AccuScore: White Sox, white heat

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 at-bat 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, making the playoffs, advancing in the playoffs and winning the World Series. Here is the AccuScore.com analysis of the 2010 MLB season after 14 weeks of play. Visit AccuScore.com for daily updates to the season forecast and all game forecasts updated twice a day.

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Things could not have gone much better for the White Sox, who went 7-0 and picked up nearly 25 percentage points to lead the AL Central with a 38.5 percent chance of winning the division. The Tigers went 5-1, which ordinarily would have helped them pick up 5 to 10 percentage Points. But with the White Sox playing so well, the Tigers actually dropped 7.7 points. The Twins were 2-4, and not surprisingly they plummeted over 16 percentage points.

Of course the team that really nosedived this week was the Boston Red Sox, who saw their playoff chances cut in half after their main competition, the Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees both, went 6-1. The Rays picked up 18 points while the Yankees gaine 7.4 points. The Rays picked up considerably more ground because they swept Boston while the Yankees beat the weaker Athletics and Mariners. Based on the current AccuScore forecast, the Yankees should finish with 99 or 100 wins and a five-game lead over Tampa Bay.

The Texas Rangers somehow were swept by the Baltimore Orioles at home. They were just 2-5, but somehow they have picked up 8.5 points. Even though Cliff Lee(notes) lost his debut to Baltimore, the stats indicate that Lee will help Texas win as many as four more games than they would have without him and he doubled their chances of getting to the World Series. The Rangers also benefited from the rest of the division going a combined 4-16.

AMERICAN LEAGUE WEEK 14 REVIEW PLAYOFF % CHANCE
TEAM 5-Jul 12-Jul % DIFF WIN DIV
Chicago White Sox 16.2% 41.0% 24.8% 38.5%
Tampa Bay Rays 53.9% 72.2% 18.3% 18.1%
Texas Rangers 89.6% 98.1% 8.5% 98.1%
New York Yankees 87.8% 95.2% 7.4% 78.0%
Baltimore Orioles 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Cleveland Indians 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Kansas City Royals 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Toronto Blue Jays 0.7% 0.5% -0.2% 0.0%
Seattle Mariners 0.7% 0.0% -0.7% 0.0%
Oakland Athletics 2.5% 1.2% -1.3% 1.1%
Los Angeles Angels 8.5% 0.9% -7.6% 0.8%
Detroit Tigers 39.4% 31.7% -7.7% 29.0%
Minnesota Twins 51.2% 34.7% -16.5% 32.5%
Boston Red Sox 49.5% 24.5% -25.0% 3.9%

NATIONAL LEAGUE

The San Francisco Giants were 6-1 and picked up 21.5 percentage points because all the games were on the road. The Rockies were close behind after a stellar 5-1 week which included taking two of three from league leader San Diego. With the Dodgers also having a winning week, the Padres were the big loser in the division, dropping from a 48 percent chance of making the playoffs to 38 percent. The Padres may be leading the NL West at the All-Star break but the Dodgers have the best chance of winning the division at 50.1 percent. The Dodgers have dominated within the division, going 23-6, and if this continues they will take the top spot. But the Rockies, Padres and Giants all have a decent chance of making the playoffs.

The Braves had a tough road schedule against Philadelphia and the Mets, but they still managed to go 4-2 and pick up 18 percent in the playoff race. The Phillies managed to recover from their losses to Atlanta with a crucial four-game sweep against the Reds. The Mets meanwhile did not recover from the losses to Atlanta and the 18 percent Atlanta picked up came at the expense of the Mets, who lost 18.7 percent.

The warning that AccuScore has made for the past month for the Reds was that when they started playing more road games their division lead could slip. The week started great with two wins in three games against the Mets, but the awful sweep in Philadelphia – which included an extra-inning loss, blowing a six-run lead in the ninth inning and two shutouts – has dropped them to having just a one-game lead in the NL Central. St. Louis was just 2-4 but managed to drop only 8.7 points thanks to the Reds’ tough series. The Cardinals still have four more home games than road games this year and the Reds have two more road games than home games. This advantage should be enough for St. Louis to finish with a one-game lead at the end of the year. Regardless of who wins the division, both the Cardinals and Reds have a better chance of getting the wild-card berth than any other non-division leader in the NL.

NATIONAL LEAGUE WEEK 14 REVIEW PLAYOFF % CHANCE
TEAM 5-Jul 12-Jul % DIFF WIN DIV
San Francisco Giants 3.7% 25.2% 21.5% 12.2%
Atlanta Braves 40.7% 58.8% 18.1% 51.4%
Colorado Rockies 24.0% 34.4% 10.4% 17.5%
Florida Marlins 9.6% 13.2% 3.6% 9.9%
Philadelphia Phillies 28.7% 32.2% 3.5% 23.5%
Los Angeles Dodgers 65.3% 67.2% 1.9% 50.1%
Chicago Cubs 0.3% 0.6% 0.3% 0.5%
Arizona Diamondbacks 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Houston Astros 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Pittsburgh Pirates 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Milwaukee Brewers 0.6% 0.2% -0.4% 0.2%
Washington Nationals 3.5% 1.6% -1.9% 1.2%
St. Louis Cardinals 76.0% 67.3% -8.7% 63.3%
San Diego Padres 48.4% 38.3% -10.1% 20.2%
New York Mets 37.4% 18.7% -18.7% 14.0%
Cincinnati Reds 61.6% 42.3% -19.3% 35.9%