Last week, we looked at a straight-up MLB standings update. Today, we're going a little deeper and looking at the chances each team has of making the playoffs a month into the season. Thanks to Cool Standings, we have a list of all the probable playoff scenarios for every team in the majors. As a refresher, this site runs simulations on every team's remaining schedule and calculates the odds of each team winning enough games to get into the playoffs.
The team with the best shot at going to the postseason is none other than the Cleveland Indians at 73.5 percent. I guess leading a division for the entire month tends to improve your odds. Well, and the fact that their biggest rival for the AL Central crown, the Minnesota Twins, are sitting at 9-18 and have just a 2 percent chance of going to the Big Dance.
The Texas Rangers haven't suffered too much without Josh Hamilton. Even though they are tied with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for first at 16-12, the Rangers have a 54.5 percent chance of making the postseason, compared to the Angels' 40.9 percent.
The Yankees have the second-best odds in the American League at 68 percent, holding a comfortable 2 1/2 game lead over Tampa Bay, who's odds are down to 37.1 percent. That's the highest percentage for a team not in first place in the American League, so it looks like there's a good chance the wild card comes out of the AL East again this season.
On the National League side, the St. Louis Cardinals have the best odds in the Central at 62.8 percent. That beats out Cincinnati at 36 percent and Milwaukee at 20.5 percent. The other three teams in this division each have less than 4 percent chance of making the postseason, but more on that later.
The Philadelphia Phillies and their super rotation have the best postseason odds in the NL at 65.3 percent. Even though the Florida Marlins are just a half game back of Philly, they actually have worse odds (35.3 percent) than the third-place Atlanta Braves (37.1 percent), who currently sit a game under .500 at 14-15.
The NL West is a similar mess of probabilities. The Colorado Rockies lead the way at 54.5 percent, but the second-place Los Angeles Dodgers have the worst chances in the division at 9.2 percent. Third-place San Francisco has the second-best odds in the division at 30.8 percent, while last-place San Diego has the third-best odds at 13.8 percent. Arizona sits a game back of both Los Angeles and San Francisco, but only has a one percent better chance than the Dodgers of making the postseason.
In the race for the first pick in the 2012 draft, the Minnesota Twins have caught the Seattle Mariners. Minnesota is expected to win just 63 games, which is four less than Seattle's 67 wins. Pittsburgh, Chicago and Houston round out the bottom five, each being projected for 68-69 wins. Houston is the closest to breaking out of this group at 69.7 wins, but still has just a 3.8 percent chance of taking the NL Central.