AccuScore: Phillies can’t miss

AccuScore provides baseball predictions and projections by calculating the precise probability teams have of winning each game, their division, and making the playoffs. Using projected starting lineups, baseball predictions are created by simulating each game of the season, one play at a time, up to 10,000 to 20,000 times. Visit AccuScore for weekly updates for all baseball and sports prediction.

National League

As Week 18 begins, the Philadelphia Phillies have become the first team in baseball to reach 100 percent in the playoff probabilities. They went 6-1 on a road trip through the NL West and are now forecasted to win 105 games. The Braves have just a 1.1 percent chance of catching Philadelphia for the NL East Division title, but are still in the driver’s seat for the wild card. Atlanta is still reaching the postseason in 80.7 percent of simulations.

For Ryan Howard and the Phillies, the remainder of the regular season is a warmup for the playoffs.
(Getty Images)

Arizona took two of three games from the front-running Giants and improved 15.6 percentage points in playoff probability. The Diamondbacks only trail San Francisco by half a game and have a 36.3 percent chance to win the West. The Giants salvaged the finalé Sunday against the Phillies but lost three of four in the series. They dropped 19.1 percentage points in the forecasted standings. Arizona actually is the only team in the NL West with a positive run differential (+22).

Milwaukee, meanwhile, gained 16.9 percentage points with a 5-1 week including two wins against St. Louis. The Brewers have taken the mantle of Central favorites and have a 79.3 percent chance of winning the division. This is all despite their complete lack of a competent infield. They will take on St. Louis in another three-game series to start Week 19. The party is completely over for the Pirates as they have lost 10 games in a row and 12 of 13. Pittsburgh lost its 0.2 percent chance of reaching the playoffs and now no longer makes the postseason in any simulations.

National League Weekly Review Playoff % Chance
Team 1-Aug 7-Aug % Diff Win Div
Milwaukee Brewers 66.5% 83.4% 16.9% 79.3%
Arizona Diamondbacks 23.6% 39.2% 15.6% 36.3%
Philadelphia Phillies 99.9% 100.0% 0.1% 98.9%
Washington Nationals 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Houston Astros 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Florida Marlins 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Colorado Rockies 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
San Diego Padres 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Chicago Cubs 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Los Angeles Dodgers 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Pittsburgh Pirates 0.2% 0.0% -0.2% 0.0%
New York Mets 0.3% 0.0% -0.3% 0.0%
Cincinnati Reds 1.2% 0.4% -0.8% 0.2%
Atlanta Braves 82.5% 80.7% -1.8% 1.1%
St. Louis Cardinals 41.0% 30.7% -10.3% 20.5%
San Francisco Giants 84.6% 65.5% -19.1% 63.7%

American League

Zero teams in the AL Central have a positive run differential. That means Detroit, Cleveland, Chicago, Minnesota and Kansas City have all been outscored on the season. Still, somebody has to win the division and that team appears to be the Tigers. Detroit won a series against fellow contender Texas as part of a 4-2 week, and is 84.2 percent likely to make the postseason. All of those playoff appearances in simulations were via a division title meaning the Tigers have no shot at a wild card berth.

The fourth playoff team in the American League is almost a lock to come from the East via either New York or Boston. The Red Sox used a comeback Sunday night to take a one-game lead in the division, and stay at 71.9 percent probability in the forecasted standings. The Angels and Rangers still have a very slight chance at the wild card, but it remains highly unlikely both can make the postseason.

American League Weekly Review Playoff % Chance
Team 1-Aug 7-Aug % Diff Win Div
Detroit Tigers 77.6% 84.2% 6.6% 84.2%
New York Yankees 96.1% 98.6% 2.5% 28.0%
Los Angeles Angels 12.8% 13.5% 0.7% 13.0%
Kansas City Royals 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Baltimore Orioles 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Boston Red Sox 99.8% 99.8% 0.0% 71.9%
Seattle Mariners 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Oakland Athletics 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Minnesota Twins 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Toronto Blue Jays 0.1% 0.0% -0.1% 0.0%
Tampa Bay Rays 2.0% 0.8% -1.2% 0.0%
Texas Rangers 89.1% 87.3% -1.8% 87.0%
Chicago White Sox 6.8% 3.8% -3.0% 3.8%
Cleveland Indians 15.7% 12.0% -3.7% 12.0%

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Updated Monday, Aug 8, 2011