2011 MLB Standings Update: What Are The Odds?

The Cardinals are on top and the Astros are on the bottom, but there's plenty to find out about the rest of the Nationa League Central standings.

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MLB Standings Update: Playoff Odds Edition

We're past the halfway point in the 2011 season, so these playoff odds updates are starting to become more and more important. Who's got the best chance at the playoffs now?

It's the New York Yankees, who are now have less than a nine percent chance of NOT making the playoffs this season. They passed the Red Sox for the lead in the American League East, having a game and a half lead over the Boston Red Sox. That's despite Boston sweeping Houston last weekend and despite Boston having a 79 percent chance at the playoffs. Poor Tampa Bay has a better record than all but five teams in the league, but haven't been able to pass Boston or New York and have just a 20 percent chance to make the playoffs.

Cleveland has temporarily jumped over Detroit for a chance at the AL Central crown, having a 44 percent chance to make the playoffs now. Detroit is just a half-game back and has a 37 percent chance at the playoffs. In the AL West, Texas holds onto the top spot, holding a 40 percent chance at the playoffs too. Los Angeles is tied with the Rangers, but has a 37 percent chance at making the postseason.

On the National League side, it's the Philadelphia Phillies who lead the way, with a 86 percent chance at the playoffs. They're followed closely by the Atlanta Braves at 62 percent, higher than any other team in the NL. The San Francisco Giants are leading the NL West with a 52 percent chance at the title. 

Arizona has fallen back again, now three games behind the Giants and seen its odds fall to 32 percent of making the postseason. In the NL Central, Milwaukee and St. Louis are tied, but the Brewers are ahead in the playoff odds with a 34 percent chance. The Cardinals have a 28 percent chance while the Reds, even though they're in fourth place in the Central, have a 32 percent chance of making the playoffs.


MLB Standings Update: 2012 Draft Update

Five days later, the Houston Astros are still in line to get the top pick in the 2012 draft. Their expected wins crept up a bit, despite losing two of three to the Texas Rangers and is now at 63 wins. That's easily the worst total in the entire major leagues and gives them a bit of an edge on the rest of the pack.

The team in line for the second overall pick has fluctuated some recently and the Cubs and Twins are in a horse race right now to see who loses more. They're both picked to win 68 games, but the Twins have a slightly smaller number (67.5 to 67.9), which leaves Minnesota as the No. 2 pick and Chicago at No. 3.

How many years has Kansas City picked in the top five now? It's been a lot, and they're still on pace to finish there, despite getting contributions from top prospects Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas.

Two more teams dropped under the 70 win mark this week, as the Baltimore Orioles and Florida Marlins are now duking it out to round out the top five. Baltimore currently has the slightest of edges, but it's so close, you can call them dead even.

The rest of the top ten would go like this: 

6) Florida Marlins (69 wins)

7) Los Angeles Dodgers (73 wins)

8) Oakland Athletics (74 wins)

9) San Diego Padres (76 wins)

10) Seattle Mariners (77 wins)


MLB Standings Update: Playoff Odds Edition

Well, another week has gone by and the Astros are that much closer to the top pick in the 2012 draft. After a horrible showing against the Rangers and Rays, the Astros are now very close to being on pace for 100 losses. They're only expected to win 62.6 games, according to Cool Standings. Their playoff odds are now less than 0.1 percent.

On the other hand, three teams currently sit with playoff odds higher than 75 percent. The New York Yankees have the best odds at 85 percent, followed by Philadelphia at 79.8 percent (even after Roy Oswalt's injury) and Boston at 78.7 percent.

The next-highest right now is the Detroit Tigers, who have a 59 percent chance at still making the playoffs, mostly from a 57 percent chance at winning the American League Central. The Tigers now have a one game lead over the quickly faltering Cleveland Indians, who may just need someone like Jeff Keppinger at the trading deadline.

Despite only having a 1 1/2 game lead over the second-place Seattle Mariners, the Texas Rangers have over twice the odds of making the playoffs at 51 percent. Seattle sits at 22 percent with the Angels at 19 percent and Oakland at 9 percent.

