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Playoffs Newsbeat

Tuesday, May 05, 2020

Royals’ luckiest play vs. 2015 Astros in Game 4? Maybe it wasn’t so lucky after all

Morales’ moment still has always been a bit unsettling. KC deserves so much credit for its comeback, yet the game’s most important sequence — the Royals’ odds of winning the game went from 44% to 78% because of that one play, according to FanGraphs (and would have been at 24% had Correa fielded it cleanly to turn two) — has mostly been attributed to the Royals getting fortunate at the most opportune of times.

And yet ... after further review, I don’t think that’s what happened here at all.

Zach Posted: May 05, 2020 at 11:55 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, carlos correa, comeback, kendrys morales, playoffs, royals

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

How Much Do the Playoff Odds Change in a Shorter Season?

Will there be a 2020 baseball season? How many games will teams play? What will that mean for the 2020 baseball season? Normally, these would be extremely upsetting questions to contemplate; in the world in which we’re currently living, they’re somewhere around the 75,000th most important quandaries facing us. But as someone qualified to serve as a baseball writer rather than an epidemiologist, they’re also the kinds of questions I can actually seek to answer, and the differences between how baseball will eventually look versus what we’re used to are bigger than you might think. Assuming we have a season, that is; if no games are played, the projections will be 100% accurate.

So how much do the playoff races change in a shorter season? To answer this, I spent the weekend reconfiguring ZiPS so that it wouldn’t assume a 162-game season — an eventuality I had hoped not to have to deal with unless or until there was a strike — allowing me to run playoff probabilities for seasons of any length. Let’s start with the baseline projections, how ZiPS saw the races before the world turned upside down


There are no COVID-19-based changes in here, just the projection based on if the world had frozen in place two weeks ago and everything happened as we would normally expect. But let’s assume we hit one of the better-case scenarios, get a quickie two weeks of “spring training” in late May, and start the season on June 1. Let’s further assume that, with MLB having a vested interest in playing as many games as possible without killing people, they come to an agreement to play the playoffs in neutral warm-weather cities throughout November, giving the league an extra month to play regular-season games. Under this scenario, the league could theoretically fit somewhere around 140 games in. How do great teams look in a 140-game season instead of a 162-game one? Let’s run the numbers.

Before we do, keep in mind that there’s no adjustment made in the below numbers for, say, James Paxton and Aaron Judge being healthy. We’re just trying to gauge how much things change based only on season length

Jim Mora has some thoughts on this topic….


QLE Posted: March 18, 2020 at 01:00 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: odds, playoffs, shortened season

Thursday, March 12, 2020

2020 MLB Preview: Projecting Every Team’s Record and a World Series Winner

A new baseball season is nearly upon us. That means SI’s annual MLB Preview issue will hit newsstands—and your mailbox, if you subscribe here—shortly. We’ve got scouting reports on all 30 clubs, featuring terrific work from Joe Sheehan, Craig Goldstein, Emma Baccellieri and Matt Martell.

Each team preview runs through everything you need to know in 2020, and a snippet of how we think our 2030 MLB preview will read. Below you’ll find our printed postseason prediction and links to all 30 previews. Enjoy.


World Series Prediction: Yankees over Dodgers

It’s hard to pick against the two best teams in each league making it to the Fall Classic, with plenty of star power to boot. Mookie Betts and Gerrit Cole each make it to the World Series in the first year with their new teams, but it’s Cole who walks away with a ring just before Betts’s free-agent bonanza begins.


QLE Posted: March 12, 2020 at 01:03 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: playoffs, predictions, projections, season preview

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Six Modest Proposals: A Reply to Rob Manfred

(Co-author’s Note: Despite my name alone being displayed under the title, and the viewpoint the text will assume, this article is a collaboration with my friend and occasional THT contributor Paul Golba. The ideas originate mainly with him; the writing originates with me.)

Nobody can accuse Rob Manfred of being unwilling to try fresh ideas. In an offseason that already saw several rules changes to MLB, the Commissioner floated a proposal for a massive change to the sport’s playoff structure. The plan reportedly won raves from television networks that might be in a position to air games from the augmented playoff schedule, as well as from MLB Network’s Bob Costas. Reaction from actual fans has been decidedly more mixed.

In Manfred’s plan, there would be three division winners and four Wild Cards in each league. The team with the best record in each league would have a first-round bye. The second-best division winner would then choose its first-round opponent from the three lowest Wild Cards, followed by the remaining division winner getting next choice. (These choices would be made on a live broadcast.) The top Wild Card would get the leftover opponent. The teams would play best-of-three series, with the higher seed hosting all three games. The winners would join the bye teams in the League Division round, and the postseason would proceed as it does now.

Matt Swartz made a prompt reply to the Manfred proposal on our pages, offering his ideas for how to run an expanded playoff system. That article was still in the future, though, when I had my first discussion of the matter with Paul Golba, my frequent co-Grand Tourist and periodic co-author. We shared a dislike for the scheme, though not everything it proposed rubbed either of us the wrong way.

Rob Manfred is willing to consider eating Irish children as a solution to any and all problems concerning Major League Baseball.

QLE Posted: March 10, 2020 at 01:29 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: double duty, final four, manfred is thinking about it, nascar, playoffs, soccer

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

The New Playoff Format Would Disincentivize Competition | FanGraphs Baseball

Why even have divisions? They are meaningless with the proposed playoff system.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 11, 2020 at 05:39 PM | 50 comment(s)
  Beats: playoffs

Monday, February 10, 2020

MLB expanding playoff system?

this one may make the Petco thread look like a brief, casual conversation…

“Imagine a team picking its playoff opponent. Think about Brian Cashman and the Yankees deciding whether to face the Red Sox or avoid them in the first round of the postseason. All on live TV.

Well, it is probably coming soon to the major leagues.

MLB is seriously weighing a move from five to seven playoff teams in each league beginning in 2022, The Post has learned.

In this concept, the team with the best record in each league would receive a bye to avoid the wild-card round and go directly to the Division Series. The two other division winners and the wild card with the next best record would each host all three games in a best-of-three wild-card round. So the bottom three wild cards would have no first-round home games.”

Howie Menckel Posted: February 10, 2020 at 05:16 PM | 128 comment(s)
  Beats: playoffs



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