Updating Tie Scenarios, AL Wild Card and Beyond

It was a rough week for Team Entropy, as sweeps by the Orioles and Athletics knocked out most of the larger snafus the Rays and Angels could have caused over the final three games:

There’s still room for a three-way tie between the Athletics, Rays and Angels, though, and the AL East, AL West and NL Wild Card could also see tied finishes as the year comes to a close.

Here are the possibilities we have heading into Monday’s action:

As with Friday’s post, odds are calculated using the log5 method and third-order wins from Baseball Prospectus. For more, see the original post.

Last time, we only covered the odds of a three-team pile up or more. Odds of over eight percent on Friday have dwindled to under one percent, forcing us to direct our attention towards the more conventional (yet still exciting!) two-way tie as well. Particularly with Baltimore and New York tied heading into the weekend, chances of extra baseball are still worth noting.

Here’s how it all shakes out:

Tie Odds
OAK/ANA/TBR 0.0045
OAK/ANA 0.0105
OAK/TBR 0.0268
TOTAL AL WC 0.0414
BAL/NYY 0.2153
STL/LAD 0.0772
AT LEAST ONE TIE 0.3143
ANY TWO TIES 0.0297
ANY THREE TIES 0.0010
ALL FOUR TIES 0.00001

With just three days to go, we’re looking at a 31.5% chance we’ll see at least one tiebreaking game and a wholly possible 2.6% chance of two tiebreakers. Things aren’t looking good for a nightmare scenario of three (1 in 1000) or four (1 in 10000) tiebreaker games, but crazier things have happened.

Unfortunately for those on the side of chaos, the Athletics and Orioles continued rolls knocked out the chance at an even wilder final half-week. Still, the Rays and Angels have kept hope alive and the AL East, AL Central and NL Wild Card races should give us a fun few days of scoreboard watching.



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MikeS
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MikeS
3 years 8 months ago

This is as good a place to post this as any.

The context based advertising is trying to sell me White Sox playoff tickets. HA!!

Matt
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Matt
3 years 8 months ago

That’s 1 in 100,000 for the four-way tie (if the table is correct).

Bob Loblaw
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Bob Loblaw
3 years 8 months ago

Jack-

You realize that Texas and Oakland could tie?

Or Texas and the Orioles/yankees could tie?

Bob Loblaw
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Bob Loblaw
3 years 8 months ago

Today, I am an idiot please ignore me.

Bobbee
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Bobbee
3 years 8 months ago

Actually, A’s-Texas cannot tie. Texas is up by 2 games, so A’s win division if they sweep, but if Texas gets even 1 game they take the division.

TKDC
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TKDC
3 years 8 months ago

They could tie if they tied.

Barkey Walker
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Barkey Walker
3 years 8 months ago

What happens if a game goes too late into the night and the umpires call it? It would basically just be a sudden death game the next day without pinch hitting and starters being used in place of relievers, right?

OtherSideoftheCoin
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OtherSideoftheCoin
3 years 8 months ago

I think he only was looking at ties that would produce a tiebreaker game. And it is impossible for Texas and Oakland to tie at this point. Not enough degrees of freedom or something like that…

a13x75
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a13x75
3 years 8 months ago

Nope, a Texas-Oakland tie is as possible as some of the scenarios above. If the A’s sweep the rangers, they will have to play a tiebreaker game in which the A’s have the homefield advantage.

Evan
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Evan
3 years 8 months ago

Oakland is 2 games behind Texas. If Oakland sweeps they will be declared division champion based on having more wins in the regular season.

a13x75
Member
a13x75
3 years 8 months ago

Oh yeah, whoops, I still had all the hypotheticals in my head if the angels had swept them last series, that was stupid.

a13x75
Member
a13x75
3 years 8 months ago

Doing the math, and assuming all games have a 50/50 chance for either team to win (the season series is 8-8), then there is a 12.5% chance for that tiebreaker game to happen.

Hurtlockertwo
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Hurtlockertwo
3 years 8 months ago

I think the odds of Adam Dunn being the all time strikeout king for one season is better than his team getting into the playoffs.

MikeS
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MikeS
3 years 8 months ago

Interesting and possibly true, but 16 Ks in three games would be hard. 6 in a game is the record, all in extra innings and he has never personally had 5 in a game. So he would at the very least have to set personal records and tie several MLB records. And the White Sox would have to not be eliminated or else Ventura would probably protect him. making up three games in three days while NOT playing the team you are haing might be more likely. Just assuming each game is 50/50 yields one chance in 64. Cool standings lists their odds at 0.9%.

Evan
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Evan
3 years 8 months ago

Assuming that you have approximately 50% of winning a game against the team you’re chasing (reasonable since you’re probably of comparable strength) then you have a 1/8 chance of making up those 3 games with 3 games to play. The only way it is easier to play separate opponents is if you play an especially weak opponent and the team you’re chasing plays an especially strong opponent because you now need 6 games to be won by the correct team.
For the sake of simplicity I will assume that all 6 of those games have the same probability of being won by the correct team. The break even point for those 6 games going your way (compared to the 3 50/50 games) is just under 71%. The team you’re chasing (for a playoff spot) having a 71% chance of losing each game is exceptionally unlikely.
In the present Tigers/White Sox situation if we assume 50/50 on all the games the White Sox have a 1/128 chance of making the playoffs (3 Chicago wins, 3 Detroit losses and Chicago wins game 163). If instead we assume that Detroit and Chicago each have a 60% chance of winning each of their 3 games then there is a 216/15625 (1.3824%) of forcing the extra game, slightly less than the 1/64 (1.5625%) for the 50/50 assumption.

Hurtlockertwo
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Hurtlockertwo
3 years 8 months ago

Dunn has 220 strikeouts with two games to go, four more strikeouts in two games is very possible.

John Thacker
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John Thacker
3 years 8 months ago

The odds of Mike Trout being a 30-50 man are greater than his team getting in, I think.

TKDC
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TKDC
3 years 8 months ago

The Braves and Nats will also tie if the Braves sweep the Pirates and the Phillies sweep the Nats.

chuckb
Member
chuckb
3 years 8 months ago

It’s very frustrating in trying to read this article that nowhere does it explain what the tables are telling us. Are the numbers percentages? Is it telling me that the O’s have a 95% chance of making the playoffs if they go 6-0? I don’t know how we are expected to understand and comment on a graphic without any sort of legend or explanation about the values therein. Maybe you think it’s self-explanatory but I can tell you it isn’t.

Evan
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Evan
3 years 8 months ago

The first table is a portion of a table that appeared in an article on Friday. It shows the number of wins each team would have reached based on compiling the record at the top of the column over its final 6 games. It was color-coded to show potential ties that could take place. Some of the boxes are now blank based on how the teams performed in their Fri-Sun series.

The second table is the same thing for the final series for all teams that could end up with a game 163.

The original article is linked in the first paragraph.

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