Playoff Probabilities (08/03/15)

By John Ewing Director of Research and Analytics @johnewing
MLB Playoff Probabilities – What impact did the trade deadline have on playoff teams?

The trade deadline is in our rearview mirror, which buyers and sellers improved their playoff probability the most? What teams made moves but didn't actually help themselves?


The AL West leading Astros were aggressive at the deadline. Houston acquired starter Scott Kazmir and All-Star center fielder Carlos Gomez. The ‘Stros increased their playoff probability by 17.4 percent and World Series odds by 4.1 percent (most of any team). Houston is the second most likely team to win the title.

Kansas City went from likely playoff participant to lock. The Royals beefed up the rotation with the addition of ace Johnny Cueto and added some pop to the lineup with Ben Zobrist. KC is 99.1 percent likely to make the playoffs and 9.5 percent likely to win the World Series (2nd best in AL).

Toronto has been battling for a playoff berth for the last 22 years but by making deals for Troy Tulowitzki and David Price, the team may finally reach the postseason. The Blue Jays are 53.9 percent likely to play past the 162nd game of the season and are currently projected to be the second wild-card team.

Not all moves are created equal. The Dodgers were reportedly interested in David Price but settled for Mat Latos and Alex Wood. Los Angeles is still the most likely champion but the team's World Series odds decreased 2.2 percent – the most in the National League.

The playoff picture is becoming clearer. Eight teams have greater than a 70 percent chance of making the playoffs and 14 others have less than a 5 percent chance of reaching the postseason.

MLB Playoff Probabilities

Team Playoffs World Series
Los Angeles Dodgers 93.8 20.6
Houston Astros 95.8 13.4
St. Louis Cardinals 99.6 11.8
Washington Nationals 90.4 11.6
Kansas City Royals 99.1 9.5
New York Yankees 89.0 7.4
Pittsburgh Pirates 91.6 6.1
Los Angeles Angels 70.6 5.4
Toronto Blue Jays 53.9 4.4
San Francisco Giants 53.0 3.4
Chicago Cubs 49.4 2.5
Baltimore Orioles 27.9 1.2
New York Mets 19.3 1.0
Tampa Bay Rays 17.5 0.7
Chicago White Sox 12.6 0.3
Cleveland Indians 4.9 0.3
Minnesota Twins 16.9 0.2
Texas Rangers 5.4 0.2
Detroit Tigers 5.2 0.1
Arizona Diamondbacks 2.0 0.1
Seattle Mariners 0.9 0.0
San Diego Padres 0.6 0.0
Atlanta Braves 0.3 0.0
Boston Red Sox 0.2 0.0
Oakland Athletics 0.2 0.0
Colorado Rockies 0.0 0.0
Philadelphia Phillies 0.0 0.0
Milwaukee Brewers 0.0 0.0
Cincinnati Reds 0.0 0.0
Miami Marlins 0.0 0.0