AccuScore: Rise of the Indians

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 predictions.

American League

Cleveland resurrected its playoff hopes by going 4-1 this week including a series win against Central-leading Detroit. The Indians have been fueled by the offense of Jason Kipnis(notes), and recently got outfielder Shin-Soo Choo(notes) back from the disabled list. They nearly doubled their chances of winning the division, gaining 12.2 percentage points in playoff probability. The Tigers consequently fell 16.5 percentage points. The two teams still have nine head-to-head matchups remaining, including another set of three in Detroit. The White Sox are still lurking behind in third, but have finally reached .500 and remain just four games off the lead.

Newcomer Jason Kipnis has led the surge for the Indians.
(Getty Images)

The other notable move up this week was the Texas Rangers, who went 5-1 against Western division foes. The Rangers are now 96.8 percent likely to make the postseason, up 8.8 percentage points from last week. On the other side of the coin, the Angels lost four of six games on a road trip through the East and fell 8.9 percentage points. They have just a 3.3 percent chance of winning the West. New York and Boston remain firmly in control of two playoff spots, one as the AL East winner and the other as the wild card. The Red Sox are still the favorite to win the division.

American League

Weekly Review Playoff % Chance
Team 8-Aug 14-Aug % Diff Win Div
Cleveland Indians 12.1% 24.3% 12.2% 24.3%
Texas Rangers 88.0% 96.8% 8.8% 96.7%
Chicago White Sox 2.3% 6.5% 4.2% 6.5%
Tampa Bay Rays 1.1% 1.6% 0.5% 0.1%
Kansas City Royals 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Toronto Blue Jays 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Baltimore Orioles 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
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%
New York Yankees 98.8% 98.7% -0.1% 35.5%
Boston Red Sox 99.6% 99.3% -0.3% 64.4%
Los Angeles Angels 12.5% 3.6% -8.9% 3.3%
Detroit Tigers 85.7% 69.2% -16.5% 69.2%

National League

One of the biggest surprises in baseball has to be the rise of the Diamondbacks. For the first time all season, Arizona is now the favorite to win the NL West at 60.2 percent compared to 39.8 percent for San Francisco. The D’backs gained 23.2 percentage points, dominating the bottom dwellers in the league (HOU, NYM) for a 6-1 week. The Giants have continued to struggle offensively and played most of the past week without Carlos Beltran(notes). San Francisco trails Arizona by two games in the real standings but still has a far superior pitching staff. Those pitchers will need to carry the team if it is to make the postseason to defend the World Series title.

Milwaukee gained 12.8 percentage points to become the runaway favorite to win the NL Central. The Brewers win the division in 94.6 percent of simulations. They took two of three games in their recent series with the Cardinals. St. Louis trails Milwaukee by five games in the real standings and is down to just a 5.3 percent chance of a division title. The Reds have underachieved, accruing a plus-43 run differential, but the Reds are still three games under .500. By comparison, Cincinnati’s run differential is 16 better than the West leading Diamondbacks.

Philadelphia continues to be the only team in baseball to make the playoffs in every simulation. Atlanta continues to have a stranglehold on the wild card at 89.5 percent despite just a one-percent chance at catching the Phillies.

National League

Weekly Review Playoff % Chance
Team 8-Aug 14-Aug % Diff Win Div
Arizona Diamondbacks 38.8% 62.0% 23.2% 60.2%
Milwaukee Brewers 82.5% 95.3% 12.8% 94.6%
Atlanta Braves 80.4% 89.5% 9.1% 1.0%
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%
Pittsburgh Pirates 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%
Philadelphia Phillies 100.0% 100.0% 0.0% 99.0%
Los Angeles Dodgers 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
New York Mets 0.1% 0.0% -0.1% 0.0%
Cincinnati Reds 0.4% 0.1% -0.3% 0.1%
St. Louis Cardinals 31.3% 11.4% -19.9% 5.3%
San Francisco Giants 66.4% 41.7% -24.7% 39.8%

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Updated Monday, Aug 15, 2011