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.
After years of domination by New York and Boston, could this be the year Toronto and Baltimore rise up against the bullies of the American League East? It certainly looks that way after about a month of play. Tampa Bay has found plenty of success competing in the toughest division in baseball, but the Blue Jays and Orioles have both struggled to keep up on and off the field. The start to this season creates some hope that the AL East could be much more competitive this year, and even turn into a five-team race for the postseason.
The Orioles have to be the biggest surprise in baseball, having the best record at 19-9. They have won five straight by sweeping Boston at Fenway and taking two of three from New York in Yankee Stadium. The result this week is a massive 27.9 percent jump in playoff probability, up from just 3.6 percent last week.
Baltimore has succeeded in two ways. The first is a terrific bullpen that has helped shore up a shaky starting rotation. Orioles relievers have posted an amazing 1.41 ERA, which is over half a run better than the next best team (Rangers) and a full run better than the team in third (Yankees). The second source of success has been power. While the team batting average currently sits toward the middle of the pack, Baltimore has made those hits count, knocking 41 home runs which is the second most in baseball.
Toronto is also moving up the standings, making almost as big a gain as Baltimore this week (27.4 percent). The Blue Jays were considered much more talented than the Orioles, however, so a record at or above .500 would not be a shock. Their leap up the projections is fueled by a combination of Baltimore's success and the struggles of the Yankees and Red Sox this week.
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The standings in the AL East look upside down at the moment with Baltimore leading last place Boston by 7.5 games. New York sits in fourth place. The Yankees are still 57.2 percent likely to make the playoffs, but there is much more competition in the division this season.
|American League||Weekly Review||Playoff||% Chance|
|Team||30-Apr||6-May||% Diff||Win Div|
|Toronto Blue Jays||7.2%||34.7%||27.4%||3.3%|
|Los Angeles Angels||29.6%||35.5%||5.9%||5.9%|
|Kansas City Royals||1.3%||3.7%||2.4%||1.3%|
|Tampa Bay Rays||95.6%||97.7%||2.1%||85.1%|
|Chicago White Sox||7.8%||9.5%||1.6%||4.0%|
|New York Yankees||82.6%||57.2%||-25.3%||8.0%|
|Boston Red Sox||53.9%||10.5%||-43.5%||0.7%|
The Dodgers lost two road series last week to Chicago and Colorado but still made the biggest gain in the National League, up 26.6 percentage points from last week. They are now 86.2 percent likely to make the postseason and are 74.8 percent favorites to win the NL West. This might seem counterintuitive, but the results justify the leap. L.A. has continued to play well despite the losses, but the biggest factor in the rise up the projections is the poor play from the rest of the NL West.
The Giants, Diamondbacks, Padres and Rockies collectively went 9-16 last week. San Francisco is the only team at .500, but it suffered the biggest loss, losing 36.5 percentage points in the season projection. This is due to a sweep at home at the hands of the Marlins who are currently projected as one of the weakest teams in the NL. San Diego has already dropped to 0 percent to win the NL West in all simulations, and Colorado is in danger of doing the same. Arizona currently only makes the postseason 17.6 percent of the time, but there is reason for optimism in the desert. The D-Backs should get Stephen Drew and Chris Young back in the lineup sometime over the next month, and they have the most talented minor-league pitching among division rivals.
Los Angeles is basically filling a power vacuum in the West. Even if the Dodgers' play regresses back to a .500 level the rest of the season they are already eight games above .500. That would leave them with almost 90 wins which could easily be enough to win the division.
|National League||Weekly Review||Playoff||% Chance|
|Team||30-Apr||6-May||% Diff||Win Div|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||59.6%||86.2%||26.6%||74.8%|
|New York Mets||4.6%||5.3%||0.6%||0.9%|
|St. Louis Cardinals||87.0%||87.1%||0.1%||79.6%|
|San Diego Padres||0.2%||0.2%||0.0%||0.0%|
|San Francisco Giants||77.0%||40.5%||-36.5%||17.6%|
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