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Weekly Playoff Odds Tracker 6/1: The Brewers and Mariners are surging

We look around baseball to see how teams have improved or hurt their playoffs.

MLB: St. Louis Cardinals at Milwaukee Brewers Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

We’re back with updated playoff odds for all the teams in baseball. If you missed part one of the series that has the intro and explains a little about how playoff odds work, you can click here.

Today, we’re getting right to it.

AL East

Photo and graph courtesy of Fangraphs

This became a two man race about 3 weeks into the season. The Yankees and Red Sox will be fighting for the right not to have to play in a Wild Card game. But one of these teams is likely going to win close to 100 games and have to win a winner-take-all elimination game.

AL Central

Photo and graph courtesy of Fangraphs

The Indians have finally decided to take control of the weakest division in baseball with 6 straight wins and finally have a record to match their massive odds lead. The Twins could’ve made things more interesting with a better showing in their current series with Cleveland but they’re one game away from getting swept. All the bad teams are still bad.

AL West

Photo and graph courtesy of Fangraphs

Probably baseball’s second most competitive division continues to be a close race. Coming into tonight’s games, the Mariners are only 1 game back of Houston with the other teams dropping back a bit but still over .500. The odds are going to continue to strongly favor the Astros because of the talent gap but the Mariners are certainly making a move.

NL East

Photo and graph courtesy of Fangraphs

The Nationals finally got their act together with an 8-2 record in their last 10 played, taking advantage of a weak recent schedule. They wake up today actually 0.5 games back of the Braves, who continue to show they’re for real. Like Houston, the Nationals continue to be heavy favorites in the odds because of their talent level but, like the AL West, expect this race to be tight. The Braves, Mets, and Phillies have the talent to keep things close this summer.

NL Central

Photo and graph courtesy of Fangraphs

The only division in baseball that has three teams with over a 50% chance to make the playoffs is the NL Central. The Brewers have built a 4 game lead over the Cubs, and at some point, the odds are going to catch up. The projections still see a wide talent gap between the Cubs and the rest of the division, but being 4 games back on June 1st means they need to buckle up for a real race. Because even if it’s not the Brewers ahead of them, the Cardinals and Pirates are right behind them.

NL West

Photo and graph courtesy of Fangraphs

If you judge it from top to bottom, the closest division in baseball is the NL West. The last place team, the Padres, is only 6 games back of the first place team, the Rockies. That’s far and away the smallest gap in MLB. Coming into the season, the Dodgers were the run away favorite, but that is quickly changing. The Rockies keep playing well and the Dodgers keep getting hurt. And even with their awful May, the Diamondback are only 1 game out of first. This race will be fascinating.

Biggest odds gainers since last week

  • Brewers +11.4%
  • Mariners +11.3%
  • Indians +8.0%
  • Nationals +5.6%
  • Rockies +4.2%

The Brewers have a 4 game lead in the division, a 36-21 record, a strong farm system as currency, and the belief that they’re real. And the odds are catching up. The Mariners, Indians, and Nationals all turned strong weeks into improved odds and the Rockies are actually in first place out West.

Biggest odds losers since last week

  • Twins -11.6%
  • Mets -11.3%
  • Pirates -10.0%
  • Angels -8.3%
  • Dodgers -3.2%

The Twins saw the Indians separate from them for the first time this season and are about to get swept by them. The Mets can’t get healthy and have been one of the worst teams in baseball since their 11-1 start. The Pirates we’re always playing a bit over their head and reality has set in a little this week. And the Dodgers are 4 games under .500 on June 1st, which may be the most shocking thing about 2018 so far.

New Feature

The odds we use for this series are projection based odds. If you scroll up to the top, you can click the link to the series opener to read all about it.

But projection based odds aren’t the only way to look at playoff odds. Once the season starts, there are obvious areas where the pre-season projections were just wrong. So another way to view playoff odds is using the in-season stats as the system inputs instead of projections. These will put more weight on what has actually happened this year vs what was suppose to happen. You never want to only look at these odds but I thought including them would give a more complete look at different teams chances. So changing the inputs to in-season stats, here are the current playoff odds. You’ll be able to quickly see the difference

AL East

  • Red Sox 92.4%
  • Yankees 86.5%
  • Rays 20.3%
  • Blue Jays 4.3%
  • Orioles 0.0%

AL Central

  • Indians 79.3%
  • Twins 14.0%
  • Tigers 13.4%
  • Royals 0.8%
  • White Sox 0.3%

AL West

  • Astros 96.1%
  • Mariners 45.3%
  • Angles 30.8%
  • Athletics 15.8%
  • Rangers 0.8%

NL East

  • Braves 67.5%
  • Nationals 62.2%
  • Phillies 49.1%
  • Mets 7.1%
  • Marlins 0.0%

NL Central

  • Cubs 79.6%
  • Brewers 66.3%
  • Cardinals 37.3%
  • Pirates 16.5%
  • Reds 0.1%

NL West

  • Diamondbacks 41.4%
  • Dodgers 32.8%
  • Rockies 26.7%
  • Giants 8.6%
  • Padres 4.6%