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AccuScore: White Sox enter the playoff picture

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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

Most baseball fans would go through 100 pitchers or more before getting to Philip Humber of the Chicago White Sox if they were ranking the best in baseball. But there was the 29-year-old right-hander dealing against the Mariners and notching just the 21st perfect game in MLB history. Humber has now allowed just one run and six hits in 14.1 innings this season with 16 strikeouts and three walks.

AccuScore projections are much more conservative for him for the rest of the season, however, forecasting a 3.96 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 7.2 K/9 and a 12-9 record.

[Video: Philip Humber could be a great fit for fantasy teams]

Humber's performance was part of a 4-3 week for the White Sox which included a road sweep of the Mariners. Despite the modest record and competition, it was enough to push Chicago up to 21.4 percent in playoff probability, just two percent less likely for the postseason than Boston. The White Sox are being propelled not just by Humber, but by a strong overall pitching staff. The team ERA and WHIP are an impressive 3.16 and 1.10, and five pitchers are averaging more than a strikeout per inning. If the pitching staff remains healthy, it could keep Chicago on the fringes of the race for the second wild card.

American League Weekly Review Playoff % Chance
Team 16-Apr 22-Apr % Diff Win Div
New York Yankees 69.3% 90.7% 21.4% 57.3%
Tampa Bay Rays 65.9% 81.6% 15.7% 36.1%
Chicago White Sox 14.5% 21.4% 6.9% 4.1%
Toronto Blue Jays 18.2% 20.4% 2.3% 3.4%
Cleveland Indians 10.2% 11.3% 1.2% 1.8%
Texas Rangers 98.9% 99.2% 0.3% 98.6%
Baltimore Orioles 1.3% 2.1% 0.8% 0.1%
Minnesota Twins 0.2% 0.2% 0.0% 0.1%
Oakland Athletics 3.4% 3.2% -0.2% 0.0%
Seattle Mariners 0.9% 0.4% -0.5% 0.0%
Detroit Tigers 97.7% 97.1% -0.5% 93.9%
Kansas City Royals 2.0% 0.8% -1.2% 0.1%
Los Angeles Angels 49.2% 48.0% -1.3% 1.4%
Boston Red Sox 67.8% 23.5% -44.3% 3.0%

National League

Matt Kemp is the story in the National League and with good reason. He is currently locked into a zone not seen since perhaps Barry Bonds at his peak in the early 2000s. AccuScore projects Kemp to finish the season with nearly 42 home runs, 123 RBIs, 29 steals and a .325 average and .394 on-base percentage. His performance has propelled the Dodgers to the best record in the league at 12-4.

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Matt Kemp

While Kemp's individual performance has kept L.A. in playoff contention, Washington has used a team approach to match the Dodgers at 12-4. The Nationals went 5-1 over the past week, sweeping Houston in the process, and now make the playoffs in more than 50 percent of simulations. There is a strong argument to make that they have the best rotation, one through five, in the NL (perhaps in all of baseball). Ace Stephen Strasburg is forecasted by AccuScore to finish the year with a 2.60 ERA and 1.07 WHIP, and a 17-5 record. Jordan Zimmerman is projected to be nearly as good with a 3.01 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and a 13.5–10 record. Gio Gonzalez and Ross Detwiler are also projected to continue their strong starts while offseason acquisition Edwin Jackson is clearly rated as the fifth-best starter for Washington with a respectable forecast of a 3.92 ERA, 1.37 WHIP and 7.0 K/9.

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The success of the Nationals could be more sustainable than the Dodgers because the strength of the team is in the rotation rather than one superstar hitter. The Nats also have internal sources of improvement if Michael Morse and Drew Storen can return from injuries. Washington looks to be a real threat in the NL East, and it has negatively affected Atlanta's chances at the postseason. This week, the Braves lost nearly 14 percentage points in playoff probability despite going 5-2 because of the heightened forecast for the Nationals. With the Nationals having the sixth-youngest roster in the major leagues, Washington should continue to be a force in the NL East for years to come.

National League Weekly Review Playoff % Chance
Team 16-Apr 22-Apr % Diff Win Div
Washington Nationals 26.6% 51.1% 24.4% 28.4%
St. Louis Cardinals 71.5% 85.2% 13.7% 63.9%
Milwaukee Brewers 42.0% 46.4% 4.3% 16.9%
Colorado Rockies 12.4% 14.4% 2.0% 7.6%
Los Angeles Dodgers 55.1% 56.6% 1.5% 38.6%
Miami Marlins 7.2% 8.2% 1.1% 3.0%
Houston Astros 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
San Francisco Giants 65.3% 65.3% 0.0% 49.2%
Pittsburgh Pirates 0.4% 0.2% -0.2% 0.0%
San Diego Padres 0.4% 0.1% -0.3% 0.1%
New York Mets 3.4% 2.7% -0.7% 0.8%
Chicago Cubs 1.2% 0.3% -0.9% 0.1%
Philadelphia Phillies 68.7% 63.9% -4.8% 42.2%
Cincinnati Reds 61.9% 49.5% -12.4% 19.0%
Arizona Diamondbacks 21.9% 8.4% -13.5% 4.5%
Atlanta Braves 60.6% 46.8% -13.9% 25.7%

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