23 March 2008

Predictions, Part II: The American League

So, let's get into the nitty-gritty of my simulations, first with the AL East

AL East
Predicted Finish
Boston 91-71
New York 87-75
Toronto 82-80
Baltimore 76-86
Tampa Bay 75-87

This is a bar graph showing each team's share of finishing 1st through 5th in the division. Note that the Red Sox have the lion's share of division wins (61%), but each team had at least one 1st place finish and one 5th place finish. I was most surprised by Tampa's poor showing, but I think the pitching for the Rays is still a year away from being truly competitive (and BB Mogul doesn't tend to shine upon young pitching). Toronto ended up winning 6 World Series, so I'm tempted to label them my surprise team of 2008.

AL Central
Detroit 92-70
Cleveland 89-73
Minnesota 80-82
Chicago 69-93
Kansas City 67-95

The AL Central is a little different. Only Detroit, Cleveland and Minnesota win the division, with the first two teams winning most of the time. Detroit ends up on top 17% more than Cleveland, but both teams make the playoffs in over 63% of the simulations. Heck, Cleveland actually wins more World Series than Detroit (12.6% to 9.4%), so go figure. And don't let Ozzie tell you differently: the White Sox are going to be baaad.

AL West
Los Angeles 88-74
Seattle 83-79
Texas 80-82
Oakland 78-84

Not surprisingly, Los Angeles dominates the division ... but not by as much as you might imagine. Sure, they win 56% of the time, but that means almost half of the simulations ended with someone other than LA on top. Seattle grabbed 25% of the division titles, but I'm most surprised by Oakland, that 8.4%. There was even a simulation I noticed that Oakland won 107 games?!. The other oddity might be that Texas wins more World Series (4) than Seattle (3), although with almost 15% fewer playoff appearances. More or less, the AL West looks like the most wide-open in the league.

Playoff Picture
Here's the playoff percentages for the AL:
Detroit - 76.0%
Boston - 69.6%
Cleveland - 63.8%
Los Angeles - 62.4%
New York - 41.0%
Seattle - 30.2%
Toronto - 16.0%
Texas - 14.8%
Minnesota - 10.8%
Oakland - 10%
The Rest - <10%
Chicago, Kansas City - 0%

Based on this, my picks for the playoffs are: Detroit, Boston, Los Angeles and Cleveland (wild card). I'll have my playoff/World Series odds in a later post. I'll have my NL predictions up next ...

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