2018 Playoff Horse Race Part 2

It has been exactly a week since Part 1 of this series.  Let’s look at the current playoff horse race  table.  This table is explained in Part 1.

Playoff Horse Race

TeamID W-L Total Hitters Pitchers Starters Relief
HOU 33 42.4 14.6 27.8 14.8 13.0
BOS 52 37.5 29.1 8.4 3.4 5.0
LAN 13 36.8 16.8 20.0 13.4 6.6
OAK 26 32.8 12.3 20.5 5.2 15.3
ATL 14 30.8 13.2 17.5 10.1 7.4
ARI 11 26.8 2.2 24.5 13.0 11.5
MIL 18 25.9 13.2 12.6 5.0 7.6
CLE 18 25.6 17.2 8.5 10.4 -1.9
SLN 15 25.4 10.3 15.1 12.8 2.2
CHN 24 22.1 13.8 8.4 5.5 2.8
NYA 35 19.4 13.3 6.1 3.6 2.5
PHI 8 17.8 3.8 14.0 8.9 5.1
WAS -1 12.6 7.6 5.0 7.7 -2.7
PIT -3 8.4 1.6 6.8 5.3 1.5
ANA -5 8.3 3.5 4.8 1.6 3.2

I had to manually lookup playoff contenders from baseball-reference and color the above table.

Blue teamids are those leading their divisions.  Green hold a wild card spot and tan are those still in the hunt.  Colorado (COL), who hold a slim lead in the NL West fell off the bottom of this list.  In theory they should hit the skids this month but no one can predict the future.

Not much changed since last week except Cubs dropped below the Cardinals and Brewers.  Roster value can get kind of funny during September with expanded rosters.  Cubs’ relief took a big hit since a couple of high negative pitchers came back.   I am considering making adjustments to how relief is tabulated which would mean recompiling the dataset from which the simulations get their data.

High negative relievers will probably never be called into competitive games.  Thus, their negative value may downgrade a relief staff value more than appropriate.  Perhaps only  counting the top 5 relievers in a staff is appropriate for regular season and count them all of the playoff season.  Might do that for the above table next week.

Doing this, however, introduces bias into this calculation which may not be appropriate.  Expanding rosters in September, however, can radically mess with relief value which is a major factor in simulation.  Thus, it is a source for error.  This cutoff criteria for relief may only be appropriate for September.

It looks like MIL and SLN are only 1.5 games behind the Cubs.  Ruh roh!  :-)   New series starts Friday with CIN.  Brewers are favored today at 54% almost exactly matching TC simulations.  Until then ….

Update 9/6/2018:  I was looking at the wrong table at baseball-reference.  After the Cubs beat Milwaukee yesterday they are 4.0 games ahead of MIL and 4.5 games ahead of SLN.