Expected MLB Standings

How to read the projected standings:
Team name, Expected Record (actual wins better/worse), Games back

AMERICAN LEAGUENATIONAL LEAGUE
WestWest
Angels90-72 (+4)-Rockies91-71 (-2)-
Mariners80-82 (+8)10Padres89-73 (0)2
Athletics80-82 (-4)10Dodgers83-79 (-1)8
Rangers79-83 (-4)11Diamondbacks79-83 (+11)12



Giants78-84 (-7)13
CentralCentral
Indians91-71 (+5)-Cubs85-77 (0)-
Tigers89-73 (-1)2Brewers81-81 (+2)4
Twins81-81 (-2)10Reds74-88 (-2)11
Royals74-88 (-5)17Astros71-91 (+1)14
White Sox68-94 (+4)23Cardinals70-92 (+8)15



Pirates69-93 (-1)16
EastEast
Red Sox102-60 (-6)-Braves89-73 (-5)-
Yankees97-65 (-3)5Phillies87-75 (+2)2
Blue Jays87-75 (-4)15Mets86-76 (+2)3
Orioles72-90 (-3)30Marlins72-90 (-1)17
Devil Rays68-94 (-2)34Nationals70-92 (+3)19
Wild CardWild Card
Yankees97-65 (-3)-Padres89-73 (0)-
Tigers89-73 (-1)8Phillies87-75 (+2)2
Blue Jays87-75 (-4)10Mets86-76 (+2)3
.
ALDS Match-upsNLDS Match-ups
Angels vs. Red SoxCubs vs. Rockies
Yankees vs. IndiansPadres vs. Braves

The expected record is calculated according to my adjusted Pythagorean theorem, which takes Bill James's pythagorean theorem but also factors in strength of schedule.

It seems plausible that a 162-game season would dampen a team's chance to over or underachieve to the point that their record is completely indicative of how they played. That simply is not the case. While a majority of teams do perform as would be expected, every year has exceptions, and this year's exceptions are particularly interesting to look at.

Starting with the American League, the four best teams made the playoffs. In fact, the ALDS match-ups are exactly as how they turned out in reality. However, it is clear that the Red Sox and Yankees should have been the two best teams, instead of all four teams finishing with nearly the same record. The National League is much more interesting to look at, where the Rockies on paper should have home field throughout but instead they must play a one-game playoff with the Padres (statistically the second best team in the NL) to make it as the Wild Card. This is thanks to the Diamondbacks, who miraculously exceed their expected win total by a whopping 11 games, easily the greatest anomaly of 2007. In the NL East, there should have been no race, because as it turns out the Mark Teixeira trade did make the Braves much better. However, oddly enough, it did not translate into wins on the field.

The expected record ultimately has no bearing on actual results; wins and losses only correlate strongly with the formula. What it does is show who the best teams really were, and give an idea of how the playoffs will most likely go. It also illuminates teams like the Mariners and Diamondbacks, which have to improve in the off-season just to match their win totals this year because they overachieved greatly.