As we say goodbye to the All-Star break and head into the second half of the MLB season, the number of teams with a realistic shot to win the World Series has dwindled to seven, according to the “Playoff Odds Report” at Baseball Prospectus.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are the heavy favourite, yet they have just a 17.7% chance to win it all (or, a 82.3% chance to get knocked out along the way). Their neighbours in Anaheim, the Los Angeles Angels (10.2%), are the only other team with better than a 10% chance.
In all, there are seven teams with at least a 5% chance of winning the World Series (record in parentheses):
- Los Angeles Dodgers (51-39), 17.7%
- Los Angeles Angels (48-40), 10.2%
- New York Yankees (48-40), 9.7%
- Washington Nationals (48-39), 9.3%
- St. Louis Cardinals (56-33), 9.1%
- Kansas City Royals (52-34), 8.1%
- Houston Astros (49-42), 6.9%
In baseball, once a team gets to the playoffs, winning the World Series can be a bit of a crapshoot. So a team’s chances of winning it all is just as much about opportunity as it is about how well the team is performing.
Of the seven teams above, the only team not leading their division is the Astros, who would be one of the American League Wild Card teams if the season ended today. Meanwhile, the division leaders have a huge advantage as they are on pace to avoid having to play in a Wild Card game, which adds another opportunity for a team to be eliminated.
The list above would grow to eight if we were to round up and include the Pittsburgh Pirates, who have a 4.7% chance as the commanding leader in the National League Wild Card race.
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