Projecting the AL playoff race

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The red-hot Royals – a MLB-best 20-7 in August, and winners in 18 of 22 since the acquisition of the Rally Mantis, have gone from 51-58 to 69-62 and just two games out of the second Wild Card in just a little over three weeks.

The Royals playoffs chances have increased from 6% to 22% in a week, and I’ve been looking at remaining games on the schedule at all of the competitors for all five of the AL playoff spots. I took the remaining games and figured out approximately how many they’d win based on how they have done overall on the season and how they’ve been playing of late (August schedule). This is really too simplistic of a way to do this. I thought it would favor the Royals too much because of what they’ve done in August. I was right, of course, but there have been a lot of really good August records for all of the contenders (maybe that’s why they’re contenders), so it wasn’t as drastic as I thought it would be. Maybe I should have done a combination of July/Aug to offset how well the Royals did in August (the Royals are the first team in MLB history to lose 19 games one month and win 19 the next month). Anyway, here’s an “educated” guess at the standings:

American League East

Jays: 93-94 wins (the guess at overall victories – the closer the numbers, means that their August record looked pretty similar to their overall record and that probably means they’re easier to guess)

Red Sox 90

Orioles 85

Yankees 83-85

AL Central

Indians 90-92

Royals 85-92

Tigers 86 (picking the Tigers, an easier lock to guess due to the consistency of their season, to be behind the Royals is probably questionable, but I went with the Royals because they’ve been so hot and typically you put more weight on what’s going on, then what has went on. And, the Royals had the biggest difference of victories and I’m doubting the 92, but I think more than 86 is doable. No reason other than hope, though.)

AL West

Rangers 95

Astros 85

Mariners 84-85

Wild Card

1. Red Sox

2. Royals

Tigers

Orioles

Astros

Mariners

Yankees

Numbers only matter when it’s about baseball.

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