Milwaukee vaulted over St. Louis in the NL Central race and now has a 50 percent chance at making the playoffs as we hone in on the halfway point in the 2011 season. St. Louis' odds have plummeted to 22 percent after Albert Pujols' injury and Cincinnati actually holds a higher chance at 32 percent.

The defending World Series champ San Francisco Giants have a 40 percent chance and lead the NL West, but the Arizona Diamondbacks actually have a slightly better shot at the playoffs at 41 percent. Colorado has been scuffling right at .500 and still has odds around 23 percent of making the postseason. Of course, the Rockies are notorious for their late-season surges lately and could change that drastically if San Francisco lets them hang around.

The Red Sox lead the American League wild card race at 45-32 and are a game and a half ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays at 44-34. In the National League, the Atlanta Braves have a one game lead for the wild card spot and boast a 24 percent chance of nabbing that spot ahead of the Diamondbacks, who are at 4.5 percent of winning the wild card.


MLB Standings Update

It's finally happened.

The Houston Astros have taken over the worst record in the major leagues. That's even with a series win over the Dodgers last weekend. The Astros are a MLB-worst 27-46, a full two games below the second-worst Chicago Cubs. That puts them firmly in place to pick Stanford's Kenny Diekgroeger or Galveston Ball's Nick "Billy" Williams.

As for the rest of the league, Philadelphia has taken over possession of the best record in the majors at 45-28. They also have a five game lead over the Atlanta Braves in the NL East, who have the fourth-best record in the majors at 40-33. The San Francisco Giants are a half-game ahead of Arizona in the NL West at 39-33. Milwaukee and the Cardinals are tied with the Braves at 40-33 for that fourth-best record. They are at the top of the NL Central, two games ahead of the Cincinnati Reds.

In the American League, the Red So have risen from the depths to own the league's best record at 43-28. New York sits in second place in the AL East at 41-29 while Tampa Bay follows in third at 39-33. Though Cleveland has been in a tailspin lately, they still own the best record in the AL Central at 39-31, a game ahead of Detroit at 39-33. Another team in a tailspin, the Texas Rangers are still in the AL West lead at 38-35, ahead of Seattle by a half-game. That should improve with the Rangers playing Houston in a three-game series this week.


MLB Standings Update: 2012 MLB Draft Edition

Now that the 2011 edition of the Rule 4 draft is in the books, it's time to look ahead to next season. I know, I know, I could give the thing a little time to breathe, but we're doing a standings update anyway. Might as well make it about the draft, right?

The Minnesota Twins have been consistently the worst team in baseball and are still projected for the least wins in the majors, giving them the top overall pick in 2012. However, things got interesting this week as the Twins won enough games to move up to 62 wins for the season.

Add to that the fact that the Houston Astros caught them for the actual worst record in the league at 27-39, a half game worse that Minnesota. The Astros, though, are still ticketed for 64 wins, but it's become more of a horse race now.

The Chicago Cubs are still hanging around at 25-36 and have a bead on the third overall pick. They're also projected for 66 wins, which would also get them the third overall pick.

Oakland has been in a horrible tailspin lately, resulting in manager Bob Geren getting fired. It also dropped the A's down to fourth in the AL West and in line for the fourth overall pick. Kansas City, though they have a ton of prospects who are close to the majors, fell back to earth a bit and are now in line to pick fifth for a second straight season. Baltimore, the Dodgers, the Mets and the Angels round out the bottom ten.

Of course, there is still plenty of time for things to change. Last year, Houston was also flirting with the first overall pick at this point and finished with the ninth-worst record. If I had to put money on it, though, I'd say the Astros will have at least a top 10 pick again next season.


MLB Standings Update: NL Central Edition

With the draft gearing up in earnest later today, let's look at what's going on in the National League Central division this week.

Much as it pains me, the St. Louis Cardinals are still in first place in the Central with a two-game lead over the Brewers. Cincinnati is still struggling this season at 30-30 and is 5 1/2 games behind the RedBirds. Pittsburgh is also hanging around, defying expectations that they'd fall back to earth at 6 1/2 games behind. Chicago is in fifth at 23-34 and is 11 games behind the Cardinals. Houston brings up the divisional caboose at 23-37 and is 12 1/2 games behind St. Louis.

