Fangraphs introduced a very cool feature at their standings page, now integrating Coolstandings.com playoff odds into the presentation of up to date standings. So, in one place we can see existing W/L records, expected records for the rest of the season, odds to make the playoffs as division and wildcard teams, and odds of winning the World Series. There are a couple of numbers that strike me as odd (though they likely have a simple explanation that I’m missing):
(1) In the AL, Boston has a 22% chance to win the Series and the Tigers stand at 17.2%. Season to date, Boston holds a 1.5 game lead on Detroit, but they hold only a 2.5 game lead on TB, while the Tigers lead Cleveland by 5.5 games. The result is that Detroit is almost assured of going into the post-season as a division winner (95%), whereas Boston has a 1 in 5 chance of being overtaken by TB and being forced into the one game wildcard playoff. I would think the significant advantage of avoiding the 1 game playoff would boost Detroit’s odds to a greater extent.
(2) Similar issue in the NL Central – St. Louis and Pittsburgh are locked in a dead heat for the division crown, while the Braves are two games better than each and 13 games ahead of Washington in the NL East. Nevertheless, the Cardinals are given a 9.1% to 7.3% advantage for winning the WS. Further, ATL is given a 50/50 shot of reaching the NLCS against the Cardinals’ 40% chance – so though ATL has a much greater likelihood or winning their division and of reaching the NLCS, their WS odds are lower? Odd.
(3) Interestingly, looking at ROS numbers, the system likes the Dodgers to have the best record, but the 2nd best at .582 are the Washington Nationals – yet another log on the fire of a disastrously disappointing year in the nation’s capital.