Shouldn’t the playoff adjustment take the league into account? In the AL, the number is 28.5% (or 35.7% this year), while in the NL it’s 25% (or 31.3% this year). That must make some difference at the margins, no?
I don’t think I understand the playoff adjustment. The White Sox have a 73.4% chance of making the playoffs and the Rays have a 58.9% chance. These are the second and third best odds in the AL. Yet that game loses 0.2 points? That’s unpossible.
The theory (nor am I suggesting it’s a great one) is that the team closest to ca. 33% (the generic start-of-season playoff odds this year) is playing in the most “urgent” or “high-leverage” games — that nothing, in effect, has been determined regarding their playoff chances since the beginning of the season, which (in theory) makes that team’s present games more exciting.
The further a team is from 33%, the less urgent the game, is what the adjustment reflects — although teams above are treated differently than team’s below 33%, simply because the range above 33 (i.e. 100 – 33) is bigger than range below (i.e. 33 – 0).
Where are you getting this from? The Rays are in the top 5 teams in the majors, and tied for first in their division and are 10 games over .500. The ChiSox are in second place, behind a team that’s around the same quality as themselves, with a flailing juggernaut/division champion from last year looming only 2.5 behind them.
So why you’d think that the Rays would be less likely to win their division/a wild card berth than the White Sox is at the very least, confusing.
Two things, the ratings don’t make sense, and once you accept that you begin to see a sort of internal logic (like a Magritte painting). Secondly, it seems to me that the ratings give higher scores to guys with a chance of flaming out spectacularly over guys that are expected to be competently excellent.
I think that would make sense late in the season but coolstandings odds vary pretty quickly so at this point in the season they are more a measure of who is playing well through two months than who actually is going to be in the race. I’m a White Sox fan and I don’t think they are so likely to be around come October.
Baseball Prospectus playoff odds seem to be more stable and less influenced by hot and cold streaks. Maybe those would work better for you, or are you prohibited from using a competing SABR sites stats?
I wonder if using Baseball Prospectus ratings, and giving extra credit for “7 day delta” or their change in playoff chances over the last seven days, or giving credit for positive changes, at least. Large changes are likely to signal “this team is different than what you thought last week.” The Angels +21% over the last seven days tells me that game is likely to be exciting, since they’re on a roll (I know, no such thing as a streak, but within the narrative the game will be more entertaining). I’m less sure about negative changes; the Braves’ -34% is the largest absolute change, but I don’t know if that makes me more likely to watch the game.