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    World Series and Odds (06/04/13)

    John Ewing, Director of Research and Analytics
    By John Ewing

    What would the MLB Playoffs look like if the season ended now? Plus, a look at the World Series odds, how they have changed over the course of the MLB season. Lines courtesy of

    What would the MLB Playoffs look like if the season ended now? Below we run two simulations of the playoffs. The first is based on the current standings and the second is based on our rest of season projections.

    Current Standings

    Region Seed Team Division League World Series Champ.
    AL 1 Tex - 55.4% 23.9% 12.3%
    AL 2 Bos - 44.8% 25.5% 14.6%
    AL 3 Det - 55.2% 34.4% 21.4%
    AL 4 Oak 53.8% 24.7% 9.4% 4.6%
    AL 5 NYY 46.2% 19.8% 6.7% 3.1%
    Region Seed Team Division League World Series Champ.
    NL 1 StL - 54.5% 28.5% 12.8%
    NL 2 Atl - 56.0% 29.2% 13.5%
    NL 3 Ari - 44.0% 20.6% 8.5%
    NL 4 Cin 56.0% 26.5% 13.4% 6.0%
    NL 5 Pit 44.0% 19.0% 8.4% 3.3%

    American League

    • Wildcard: Oakland over New York
    • Divisional: Texas over Oakland
    • Divisional: Detroit over Boston
    • League: Detroit over Texas

    National League

    • Wildcard: Cincinnati over Pittsburgh
    • Divisional: St. Louis over Cincinnati
    • Divisional: Atlanta over Arizona
    • League: Atlanta over St. Louis

    World Series

    • Detroit over Atlanta


    Detroit wins the World Series a league-high 21.4% of the time. The Tigers defeat the Braves in the most likely championship matchup. If you click on our rest of season projections you will see that we anticipate Detroit to have one of the best records in baseball at the end of the season. As such they are able to pull upsets (by seed) in this simulation of the MLB Playoffs. 

    Projected Standings

    Region Seed Team Division League World Series Champ.
    AL 1 Det - 63.9% 36.5% 22.9%
    AL 2 Tex - 48.9% 22.3% 11.7%
    AL 3 Bos - 51.1% 25.5% 14.6%
    AL 4 Oak 52.8% 19.0% 8.3% 4.2%
    AL 5 Bal 47.2% 17.1% 7.4% 3.7%
    Region Seed Team Division League World Series Champ.
    NL 1 Atl - 54.1% 28.2% 12.6%
    NL 2 StL - 55.4% 28.9% 12.7%
    NL 3 Ari - 44.6% 20.7% 8.2%
    NL 4 Cin 55.3% 26.8% 13.5% 5.9%
    NL 5 Pit 44.7% 19.1% 8.7% 3.4%

    American League

    • Wildcard: Oakland over Baltimore
    • Divisional: Detroit over Oakland
    • Divisional: Boston over Texas
    • League: Detroit over Boston

    National League

    • Wildcard: Cincinnati over Pittsburgh
    • Divisional: Atlanta over Cincinnati
    • Divisional: St. Louis over Arizona
    • League: St. Louis over Atlanta

    World Series

    • Detroit over St. Louis


    Detroit wins the World Series a league-high 22.9% of the time. The increase from the previous simulation is due to having home field advantage. The Tigers defeat the Cardinals in the most likely championship matchup after St. Louis pulls the only upset in this playoff simulation by defeating Atlanta in a close NLCS. The Cardinals are more likely to advance to the World Series (even though Atlanta is the 1-seed) because St. Louis's matchup with Arizona is more favorable than Atlanta's against the winner of the Wild Card game.

    World Series Odds

    After two full months of baseball the odds for the World Series have changed. Below we look at two teams, one that has risen and the other that has fallen, as well as the current odds for all the teams.

    St. Louis Cardinals: current odds 8/1

    Preseason Odds: 20/1

    Current Projection: 93-69, win the NL Central

    In our MLB Odds Preview we said that for the Cardinals to be successful this season they would need better luck in their record in extra inning games (6-12) and one-run games (21-26) than they had in 2012 and they would need some injury luck as well. So far the Cardinals are 0-3 in extra inning games but do own a 6-3 record in one-run games. A 6-6 record overall in such games is a mixed bag. Furthermore the Cardinals have had no luck with injuries losing Rafael Furcal and Jason Motte before the season began. The Cardinals also have four starting pitchers on the DL. Nonetheless St. Louis owns the best record in baseball thanks in large part to rookie pitching which has accounted for 12 wins and helped earned the Cardinals the best run differential in baseball.

    Los Angeles Dodgers: current odds 33/1

    Preseason Odds: 9/1

    Current Projection: 77-85, finish 4th in NL West, miss playoffs

    The Dodgers are dead last in the NL West after compiling the worst May record (10-17) in the 130-year history of the franchise. Besides Adrian Gonzalez (.326/.383/.513) the offense has been inept. For the season, the Dodgers are 3rd to last in HRs and 3rd to last in RBIs in all of baseball. The lack of runs is devastating to the pitching staff, specifically Clayton Kershaw, who had two wins in the last month despite posting a 1.97 ERA (run support – 2.2 per game). The Dodgers are not getting any help on the injury front either with Matt Kemp, Carl Crawford, and Hanley Ramirez all on the DL.

    Team Preseason Odds Current Odds
    DETROIT TIGERS 8/1 13/2
    ATLANTA BRAVES 16/1 8/1
    TEXAS RANGERS 16/1 17/2
    CINCINNATI REDS 12/1 12/1
    BOSTON RED SOX 30/1 15/1
    NEW YORK YANKEES 20/1 18/1
    TAMPA BAY RAYS 16/1 18/1
    COLORADO ROCKIES 150/1 33/1
    TORONTO BLUE JAYS 8/1 33/1
    CHICAGO WHITE SOX 40/1 75/1
    KANSAS CITY ROYALS 50/1 75/1
    MINNESOTA TWINS 100/1 100/1
    SAN DIEGO PADRES 75/1 100/1
    NEW YORK METS 100/1 150/1
    SEATTLE MARINERS 100/1 200/1
    MILWAUKEE BREWERS 50/1 250/1
    CHICAGO CUBS 75/1 300/1
    HOUSTON ASTROS 250/1 1000/1
    MIAMI MARLINS 200/1 5000/1


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