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MLB Projected Standings, Week 3

This was a week of reckoning in the National League, where the contenders really pulled away from the pretenders. Meanwhile the American League remains about as muddled as the start of the season.

I should mention that I made an adjustment to the formula this week which likely is driving some of the significant changes. I was not accounting for different numbers of games played and there is a wide enough spread of games played so far this season for that to make a real difference. 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 3:

AL WestAL CentralAL East
Astros, 83-79 (+1), 0 GBIndians, 88-74 (+3), 0 GBRed Sox, 85-77 (+2), 0 GB
Mariners, 80-82 (+1), 3 GBWhite Sox, 84-78 (0), 4 GB     Orioles, 83-79 (0), 2 GB
Athletics 79-83 (+1), 4 GBRoyals, 81-81 (-1), 7 GBYankees, 83-79 (0), 2 GB
Angels, 78-84 (-3), 5 GBTigers, 80-82 (-3), 8 GBBlue Jays, 83-79 (+1), 2 GB
Rangers, 76-86 (-2), 7 GB     Twins, 76-86 (+1), 12 GBRays, 79-83 (0), 6 GB
.
NL WestNL CentralNL East
Dodgers, 98-64 (+9), 0 GBCubs, 100-62 (+9), 0 GBMets, 96-66 (+9), 0 GB
Giants, 86-76 (+1), 12 GBPirates, 88-74 (+4), 12 GBNationals, 94-68 (+6), 2 GB
Diamondbacks, 75-87 (-1), 23 GB     Cardinals, 85-77 (+1), 15 GBMarlins, 77-85 (-3), 19 GB
Rockies, 74-88 (-4), 24 GB    Reds, 71-91 (-7), 29 GBPhillies, 68-95 (-7), 29 GB
Padres, 72-90 (-3), 26 GBBrewers, 70-92 (-5), 20 GBBraves, 61-101 (-8), 35 GB

Wild card play-in games: Orioles at White Sox, Giants at Nationals
ALDS match-ups: play-in vs. Indians, Astros vs. Red Sox
NLDS match-ups: play-in vs. Cubs, Mets vs. Dodgers

Some musings:
  • Turns out some of the highest WAR teams weren't among the teams that had played the most games. This explains some of the huge boosts in the NL. However, this could also be a "tipping point" week of sorts. The adjustment I made in the formula this week would have made no difference with the preseason projections. So, just three weeks in, the best in the NL have asserted themselves as even better, while the worse are worse.
  • Meanwhile, in the American League, the movement remains shockingly minimal. The drastic contrasts between the two leagues at the moment will be interesting to watch, particularly in a few months when the trade deadline looms. Will anybody in the American League be sellers?
  • The Cubs and Dodgers are a cut above everyone else in baseball at the moment. Don't sleep on some of the mediocre AL records though. There are good teams in the league. For instance, before adjusting for schedules, the Indians have an expected rest of season winning percentage of .542 and the Nationals come in at .545 - basically the same even though the Nationals project to win 6 more games. The difference is driven some by the Nats hot start, and also some by the lack of very bad teams in the AL when compared to the NL.
  • Six NL teams are projected to have worse records than the worst in the whole American League. I wonder if that fact will get enough attention as the season wears on and it becomes obvious that the NL will have playoff teams with better records than the AL until some AL team goes crazy at the trade deadline.