Postseason Projections: Rangers on Track for First World Championship


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In this postseason debut of my 2011 projections--and for the first time since I started running the numbers--the Texas Rangers find themselves in the driver's seat. It's the first time since mid-August that an AL team is good enough to overcome their peers and the NL's 2-3% home field advantage to claim the top spot. So says our Log5 postseason simulator based on numbers from Baseball Prospectus.

As it stands now, the Phillies (big surprise) will host Texas' first World Championship. The two pennant winners will vanquish the Brewers and Yankees in the LCS.

Probability of Postseason Series Victory 9/30/2011
Inputs Outputs
Team Seed Talent LDS% LCS% WS% WS HFA
NYY 1 0.615 56.5% 28.1% 16.7% -0.7%
TEX 2 0.640 60.8% 35.4% 22.9% -0.6%
DET 3 0.589 43.5% 18.4% 9.9% -0.3%
TBR WC 0.592 39.2% 18.0% 9.8% -0.4%
PHI 1 0.605 65.4% 43.4% 21.3% 1.2%
MIL 2 0.554 58.0% 24.9% 9.4% 0.6%
ARI 3 0.519 42.0% 14.6% 4.5% 0.3%
STL WC 0.530 34.6% 17.0% 5.6% 0.0%
AL 59.2% -2.0%
NL 40.8% 2.0%

Figures of Note:
  • With either the Yanks or the Rangers likely to represent the Junior Circuit, the American League are 2:3 favorites to defeat the National League and their 2% home field advantage in the World Series.
  • The Tigers have a 43.5% shot to repeat their 2006 conquest of the Yankees in the ALDS and a 18.4% chance to return to the World Series.
  • In other five-year anniversary news, Cardinals have a 17% chance to return to the World Series and a 5.6% chance to repeat their improbable victory
  • The odds of a 2006 World Series rematch--Cardinals vs. Tigers--are a slim 33:1.
  • The likelihood of a 2001 rematch--Yankees and Diamondbacks--is 4.1%.
  • The likelihood of a 2008 rematch--Rays and Phillies--is 7.8%.
  • The likelihood of a 2009 rematch--Yanks and Phillies--is 12.2%
  • The likelihood of a 1964 rematch--Yanks and Cardinals--is 4.8%, although word is that Bob Gibson and Mel Stottlemyre are unavailable.

Methodology: Our simulator predicts the outcome of every possible single-game match-up in every potential five- and seven-game series match-up between the eight teams currently in line for a playoff berth. Baseball Prospectus' Adjusted Hit List serves as proxy for true talent. We use the Log5 method to predict single-game match-ups, adjusting each number to reflect a 0.540 home field advantage (based on Matt Swartz's findings). The simulator does not adjust for roster discrepancies, pitching rotations, or any stadium-specific home field advantages that may or may not exist.

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