AccuScore: Week 2 playoff projections

AccuScore uses past player performance statistics to describe how players perform under different environmental, match-up, and game situation conditions. Using projected starting lineups AccuScore simulates each game of the 2009 Season one at bat at a time. By repeating the simulation 10,000 to 20,000 times per game AccuScore calculates the precise probability each team has of winning each game, winning their division, making the playoffs, advancing in the playoffs and winning the World Series. Here's AccuScore.com's analysis of the 2009 season after two weeks of play.

It is not smart to positively overreact to one great opening week or be too disappointed by an early season stumble. After two weeks, it may be time to start taking notice.

AMERICAN LEAGUE

The Blue Jays remained hot and for the second straight week they are the #1 team in terms of improving their chances of making the playoffs. They improved +3 percent last week and zoomed up +8.5 percent this week. Not only did they go a solid 5-3 this week, they were helped out by the other Week 1 upstart in their division – Baltimore – coming back to earth (lost their last four games).

The Yankees are technically second in the division but they suffered one of the biggest drops of the season because of how bad Chien-Ming Wang has looked. His serious drop-off in performance has cost the Yankees a full five projected wins as the Yankees were expected to win 60 percent of Wang's starts (team wins 20 games Wang starts) and now they are winning 50 percent (team wins 15 of his starts). If Wang can make an instant turnaround in his next start the Yankees could be one of the top improvements next week.

The Angels injuries have opened things up for Seattle. In AccuScore's pre-season forecast the Mariners were projected for an 11 win improvement, but now they are poised for as much as a 17+ win improvement.

AMERICAN LEAGUE

WEEK 2 REVIEW

PLAYOFF

% CHANCE

TEAM

APR 12

APR 20

% DIFF

WIN DIV

Chicago White Sox

19.8%

28.3%

8.5%

21.0%

Toronto Blue Jays

23.6%

31.1%

7.5%

19.6%

Seattle Mariners

19.6%

24.3%

4.7%

21.0%

Kansas City Royals

25.0%

26.8%

1.8%

19.4%

Cleveland Indians

26.9%

28.5%

1.6%

21.2%

Detroit Tigers

26.0%

27.4%

1.4%

20.2%

Boston Red Sox

44.2%

44.6%

0.4%

32.7%

Tampa Bay Rays

34.1%

32.5%

-1.6%

21.1%

Texas Rangers

35.3%

33.5%

-1.8%

30.3%

Oakland Athletics

21.6%

19.3%

-2.3%

16.6%

Los Angeles Angels

39.3%

35.5%

-3.8%

32.1%

Minnesota Twins

29.7%

25.1%

-4.6%

18.2%

Baltimore Orioles

15.2%

9.2%

-6.0%

4.8%

New York Yankees

39.8%

33.8%

-6.0%

21.8%

Copyright AccuScore.com

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Pre-season NL West rivals like Arizona and San Francisco are both just 4-8 while the Dodgers have the second-best record in the league. The Dodgers already have a huge 61 percent chance of winning the division and as a result have a league-leading 57 percent chance of making the playoffs. AccuScore suggested tempered enthusiasm for the Marlins 4-1 Week 1 because they benefited by a relatively soft schedule (at home vs. WAS). After taking 2 of 3 from the Mets, sweeping the Braves and getting 3 road wins in Washington, Florida has dominated NL East rivals and are once again right at the top of the list for teams that improved their playoff chances the most.

AccuScore projected a surprisingly strong year for the Giants (83 wins), but they are just 4-8 and suffered a full -10 percent drop in playoff probability this week. However, if the Giants offense can show any life this team could turn it around. Tim Lincecum gave up 0 runs with 13 Ks, but the team lost 2-0. Besides Barry Zito, the rest of the starting rotation had a great week and the Giants could still surprise the league if they have an average offense.

The Braves were the team that had the second best improvement in the NL after Week 1, but now they are the team with the second-biggest drop in the NL. When you drop five of six that is what will happen.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

WEEK 2 REVIEW

PLAYOFF

% CHANCE

TEAM

APR 12

APR 20

% DIFF

WIN DIV

Los Angeles Dodgers

42.8%

56.6%

13.8%

50.8%

Florida Marlins

26.9%

36.3%

9.4%

29.3%

San Diego Padres

18.8%

23.2%

4.4%

16.0%

Cincinnati Reds

17.4%

20.3%

2.9%

12.9%

St. Louis Cardinals

35.7%

38.5%

2.8%

28.7%

Philadelphia Phillies

29.4%

31.1%

1.7%

24.4%

New York Mets

32.2%

33.6%

1.4%

26.4%

Chicago Cubs

42.8%

42.6%

-0.2%

32.9%

Pittsburgh Pirates

6.7%

6.4%

-0.3%

3.7%

Houston Astros

18.0%

15.9%

-2.1%

9.5%

Milwaukee Brewers

22.0%

19.4%

-2.6%

12.3%

Arizona Diamondbacks

21.8%

18.4%

-3.4%

12.9%

Washington Nationals

9.8%

4.6%

-5.2%

3.2%

Colorado Rockies

14.6%

9.0%

-5.6%

5.9%

Atlanta Braves

29.5%

22.8%

-6.7%

16.7%

San Francisco Giants

31.6%

21.2%

-10.4%

14.5%

Copyright AccuScore.com

OTHER TRENDS OF NOTE

The team that Vegas odds-makers favor have only won 53 percent of the time (up slightly from 52.6 percent after Week 1). AccuScore's simulation favorite (the team winning over 50 percent of the simulations) has won 58.5 percent of the time. There are two reasons why AccuScore is doing so well (for the third straight season). The first reason is Vegas and the Public are too focused on last year's trends and performances. AccuScore is blind to previous year's team performances and instead focused on individual play-by-play statistical performance. Our objective, unbiased system allows us to set the "true odds" of a game and not the odds people expect to see. The second reason, is Lady Luck is smiling on AccuScore. Either way, now is a good time to check out AccuScore.com.