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September 6, 2010

Playoff Odds Update

Philly Gets a Bump

by John Perrotto

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With today being Labor Day and the contenders having been separated from the pretenders, it's time to try a different look with the Playoff Odds Update.

We'll rank the top 10 teams in order of their chances of reaching the postseason, according to Baseball Prospectus' Playoff Odds Report, note the change in their odds in the last week and look ahead to what each team faces schedule-wise at the end of the season.

Here are the top 10 teams:



Odds on 9/6

Odds on 8/30






































White Sox





The only thing basically remaining for the Yankees and Rays is to see who finishes first in the American League East and gains home-field advantage for the ALDS and ALCS and who settles for the wild card. They play each other seven more times with a three-game series from Sept. 13-15 at Tropicana Field and a four-game set from Sept. 20-23 at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees hold a 2 1/2-game advantage over the Rays.

The Yankees have three other games against a Top 10 team, as they visit the Rangers in a three-game series beginning Friday night. The Rays, meanwhile, do not have any other games against Top 10 teams beyond their seven with the Yankees.

The Yankees also play the Orioles and Red Sox six times each and the Blue Jays three times. The Rays have three-game sets remaining against the Red Sox, Blue Jays, Angels, Orioles and Mariners and a four-game series with the Royals.

Now that the Reds have finished their season series with the second-place Cardinals and hold a seven-game lead, they should seemingly coast to the National League Central title. The Reds' three-game series against the Padres at San Diego from Sept. 24-26 represents their lone games against a Top 10 team. The Reds also have six games each against the Astros and Brewers, four apiece against the Rockies and Diamondbacks and a three-game series against the Pirates.

The Rangers should also be unchallenged in their bid to win the AL West, as they have an eight-game lead over the Athletics and their weekend series with the Yankees represents their final games versus Top 10 competition. The Rangers have seven games against the Angels, six against the Mariners, four against the Blue Jays and Athletics and two against the Tigers.

The Braves hold a one-game lead over the surging Phillies in the NL East and they have six games remaining, three each at Citizens Bank Park from Sept. 20-22 and Turner Field from Oct. 1-3 to finish the season.

Those are the only games against Top 10 teams remaining for either team. The Braves play the Nationals six times, the Cardinals four times and the Pirates, Mets and Marlins three times each. The Phillies have seven games left with the Marlins and six each with the Mets and Nationals.

The Twins have the upper hand on the White Sox by 3 1/2 games in the AL Central, but Chicago has one last shot at Minnesota when the teams meet in a three-game series from Sept. 14-16 at U.S. Cellular Field.

Neither the Twins nor the White Sox play any other Top 10 teams. The Twins face the Royals and Indians six times each, the Blue Jays four times and the Athletics and Tigers three times apiece. The White Sox have seven games remaining against the Tigers, four games against the Red Sox and three games each against the Royals, Athletics, Angels and Indians.

The floundering Padres, on a 10-game losing streak and their lead cut to just one game, are trying to hold off the Giants in the NL West and they have seven more games against each other, a four-game series at Petco Park that begins Thursday night and a three-game set at AT&T Park to finish the season from Oct. 1-3.

The Padres also have one series with a Top 10 team when they host the Reds from Sept. 24-26 and face the Dodgers six times, the Cardinals and Cubs four times each and the Rockies three times. The Giants face no other Top 10 team beside the Padres, finishing with six games against the Diamondbacks and three apiece against the Dodgers, Brewers, Cubs and Rockies.

A version of this story originally appeared on ESPN Insider Insider.

John Perrotto is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see John's other articles. You can contact John by clicking here

4 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links


INtuitively, I just can't see how the Rangers have just a 3% chance of collapsing; or the Rays just a 3% chance of dropping out of the wild card.
I know strength of schedule upcoming and prior has been factored into this, but surely more than 3% of teams with 6/7 game leads have squandered that lead in the last 25 games.
Even the Twins feels more like a 70/30 proposition to me with a bullpen like they have.

Sep 07, 2010 09:58 AM
rating: 0
BP staff member Eric Seidman
BP staff

Greensox, you'd be surprised how tough it is to blow a 7 game lead late in the season. That's why the Mets situation in 2007 was so nutty.

Sep 07, 2010 10:33 AM

This article made me wonder about the 1951 Giants and the odds of their overtaking the Dodgers that season. I wondered what the odds were that such a thing should have taken place.

Naturally, BP already answered the question -- although it was framed in the opposite way, in an article about the worst collapses in MLB history:


I was surprised to learn that the '51 Dodgers had only the second most spectacular collapse in history.

Sep 07, 2010 11:34 AM
rating: 0
Sam Mauser

Third, now. Mets managed to top them in 2007.

Sep 08, 2010 01:04 AM
rating: 0
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