As the Major League Baseball season begins it’s second half, we can start to make predictions about how the teams in the league will finish at the end of the year. Some teams’ postseason dreams will be crushed, while others will have the chance to compete for a World Series title. The best teams will separate themselves from the rest of the league as they make their run at a championship. This article will explore which teams have the best odds to do so over the next couple months of the season.
This article will provide tables from fangraphs.com, showing their projections for teams in both the American and National Leagues. Below the tables, I will list the teams who I believe still have a realistic chance of making a World Series run and why.
- Yankees – The Yankees have the second-best winning percentage in the MLB and the best in the American League at 65.3%. They also have the second highest run differential in the league, outscoring their opponents by 138 runs this season. com projects the Yankees to win 103 games this season. They are also giving the Yankees a 97.3% chance of making the playoffs, with a 15% chance of becoming champions.
- Astros – The Astros are the biggest threat to the Yankees for the top spot in the American League. Their winning percentage and run differential are just slightly lower than the Yankees’ at 63.4% and +107 runs, respectively. One thing going for the Astros is their pitching. They allow the lowest opponent batting average in the MLB, at .221. com currently gives them a 94.4% chance of making the playoffs, with a 10.9% chance of winning the World Series.
- Twins – The Twins are currently in first place in the AL Central, hanging on to a 3-game lead over the Indians. They have the third-best run differential in the MLB, outscoring their opponents by 111 runs so far this season. The Twins look to be carried by their high-powered offense, which lead the league in both home runs (182) and on-base-plus-slugging percentage (.832). com gives Minnesota a 94.3% chance of making the playoffs and a 10.5% chance of winning it all.
- Athletics – Although the Athletics are 6.5 games back of the Astros in the AL West, they still have a very good chance at winning the Wild Card, if not the pennant. They have an impressive run differential of +95 runs this season. They also have a solid defense with the league’s fourth-best fielding percentage and sixth-best opponent batting average. com projections a 63% chance of the A’s making the playoffs and a 7.1% chance of them becoming champions.
- Indians – The Indians currently hold the second place spot in the AL Central and are only 3 games behind the Twins. They have a very good shot at either winning the division or playing in the Wild Card game. They have a run differential of +45 runs this season. Cleveland relies on their pitching staff, which currently ranks third in the MLB in ERA and fourth in opponent batting average. com gives them a 60.4% chance of making the playoffs, but only a 4% chance of winning it all.
- Rays – The Rays are currently in second place in the AL East and will most likely be defending that spot against the Red Sox for the remainder of the season. They have an impressive run differential of +84 runs so far this year. com gives the Rays a 57.2% chance of reaching the playoffs, with only a 4.2% chance of winning the World Series.
- Dodgers – Currently, the Dodgers have the best winning percentage in the MLB at 65.7%. They are going to win the NL West easily, as they already have a 16-game lead on the second place team. They also have the best run differential in the league by a long shot, outscoring their opponents by 165 runs this season. Clearly, the Dodgers are the favorite to win the World Series right now. com projects them to finish with 105 wins on the season, and is giving them a 100% chance of making the playoffs, with a 23.8% chance of winning it all.
- Cubs – The Cubs sit atop the NL Central right now, with a slim 2-game lead over the Brewers and a 2.5-game lead over the Cardinals. They will have to defend this top spot in the division for the remainder of the season. They have the second highest run differential in the National League, outscoring their opponents by 66 runs this season. They also love playing in Wrigley Field, with a 66.7% winning percentage at home this season, compared to a 40% winning percentage on the road. com gives the Cubs a 72.1% chance of making the playoffs, with a 5.9% chance of becoming champions.
- Braves – The Braves have the second-best winning percentage in the National League, at an impressive 59.4%. They have also outscored their opponents by 51 runs so far this season. Atlanta has a balanced offense, ranking sixth in the MLB in batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage. com currently puts the Braves at a 92.3% chance of making the playoffs, with a 5.3% chance of winning it all.
- Nationals – The Nationals are currently 6.5 games back of the Braves and only one game ahead of the Phillies. However, I believe that they will win the NL Wild Card because they are a well-balanced team who can win at home and on the road. They also have outscored their opponents by 37 runs this season, where the Phillies have been outscored by their opponents by 17 runs. com gives Washington a 57.5% chance to make the playoffs and a slim 3.7% chance of winning the World Series.
About the Author
Connor just completed his sophomore year at Purdue University, where he is pursuing a double major in actuarial sciences and applied statistics, with a minor in management. He has had a passion for both sports and statistics since a very young age, and enjoys discovering all the new information statistics can give us about sports.