FanPost

Final Standings Predictions (With Real Math!)

So since it's the All-Star break and there aren't any games three of the next four days, I thought it might be fun to try and figure out what the final standings might look like.

Here's what I did: I took each team's first-half actual results, then I figured out how many games each team would win in the second half based on the strength of their schedules, added that to the actual first-half results, and bam! expected overall season standings.

To calculate expected second-half wins, I took each team's first-half pythagorean winning pct [RS^2/(RS^2+RA^2)] and assumed that would be the quality of each team's play the rest of the way.

I then figured out each team's remaining games' head-to-head probability based on each team's pythag and their opponents' pythag. To calculate the likelihood that Team A would beat Team B, I used this formula, where p is Team A's pythag, and q is their opponent's pythag: (p*(1-q))/(p*(1-q)+q*(1-p))

For example, say the Indians have the following schedule: 3 games vs. the Twins, 3 games vs. the Mariners, then 3 games vs. the Rangers. The probability tables would look like this:

Tm OPP TmPyth OPPPyth p(W)
CLE MIN .528 .441 .587
CLE MIN .528 .441 .587
CLE MIN .528 .441 .587
CLE SEA .528 .432 .596
CLE SEA .528 .432 .596
CLE SEA .528 .432 .596
CLE TEX .528 .529 .500
CLE TEX .528 .529 .500
CLE TEX .528 .529 .500


where TmPyth is the Indians pythag, OPPPyth is their opponent's pythag, and p(W) is the probability the Indians will win that game based on said pythags.


The Indians' first-half pythag is .528, the Twins' is .441, the Mariners' is .432 and the Rangers' is .529. The likelihood of a .528 team beating a .441 Twins team is .587, of beating the .432 Mariners would be .596, and of beating the .529 Rangers is .500. This creates a win probability for each game. I simply took the total of that last column, and based on the strength of schedule, you can see that the Indians would win 5.05 of these 9 games, and thus lose 3.95.

I basically did this for every remaining game for each team and calculated the number of wins and losses they will probably get in the second half based on the strength of their opponents the rest of the way, and then simply added this to their actual first-half wins and losses.

Without further delay, the expected final standings!

ALE W L RS RA Pyth W_E2 L_E2 W_E L_E GB PO
BOS 58 39 498 407 .600 39 26 97 65 - DIV
TBR 55 41 449 389 .571 37 29 92 70 5 W1
BAL 53 43 462 435 .530 34 32 87 75 10
NYY 51 44 373 375 .497 32 35 83 79 14
TOR 45 49 428 440 .486 32 36 77 85 20

ALC W L RS RA Pyth W_E2 L_E2 W_E L_E GB PO
DET 52 42 477 388 .602 43 25 95 67 - DIV
CLE 51 44 454 429 .528 37 30 88 74 7
KCR 43 49 365 373 .489 34 36 77 85 17
MIN 39 53 379 427 .441 31 39 70 92 24
CHW 37 55 345 405 .421 28 42 65 97 30

ALW W L RS RA Pyth W_E2 L_E2 W_E L_E GB PO
OAK 56 39 429 367 .577 40 27 96 66 - DIV
TEX 54 41 411 388 .529 37 30 91 71 5 W2
LAA 44 49 430 434 .495 34 35 78 84 18
SEA 43 52 373 428 .432 29 38 72 90 24
HOU 33 61 351 494 .335 23 45 56 106 40

NLE W L RS RA Pyth W_E2 L_E2 W_E L_E GB PO
ATL 54 41 415 337 .603 42 25 96 66 - DIV
WSN 48 47 357 371 .481 33 34 81 81 15
PHI 48 48 371 416 .443 29 37 77 85 19
NYM 41 50 376 403 .465 34 37 75 87 21
MIA 35 58 306 395 .375 26 43 61 101 36

NLC W L RS RA Pyth W_E2 L_E2 W_E L_E GB PO
STL 57 36 462 335 .655 44 25 101 61 - DIV
PIT 56 37 357 311 .569 38 31 94 68 7 W1
CIN 53 42 413 350 .582 39 28 92 70 9 W2
CHC 42 51 384 394 .487 33 36 75 87 26
MIL 38 56 369 434 .420 27 41 65 97 36

NLW W L RS RA Pyth W_E2 L_E2 W_E L_E GB PO
ARI 50 45 399 390 .511 35 32 85 77 - DIV
COL 46 50 426 425 .501 33 33 79 83 5
LAD 47 47 360 378 .476 32 36 79 83 6
SFG 43 51 378 418 .450 31 37 74 88 10
SDP 42 54 379 440 .426 27 39 69 93 15

where W and L=Actual 1st-half wins and losses; W_E2 and L_E2 are the expected second-half wins and losses; and W_E and L_E are expected overall final records, the sum of the actual first half and predicted second half wins and losses.

Your AL Division winners are the Tigers, Red Sox and A's, with the Rays and Rangers the Wild Card teams; in the NL it's the Cardinals, Braves and Diamondbacks with both Wild Cards coming from the NL Central, the Pirates and Reds. Incidentally, this means the playoff teams would be the exact ones in line to make the playoffs as of the All-Star break.

One interesting thing is that every winning team in the NL would make the playoffs, whereas in the AL a couple of good teams (Indians and Orioles) get the shaft.

Every division would be won by 5 or more games, and in both leages the Wild Cards would be won by pretty large margins - the Rangers would finish 3 games ahead of the Indians, while in the NL the Reds would finish 11 games ahead of the Nats. So there may be little to no playoff drama in the final week.

The best team in baseball would be the Cards at 101-61, and the worst team would be the Astros who would go 56-106. The Tigers would go an amazing 43-25 in the second half, thanks to a very easy schedule featuring 16 games against the White Sox, and the Cardinals would go 44-25 the rest of the way; while the lowly Astros will go 23-45 and the Marlins will go 26-43.

The first round of the playoffs would probably go Red Sox vs Rays/Rangers, and Tigers vs. A's; in the NL it would be Cards vs. Pirates/Reds and Diamondbacks vs. Braves.

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