05 October 2015

Blue Jays best in 2015

Predicting the baseball postseason is an annual tradition on this otherwise defunct blog, so, as busy as I am, I'll take a few minutes to do the same kind of analysis I've done the last eight years, essentially factoring out each team's luck to see how good they really were this season.  (Actually, I'm so excited about my favorite team that I'll provide a little more analysis than usual.)  The Nostradamian, Pythagorean and actual win percentages for all teams in 2015:

nW%pW%W%
Blue Jays.610976.627539.574074
Dodgers.586700.552070.567901
Astros.583087.575002.530864
Cubs.578721.556969.598765
Indians.562274.520263.503106
Nationals.559369.546408.512346
Pirates.555723.571133.604938
Mets.552256.549309.555556
Giants.544751.547620.518519
Cardinals.543269.594446.617284
Yankees.528173.541241.537037
Rays.524661.501423.493827
Royals.517025.555477.586420
Diamondbacks.497184.504470.487654
Athletics.494963.477505.419753
Red Sox.492611.496952.481481
Angels.488482.490413.524691
Mariners.487364.453747.469136
Rangers.485508.511097.543210
Orioles.484895.513014.500000
Tigers.474345.430405.459627
Marlins.465058.454022.438272
Twins.454986.497378.512346
Reds.454094.425562.395062
Padres.440252.446477.456790
White Sox.439502.445515.469136
Brewers.436810.446245.419753
Rockies.418224.438295.419753
Braves.390727.373589.413580
Phillies.372472.384782.388889

So this year the luckiest teams were the Cardinals, Royals, Rangers and Twins; the unluckiest were the Athletics, Indians and Reds.  Perhaps the most interesting division was the AL West; not only was the final weekend of the season exciting, but the true strengths of the teams were hardly recognized in the standings.  The Athletics finished last but really played better than all but the Astros; the Rangers finished first but deserved to be last.  If the ten actually best teams had made the playoffs, the Indians, Nationals and Giants would be in and the Yankees, Royals and Rangers would be out.  Nine teams better than the Rangers will be watching the playoffs at home.  The teams with the three best records in baseball were all in the NL Central, but none was one of the three truly best teams; actually, they deserved to finish in the opposite order: Cubs, Pirates, Cardinals.  Very unusually, the three best teams in baseball (Blue Jays, Dodgers, Astros) were actually unlucky and deserved better records, and the three worst teams (Phillies, Braves, Rockies) deserved even worse records.

As a longtime Blue Jays fan, the most exciting development for me is to see them make the playoffs for the first time since 1993's championship year, and as the best team in baseball.  GM Alex Anthopoulos's trade-deadline moves have been very successful, and even without baseball's best record many see the Jays as the favorite to win it all.  In the ALDS the Jays will face the Rangers, matching the best and worst playoff teams.  Unfortunately, anything can happen in a five-game series.  Ironically, the Blue Jays' World Series opponents in 1992 and 1993, the Braves and Phillies, were the worst teams in baseball this year.

Based on the above results, it's reasonable to predict:

 Astros over RoyalsBlue Jays over AstrosBlue Jays over Dodgers
Astros over Yankees
 Blue Jays over Rangers
Dodgers over MetsDodgers over Cubs
Cubs over PiratesCubs over Cardinals
 

And what I'm rooting for is only slightly different:

 Royals over AstrosBlue Jays over RoyalsBlue Jays over Cubs
Astros over Yankees
 Blue Jays over Rangers
Mets over DodgersCubs over Mets
Cubs over PiratesCubs over Cardinals
 

I got all the statistics I needed for this analysis from these three pages: A B C

All the way, Jays!

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