The Cardinals also have the best run differential in the division, averaging 4.9 runs per games and allowing 4.2. Milwaukee is second at 4.3 runs scored and 4.0 runs allowed while Cincy is the only other team in the division with a positive run differential at 4.3 runs scored and 4.2 runs allowed. Houston is in last at 4.0 runs scored and 5.0 runs allowed, though the Cubs have caught them in runs allowed at 5.1.

Looking at Pythagorean record, St. Louis is actually overplaying a bit, a game over where they're expected to be right now. Milwaukee is two games better than expected while Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and Houston are actually underplaying their expected records by one game.

Milwaukee has the best home record of any team in the Central at 21-7. St. Louis is close behind, having gone 18-12 at home this season. Houston has the worst home record at 11-17 while Pittsburgh is also tied for the fewest home wins at 11-15. The Cubs have the most home losses at 12-19.

Looking at the entire division's record against teams over .500 suggests it may be hard for anyone from this division to win in the playoffs. Only St. Louis comes close to a winning record against winning teams at 14-14. The rest are a combined 62-91 against teams with winning records. St. Louis has taken advantage of sub-.500 teams the most this season, going 22-11. Milwaukee has also used those losing teams to prop up its record, going 20-10.

It's the Reds who have the best inter-divisional record, though, having gone 22-13 against the other Central teams. St. Louis is 14-9 while Milwaukee is 13-13. Chicago has the worst inter-divisional record at a horrible 7-19 while Houston is only a little better at 12-17.


MLB Standings Update: Playoff Odds Edition

We've got a shakeup at the top of this week's playoff odds standings update, as the New York Yankees take over as the most probable playoff team in the major leagues. In the updated Cool Standings, the Yankees have a 75 percent chance of making the playoffs now, taking over for the Cleveland Indians, who fell back to 71 percent. The Texas Rangers have a 63 percent chance of going to the playoffs, third-best of the division leaders in the American League, but it's still higher than any of the division leaders in the National League.

The Philadelphia Phillies lead the way in the NL, with a 56 percent chance of making the playoffs. St. Louis follows close behind at 55 percent while the West-leading San Francisco Giants have a 36 percent chance of making the playoffs. Weirdly, the Arizona Diamondbacks have the highest odds in the West at 45 percent, even having higher odds for the division crown and for taking the wild card than the defending champs.

The rest of the NL wild card picture looks like this. Atlanta is in third place in the NL East, but has the best wild card odds of the non-division leaders at 16 percent. Second-place Florida is second at 12 percent, while Milwaukee and Cincinnati are in a close race for third at 7 percent. Arizona rounds out the top 5 at 6 percent. In the American League wild card race, it's Boston at 18 percent, followed by Toronto at 13 percent, Tampa Bay at 11 percent, Detroit at 8 percent and the White Sox at 6 percent.

In the race for the top overall pick, Minnesota still leads the way at just 58 expected wins. Houston sits in second place at 68 expected wins with Chicago close behind at 69 wins. Baltimore and San Diego round out the bottom five with 70 and 71 expected wins, respectively.


MLB Standings Update: 2012 First Overall Pick Edition

After the Astros took two of three games from the Toronto Blue Jays last weekend in O' Canada, there were a few fans who were worried that Houston was blowing its chance at the No. 1 draft pick by winning consistently.

Never fear, Astros fans, because you're still in line for a top 2 pick. Currently, Minnesota still sits with the best odds of getting that top spot, as they are in line for just 55 wins. Both Minnesota and Houston have allowed a league-worst 239 runs, but the Twins have scored about 30 runs fewer than Houston.

Houston is two games ahead of Minnesota in the win column at 17-30, but they both have the same number of losses, as the Twins are at 15-30. Minnesota has been favored to win less than 60 games since May 11 and hasn't had an expected win total over 70 since April 26. 

Houston, on the other hand, was over 70 wins as of May 7 and the lowest it's been all season is 63 wins on May 19. So, even as bad as the Astros played last week, they're still not nearly as bad as the Twins have been all season. 

