .457 76.8 85.2 .04609 .00000 .04609
Reds 68 81 .471 74.3 87.7 .00139 .00000 .00139
Pirates 66 83 .423 71.6 90.4 .00000 .00000 .00000
Astros 65 84 .425 70.6 91.4 .00000 .00000 .00000
Average wins by position in NL Central: 85.0 82.7 77.0 74.4 71.9 70.0
West W L Pct3 Avg W Avg L Champions Wild Card Playoffs
Diamondbacks 84 66 .478 89.8 72.2 64.54397 21.07216 85.61613
Padres 81 67 .522 88.5 73.5 30.10475 35.15129 65.25603
Dodgers 79 70 .552 86.0 76.0 4.79140 9.22815 14.01955
Rockies 77 72 .537 83.7 78.3 .55988 1.57523 2.13511
Giants 66 83 .486 72.3 89.7 .00000 .00000 .00000
Average wins by position in NL West: 90.3 88.3 86.1 83.2 72.3

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