AccuScore: Yankees face long odds

AccuScore uses past performance statistics to describe how players perform under different environmental, matchup, and game-situation conditions. Using projected starting lineups AccuScore simulates each game of the season one play at a time. By repeating the simulation 10,000 to 20,000 times per game AccuScore calculates the precise probability teams have of winning each game, winning their division, and making the playoffs. Visit AccuScore.com for weekly updates to the season forecast and all game forecasts.

AMERICAN LEAGUE

One of the expected contenders in the AL Central appears to be making a push to challenge the surprising Indians. Detroit went a perfect 5-0 last week and has won nine of its last 10 to cut Cleveland’s division lead to 3.5 games. That allowed the Tigers to make the biggest jump in playoff probability this week climbing 25.9 percentage points. The Indians only lost 5.2 percentage points this week, but the honeymoon might finally be over as the Tigers are starting to play up to their capabilities.

Boston is another team that looks to have found itself after a slow start to the year. The Red Sox are .500 at long last, and even if it took until the middle of May their fans probably love that it came via a sweep of the Yankees. Boston made the second-biggest leap in the AL, jumping 15.1 percentage points in the playoff race. New York meanwhile won only once (against the Royals) over the past week leading to a huge 31.1 percentage point drop. With the Tigers and Red Sox winning and the Rays continuing to play well, the Yankees have plenty of competition for the postseason. They also must deal with the Jorge Posada(notes) mess. Even bigger than the off-the-field issue is Posada’s performance on the field. His lineup spot has become a black hole, and the Yankees would be better served giving his at-bats to just about anybody else.

American League Weekly Review Playoff % Chance
Team 9-May 15-May % Diff Win Div
Detroit Tigers 17.0% 42.9% 25.9% 22.6%
Boston Red Sox 12.4% 27.5% 15.1% 9.9%
Texas Rangers 16.7% 20.9% 4.2% 13.6%
Toronto Blue Jays 0.8% 2.6% 1.8% 0.7%
Chicago White Sox 0.2% 1.3% 1.1% 0.5%
Tampa Bay Rays 86.2% 86.3% 0.1% 73.7%
Seattle Mariners 0.1% 0.1% 0.0% 0.1%
Baltimore Orioles 0.1% 0.0% -0.1% 0.0%
Oakland Athletics 2.4% 1.4% -1.0% 1.0%
Minnesota Twins 1.2% 0.0% -1.2% 0.0%
Los Angeles Angels 92.2% 87.8% -4.4% 85.2%
Kansas City Royals 12.2% 7.0% -5.2% 2.6%
Cleveland Indians 88.8% 83.6% -5.2% 74.3%
New York Yankees 69.6% 38.5% -31.1% 15.7%

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Cincinnati has started to get healthy, getting Johnny Cueto(notes), Homer Bailey(notes) and Scott Rolen(notes) back from the DL recently. That roster boost helped lead to a three-game sweep of St. Louis and a big 25.4 percentage point jump in the projected playoff standings. The Reds lead the Cardinals in the real standings by 1.5 games. Both Bailey and Cueto have pitched exceptionally well since returning to solidify the starting rotation.

Out West, the Giants reasserted their status as favorites. They had a solid 4-1 week to jump to 63.7 percent likelihood to win the division. While San Francisco rises in the standings, Colorado has gone the opposite direction. The Rockies have won just twice in their last 10 games, and even worse four of those losses came against the Mets and Padres. New York and San Diego have just a 2.4 percent chance to make the playoffs combined. Colorado dropped 24.3 percentage points this week. If the team is to bounce back, it needs to figure out how to return Ubaldo Jimenez(notes) to the ace form he showed in the first half of last season.

The Brewers had a soft recent schedule and took advantage by beating up on the Padres and Pirates. The Cardinals and Braves both dropped over 20 percentage points, but both are still in good shape in the playoff race. St. Louis is still the favorite in the Central at 53.6 percent, and Atlanta is 60.4 percent likely to make the postseason. On the bright side for the Braves was taking two of three games from rival Philadelphia.

National League Weekly Review Playoff % Chance
Team 9-May 15-May % Diff Win Div
Cincinnati Reds 13.8% 39.2% 25.4% 28.9%
San Francisco Giants 40.3% 64.3% 24.0% 63.7%
Florida Marlins 7.7% 22.2% 14.5% 6.4%
Milwaukee Brewers 10.4% 23.9% 13.5% 16.9%
Los Angeles Dodgers 10.8% 15.5% 4.7% 14.8%
Houston Astros 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Pittsburgh Pirates 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
New York Mets 0.1% 0.0% -0.1% 0.0%
Chicago Cubs 1.2% 1.1% -0.1% 0.6%
Washington Nationals 0.5% 0.2% -0.3% 0.0%
San Diego Padres 3.0% 2.4% -0.6% 2.4%
Arizona Diamondbacks 11.1% 6.7% -4.4% 6.4%
Philadelphia Phillies 93.1% 88.5% -4.6% 69.1%
St. Louis Cardinals 84.9% 62.2% -22.7% 53.6%
Colorado Rockies 37.6% 13.3% -24.3% 12.7%
Atlanta Braves 85.4% 60.4% -25.0% 24.5%