Both teams have also gotten worse in May. There is just a half-game separating the two since the beginning of this month, as Houston is 6-13 and Minnesota is 6-12. The Astros have scored one more run than Minny, but the Twins have given up nine more runs.

What it means is that Houston and Minnesota are currently in a dog fight to be the most pathetic team in the majors. The Twins also have gotten nothing out of Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Jim Thome or Delmon Young. That situation doesn't figure to continue all season, and since Houston doesn't have nearly that much talent, they might have the slight long-term edge. That is, if the Orioles or the Dodgers or the Mariners don't get involved.


MLB Standings Update: Playoff Odds Edition

This week, we'll look at which team has the biggest odds of making the playoffs right now and two months ago, the answer would have surprised you. The Cleveland Indians now have an 80 percent chance of making the playoffs with either a divisional championship or a wild card spot, according to Cool Standings. That's in part because the Indians have the biggest lead in any division at five games. 

The next-highest odds are the St. Louis Cardinals at 68 percent, though they hold just a half game lead over the Reds for first in the NL Central. Texas, Philadelphia, Colorado, Atlanta and the New York Yankees all have about a 50 percent chance of making the playoffs now, though only the Rangers and Phillies currently lead their divisions.

The AL East-leading Tampa Bay Rays have just a 38 percent chance of making the playoffs, but if the Yankees keep playing this badly, that number could skyrocket. Colorado was jumped for the lead in the NL West by San Francisco. The defending World Series champs have just a 33 percent chance at the playoffs, due largely to their lack of offense. The Giants are projected to win just 84 games, which is eclipsed by the second-place Rockies who are scheduled to win 88.

Atlanta sits in third place in the NL East, but still owns a 56 percent chance of grabbing a playoff spot. The Braves, who are 2 1/2 games behind the Phillies, actually have a higher percent chance of winning the division than Philadelphia with its Big 4. The Boston Red Sox have also shot up in the standings lately and now hold a 23 percent chance of making the playoffs.

Only one team is ahead of the Astros in the race for the top pick in the 2012 draft and that's the Minnesota Twins, who are supposed to win just 58 games. Houston fell all the way back to 63 wins in the past week while Baltimore at 69 wins and Seattle at 70 wins round out the top 4.


MLB Standings Update: NL Central Edition

In this update, we'll look at the National League Central standings to this point in the season.

The St. Louis Cardinals have opened up a little bit of a lead over second-place Cincinnati with a 22-16 record. Cincy is a game and a half back at 20-17 while the PIttsburgh Pirates are a surprising third place at 18-19. The Cubs are in fourth at 16-20 while the Milwaukee Brewers find themselves in a tail spin despite having ace Zack Greinke back in the rotation at 16-21 and in fifth place. The Brewers have gone 3-7 in their last 10 and a division-worst 7-13 in their last 20. Houston brings up the rear at 14-23, having gone 4-6 in their last 10.

Of all six teams, the Astros are the only one with a perfectly reflected Pythagorean record. Based on their runs scored and runs allowed, Houston should have a 14-23 record. The team outperforming their Pythag record the most is Pittsburgh, which should be at 16-21. St. Louis is the unluckiest team in the division, having a Pythag record of 24-14. 

While the Astros used a great record against other NL Central teams last season to power its second-half surge, this season it's Cincinnati who's been owning the rest of the division. The Reds have a 15-10 record against its division opponents, while only Pittsburgh and St. Louis has above .500 records against the NL Central at 9-6. The Astros are have the worst in-division record at 9-15.

The other quirk is that only three teams have positive home records at this point. MIlwaukee has the best home record at 10-6 while St. Louis and Cincinnati are both 10-9. The Brewers have been even worse on the road, though, winning just 6 of 15 games on the road. St. Louis has been the most successful away from home with a 12-7 record.

If there is a surprise here, it's that Houston, despite its bad bullpen, has the best record in the division in one-run games at 7-6. None of the other teams in the Central have above .500 records in one-run games. If there is an argument that the Cards will continue to hold that top spot, it's here, because the Cardinals are just 3-8 in one-run games, which should improve. Also, the Reds will have to start playing much better to catch the Cardinals, considering they have played just six games against teams with an above .500 record and are just 2-4 in those games.

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