Last fall, we generated win probabilities for all 33 games of the MLB postseason, including the 2 wild-card games, 26 divisional and championship round games, and the 5 World Series games. We think it is finally time to declare how we did.
For each game, we compared win probabilities from 6 sources, two “baselines” (50/50 odds for each game, and the home team winning each game), two for-profit industries (Vegas betting lines and FiveThirtyEight’s Elo), and our two win probability metrics, Runs Scored/Runs Allowed wp%, created in 2017, and our Bayesian SaberSmart Simulator, created in 2018.
Fall brings joy to a lot of people, what with the break from the heat of summer, the annual arrival of Pumpkin Spiced Lattes and shoes, apple picking, and of course, the Fall Classic. This year, the World Series features the regular season juggernaut Boston Red Sox, and the perennial playoff participant, but never the winner, Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Red Sox have only lost two games this postseason, cruising past the Yankees in the ALDS and crushing the Astros and their co-co-co aces in the ALCS. Meanwhile, the Dodgers were on auto-pilot in the NLDS where they destroyed the Braves, before winning an epic battle over Milwaukee in seven games in the NLCS. The Dodgers were one win from winning the World Series last year, while the Red Sox last won the championship half a decade ago in 2013.
We promised win probabilities for every game of the 2018 MLB postseason and we plan on delivering. Check this page before every game for updated game and series win probabilities!
Read more about our SaberSmart Simulator here, and our Runs Scored/Allowed Simulator here, here, or here. FiveThirtyEight's Elo predictions can be found here.
Predicting the AL Wild Card Rumbledome... Because the NL is a Beautiful, Unpredictable Maelstrom of Chaos
The Rumbledome. All or Nothing. The Play-In Game. The MLB Wild Card has had many names since its inception in 2012. While some fans may not be on board with it, or the MLB playoffs’ current structure in general, the one thing the Rumbledome has always provided has been drama.
The second wild card spot provides teams with hope, that even though they weren’t the best, by definition, there is still a chance of obtaining the perennial glory of a World Series Championship. You may not believe it, but the 2014 World Series featured two Wild Card teams, with the Giants eventually giving the Royals the best possible postseason winning percentage for a World Series loser before winning it all themselves.
Every Friday, the political and sports analytics website FiveThirtyEight offers up problems related to the things we hold dear around here, math, logic and probability, in their popular Riddler column. When we get the chance, we enjoy checking out these puzzlers, and the solutions that oftentimes are the exact opposite of what you initially think!
This week, the Riddler offered up a problem relating to the MLB postseason and winning percentages, so we know we had to take a crack at it.