AccuScore: Reality bites for Marlins, Angels

Jonathan Lee, AccuScore
Yahoo! Sports

AccuScore provides baseball predictions and projections by calculating the 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, 10,000 times. Visit AccuScore for weekly updates for all baseball and sports predictions.

American League

The Angels began the season as potential threats to the Rangers in the AL West, and the only true contenders outside of the AL East for a wild card. They started just 6-14 and are in danger of becoming just another team on the outside looking in at the playoff chase.

Los Angeles hit the road looking to kick-start its season but went just 1-5 last week, getting swept by Tampa Bay and losing a series to Cleveland. As a result, it was the biggest loser in the projections dropping nearly 20 percentage points all the way down to just 29.6 percent playoff probability.

The struggles of Albert Pujols have been well chronicled, and his lack of production has really hurt a power-starved Angels lineup. He is still projected to hit nearly 30 home runs according to AccuScore simulations, but that number is rapidly dropping. Pujols began the year as the second best projected power hitter in the game behind Jose Bautista, but he has since been passed by six other players. No other Angel is forecasted to hit even 19 home runs over the rest of the season, so the power of Pujols is critical. The addition of Mike Trout could provide a boost to the offense. Trout should add some pop and speed, but his projected average is very poor, so he might not be the cure-all Halo fans are hoping for.

American League Weekly Review Playoff % Chance
Team 23-Apr 29-Apr % Diff Win Div
Tampa Bay Rays 65.9% 95.6% 29.7% 65.2%
New York Yankees 69.3% 82.6% 13.2% 26.3%
Oakland Athletics 3.4% 11.8% 8.4% 0.0%
Baltimore Orioles 1.3% 3.6% 2.4% 0.1%
Cleveland Indians 10.2% 11.8% 1.6% 4.5%
Texas Rangers 98.9% 99.5% 0.6% 99.5%
Minnesota Twins 0.2% 0.1% -0.1% 0.0%
Seattle Mariners 0.9% 0.7% -0.2% 0.0%
Kansas City Royals 2.0% 1.3% -0.7% 0.6%
Detroit Tigers 97.7% 94.1% -3.6% 92.0%
Chicago White Sox 14.5% 7.8% -6.6% 2.9%
Toronto Blue Jays 18.2% 7.2% -10.9% 0.4%
Boston Red Sox 67.8% 53.9% -13.9% 8.0%
Los Angeles Angels 49.2% 29.6% -19.7% 0.5%

National League

The Marlins were preseason media darlings after making a big splash in free agency by bringing in shortstop Jose Reyes and closer Heath Bell, along with hiring outspoken manager Ozzie Guillen. They also opened a sparkling new park in Miami, one that is already considered one of the best in baseball. The product on the field has not even come close to matching the hype, however, with the team getting off to an 8-13 start.

[MLB Full Count: Watch live look-ins and highlights for free all season long]

The betting line for Miami before the season was 85.5 wins, but AccuScore was never a believer, projecting just 75 wins for the season. That projection has actually inched slightly up to 76 wins, but the playoff probability has dropped all the way down to just 2.3 percent. The Marlins are struggling in all aspects of the game, ranking 28th overall in both on-base percentage and runs. The starting pitching has been average, but Bell has been a disaster as a closer. He has already blown three saves and has an ERA near 10.00.

The biggest problem for Miami is the strength of the NL East. The Braves, Phillies and Nationals all have deeper and more talented pitching staffs. The Braves have scored nearly 50 more runs than the Marlins, and the Nationals have help coming in the form of Bryce Harper, Michael Morse, and Ryan Zimmerman. Miami could struggle to score runs all season. With Miami already trailing by a significant margin in the standings, it is unlikely they can match their preseason hype. With every passing week, the Marlins reality becomes harder to ignore, and at the moment, that reality does not include the playoffs.

National League Weekly Review Playoff % Chance
Team 23-Apr 29-Apr % Diff Win Div
St. Louis Cardinals 71.5% 87.0% 15.5% 70.9%
Washington Nationals 26.6% 39.1% 12.4% 19.6%
San Francisco Giants 65.3% 77.0% 11.7% 56.6%
Los Angeles Dodgers 55.1% 59.6% 4.5% 33.3%
Atlanta Braves 60.6% 63.9% 3.3% 42.9%
New York Mets 3.4% 4.6% 1.2% 1.6%
Pittsburgh Pirates 0.4% 0.4% 0.1% 0.1%
Houston Astros 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
San Diego Padres 0.4% 0.2% -0.3% 0.1%
Chicago Cubs 1.2% 0.7% -0.5% 0.2%
Arizona Diamondbacks 21.9% 19.3% -2.5% 7.1%
Colorado Rockies 12.4% 9.2% -3.2% 3.0%
Miami Marlins 7.2% 2.3% -4.9% 0.9%
Philadelphia Phillies 68.7% 57.2% -11.6% 34.9%
Milwaukee Brewers 42.0% 30.0% -12.1% 9.5%
Cincinnati Reds 61.9% 48.4% -13.5% 19.4%