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Weekly Playoff Odds Tracker 6/8: The Mariners and the Braves continue to impress

The draft is over and MLB contenders are now starting to focus on in-season improvements. Let’s see who those contenders are.

MLB: Seattle Mariners at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

We’re back with another installment of our weekly playoff odds. As always, you can click this link and it will take you to the series intro and a primer on how playoff odds work. You can also click here to take you to last weeks post for the introduction to a new feature for series.

Let’s get to the odds!

AL East

Image and graph courtesy of Fangraphs

The Red Sox have 3 more wins on the season than the Yankees do but New York leads the division due to fewer losses and 5 less games played than Boston. This race is the only drama in this division. Now that the draft is over, I expect the other three teams to start selling.

AL Central

Image and graph courtesy of Fangraphs

The Indians currently hold a 4.5 game lead over the Twins and, as has been the case all year, the odds make Cleveland the extreme favorite to hold. I suspect eventually, the Indians will make this one of the most uninteresting races of the season.

AL West

Image and graph courtesy of Fangraphs

How about the Seattle Mariners? Left for dead after the Robinson Cano injury/suspension, the Mariners have been the best team in baseball the last two and a half weeks and actually lead the division by 1 game. As you can see the odds still heavily favorite the Astros, all that talent still matters, but Seattle is coming up fast on the outside.

NL East

Image and graph courtesy of Fangraphs

Like the Mariners, how about the Atlanta Braves? They keep rising and rising in these odds every week and keep maintaining first place in the NL East. Like the Astros, the Nationals are the heavy favorites because of talent but this is clearly a race. On the other end, what has happened to the Mets? Started 11-1 and have been the worst team in baseball since May 1st. Lots of season left, but they have a hole to climb out of to make any noise in this division.

NL Central

Image and graph courtesy of Fangraphs

The Brewers lead in this division has shrunk to just 0.5 games as the Cubs are hot on their tail. The odds have always seen the Cubs as the favorites, and getting closer to the first place is only going to strengthen that. This looks like a 3 teams race and could be decided by the moves made in the next 6 weeks.

NL West

Image and graph courtesy of Fangraphs

The Diamondbacks still hold a 0.5 game lead in this division over the Rockies and a 1.5 game lead over the Dodgers. The odds still think LA is going to win this race by 5+ games and they have been playing better lately. But the last place team in this division is only 4.5 games back, and odds are one or more of these other 4 teams is going to be able to keep it close all year. This is probably the division with the most parity in MLB but, as is often the case, parity can be another word for mediocrity. There’s no other division in baseball where Arizona’s 32-29 record would be leading.

Top 5 gainers since last week

  • Dodgers +10.2%
  • Giants +9.0%
  • Mariners +6.2%
  • Nationals +4.4%
  • Cubs +3.8%

Any move the Dodgers make toward first place is going to greatly increase their odds. The projections see them as the best team and waiting for them to show it. The Mariners are still seen as having less talent than the Astros but the system doesn’t ignore real results. The more they win, the more they’ll move up. The Nationals got a bump this week as the Mets and Phillies stumbled, which by default, increase their odds. And the Cubs are in the same boat as the Dodgers, seen as the more talented team in their division and are now playing like it.

Top 5 losers since last week

  • Mets -9.1%
  • Rockies -7.9%
  • Phillies -7.7%
  • Pirates -4.9%
  • Brewers -4.7%

An all NL team in our top 5 losers this week, and they all have something in common. The heavy favorites in their division started playing much better this week, and so their odds took a hit. The Mets have fallen off a cliff to go along with the Nationals playing better so that’s why they lead this unfortunate group. But other than them, this is a collection of teams that the projections didn’t see as playoff teams coming into the season and are seeing some regression to the mean.

In-Season stats based odds

You can click the link up at the top to last week’s post to see the intro and primer for in-season based odds.

AL East

  • Yankees 93.4%
  • Red Sox 92.4%
  • Rays 5.8%
  • Blue Jays 2.0%
  • Orioles 0.0%

AL Central

  • Indians 69.5%
  • Twins 23.5%
  • Tigers 12.1%
  • White Sox 0.5%
  • Royals 0.3%

AL West

  • Astros 92.5%
  • Mariners 52.5%
  • Angles 42.4%
  • Athletics 13.9%
  • Rangers 0.3%

NL East

  • Braves 72.5%
  • Nationals 72.1%
  • Phillies 42.1%
  • Mets 3.3%
  • Marlins 0.0%

NL Central

  • Cubs 86.9%
  • Brewers 53.7%
  • Cardinals 30.8%
  • Pirates 14.3%
  • Reds 0.0%

NL West

  • Diamondback 46.1%
  • Dodgers 42.5%
  • Rockies 15.1%
  • Giants 15.1%
  • Padres 4.8%