2016 MLB Playoff Predictions

Monday, October 3, 2016

Here were my spring training predictions.  I hit all 5 NL playoff teams, 3 of the 5 AL teams.  My 88 win prediction for the Giants turned out 1 game optimistic.

Wild Card Games:

NL: Giants at Mets
AL: Orioles at Jays

The Giants had a slight pythag advantage on the Mets (90-87) and a slightly better than that third order winning % advantage (91.5-86.5) mitigated a bit by the game being played in NY.  The pitching matchup is essentially a wash, if you're a Giants fan (and I am) you want Bumgarner on the mound in a must win game over anyone in the league, but Syndergaard has a slight ERA+ advantage this season (158-149).

It's enough of a coin flip that there's no reason for a Giants fan not to pick the Giants.

Jays have a solid (91-84) pythag advantage over the Orioles, they stretch that with the third order winning % (93.2-84.6), they've got home field advantage.  Unclear who the starting pitchers will be; I don't see a potential matchup where I'm likely to give Baltimore the nod.

Winners: Giants, Jays

Division Series:
NL: Dodgers at Nationals, Giants at Cubs
AL: Sox at Indians, Jays at Rangers

The Nats were better than the Dodgers, by a decent amount by pythag (97-90) and by just a little bit by third order % (97.9-96.4). The Nats are at home, but have real injury issues (Strasburg out, Ramos out, unsure about Murphy's status). The Dodgers have a real weakness against lefties but only Gonzalez is really poised to take advantage of it.  I'll take LA.  The Giants have a punchers chance given their starting pitching - but the Cubs are clearly baseball's best team (107 win pythag, 112.4 third order wins) and it's silly to pick against them.

The Sox have a solid pythag advantage on the Indians (98-91) an even greater third order advantage (102.9-90.2) and the Indians have the Salazar/Carrasco injuries.  I'll take Boston.  Texas is this year's lucky horseshoe team, they have the worst pythag (82 wins) and worst third order (78.7 wins) records in all the playoffs, that's enough for me to take Toronto.

Leaving us...

Dodgers at Cubs.
Sox at Rangers.

I'll take the all Theo series.  Cubs over Boston in 6 games.

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