How much has the outlook of the season altered after two to three games (or four in a few cases) for every team?!
Not much, as it turns out. That's probably a good sign for the model. You can read about the model here, or keep on reading for the updated standings (change in win total from last week in parentheses).
MLB Projected Standings, Week 1:
|AL West||AL Central||AL East|
|Astros, 84-78 (-1), 0 GB||Indians, 85-77 (0), 0 GB||Red Sox, 84-78 (0), 0 GB|
|Mariners, 81-81 (+1), 3 GB||White Sox, 82-80 (+1), 3 GB||Yankees, 83-79 (0), 1 GB|
|Angels, 80-82 (0), 4 GB||Tigers, 81-81 (+1), 4 GB||Blue Jays, 82-80 (0), 2 GB|
|Athletics, 78-84 (-1), 6 GB||Royals, 79-83 (0), 6 GB||Orioles, 81-81 (+1), 3 GB|
|Rangers, 77-85 (-2), 7 GB||Twins, 78-84 (-2), 7 GB||Rays, 80-82 (0), 4 GB|
|NL West||NL Central||NL East|
|Dodgers, 90-72 (+1), 0 GB||Cubs, 90-72 (+1), 0 GB||Mets, 89-73 (+1), 0 GB|
|Giants, 86-76 (+1), 4 GB||Pirates, 85-77 (+2), 5 GB||Nationals, 86-76 (0), 3 GB|
|Rockies, 77-85 (+1), 13 GB||Cardinals, 82-80 (-2), 8 GB||Marlins, 80-82 (0), 9 GB|
|Diamondbacks, 77-85 (-2), 13 GB||Reds, 79-83 (+2), 11 GB||Braves, 73-89 (0), 16 GB|
|Padres, 75-87 (-1), 15 GB||Brewers, 75-87 (0), 15 GB||Phillies, 71-91 (-1), 18 GB|
Wild card play-in games: Blue Jays at Yankees, Giants at Nationals
ALDS match-ups: play-in vs. Indians, Astros vs. Red Sox
NLDS match-ups: play-in vs. Cubs, Mets vs. Dodgers
- No change in the playoff participants or match-ups, though the Astros and Red Sox flip-flopped home field advantage. Again, this is hardly surprising with only a few games in the books.
- Early season series do matter. The Pirates-Cardinals tilt shook up the NL Central quite a bit thanks to Pittsburgh's sweep. There was a four game swing between the Pirates and Cardinals in the standings. The Cardinals tumbled all the way from being the closest challenger to the Cubs to equidistant from the Pirates and Reds in the standings. This is partly due to Cincinnati's strong start, but still...that's a remarkable change for so few games.
- The most noteworthy series in the American League was the Mariners-Rangers tilt, which was not too surprising. They both opened the season with roughly .500 season projections, placing them in the fringe of playoff contention. There was a three game swing between those two teams in the standings, and it was enough to push Texas to the AL West basement for the time being and to shove the Mariners within a game of a wild card spot. Nearly half of the American League (7 out of 15 teams) have projected win totals between 80 and 82 games, so the Texas tumble to 77 wins is probably bigger than it seems. While on one hand they aren't that many games away from the final wild card spot, they are also looking up at almost everyone in the league. That's a ton of teams to leapfrog, even if they are all mediocre.
- I expect more movement in next week's standings because the update will include two series' worth of games (5-7) for each team instead of just one.