With six games left in the season, the Cleveland Indians have reached a new high watermark in their playoff odds. The three major sites — Baseball Prospectus, FanGraphs and Cool Standings — all agree that the team’s odds are more than 70 percent.
A week ago, after the previous four-game sweep over the Chicago White Sox, the team’s playoff probability was finally creeping up over 50 percent. With another four-game sweep in hand, the odds jumped up even more over the weekend.
Here’s where each site stands right now:
Baseball Prospectus: (link)
Rays — 90.1%, 89.9-72.1 final record
Indians — 72.8%, 89.4-72.6 final record
Rangers — 35.0%, 88.1-73.9 final record
Other wild card contenders — 2.1% (best: KCR 85.6 wins)
Rays — 87.4%, 89.9-72.1 final record
Indians — 80.3%, 89.4-72.6 final record
Rangers — 29.9%, 80.0-74.0 final record
Other wild card contenders — 2.4% (best: KCR 85.7 wins)
Cool Standings (link)
Rays — 77.4%, 89.5-72.5 final record
Indians — 87.6%, 89.9-72.1 final record
Rangers — 28.6%, 87.9-74.1 final record
Other wild card contenders — 6.3% (best: KCR 86.5 wins)
Last week in The Diff, I featured how these different projection systems operate and why Cool Standings has been the most favorable for the Indians of late. In a nutshell, it’s because that season uses run differential from 2013 alone; the others incorporate preseason predictions from their complicated mathematical systems.
There’s also a very high probability of some ties, as FanGraphs’ site shows most prominently. Kirk had a good breakdown earlier today of what that could mean for the Indians and where they stand if tied with the Rays or Rangers for one (or more) of the wild card spots.
It should be a pretty fascinating race to the finish. The sites see Cleveland winning between 3.4-3.9 of their final six games against two of the AL’s worst teams — Chicago and Minnesota. Winning five mathematically guarantees at least a tiebreaker; winning four should just about do it as well.