If the Season Ended Yesterday: A Phanatic Phinish

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For the third week in a row we have a new frontrunner in our postseason simulation series. If the season ended yesterday, the Philadelphia Phillies would repeat their 2008 glory and avenge their 2009 loss to the New York Yankees. So says our Log5 postseason simulator based on numbers from Baseball Prospectus.

There's more to this story than the Phillies' impending triumph, including what happens if the Tigers and Rangers switch places. Keep reading to find out more.

Probability of Postseason Series Victory 9/7/2011
Inputs Outputs
Team Seed Talent LDS% LCS% WS% WS HFA
NYY 1 0.644 58.4% 34.2% 21.5% -0.8%
DET 2 0.568 38.0% 13.8% 6.4% -1.0%
TEX 3 0.609 41.6% 20.6% 11.4% -0.4%
BOS WC 0.638 62.0% 31.4% 19.3% -0.8%
PHI 1 0.624 72.3% 50.0% 25.5% 2.0%
MIL 2 0.550 55.6% 22.4% 7.8% 0.5%
ARI 3 0.508 27.7% 11.9% 3.2% 0.2%
ATL WC 0.528 44.4% 15.7% 4.9% 0.2%
AL 58.6% -2.9%
NL 41.4% 2.9%

Figures of Note:

  • Should the Phillies win the World Series, they have Prince Fielder to thank, among others. His phenomenal performance in the 2011 All Star Game helped secure home field for the National League, which is currently worth two percentage points for Philadelphia's WS%.
  • Should the Brewers win it all, they have Roy Halladay to thank, among others. His strong appearance in the Arizona Midsummer Classic helped secure home field for the NL, which is currently worth half a percentage point for Milwaukee's WS%.
  • Should any of the American League teams lose the World Series, they'll have C.J. Wilson to blame, in part. His dismal performance-- well, you get the picture.
  • The Rangers and Tigers are neck-and-neck right now for the second seed in the AL race. If Detroit (currently the two-seed) and Texas swap spots, New York's chances of winning the AL increase by 2.5%, Texas' by 1.1%. On the flip side, Detroit's drop by 1% and the Boston Red Sox's by 2.6%.
  • If the Rangers weren't in the way, the Angels would have a 9:1 shot at the AL Pennant and a 22:1 shot at the World Series.
  • In this scenario, the Yankees would jump into a dead heat with the Phillies in WS%, 25.8% to 26%.

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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