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))
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!
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.