NFL Power Rankings and Playoff Probabilities

As Week 11 has wrapped up in the NFL, two teams still remain undefeated (New England Patriots, Carolina Panthers) and a couple divisions have entered into gridlock for first place (AFC South, NFC East). Currently, the playoffs have shaped up to be the following: AFC Playoffs #1 Seed: New England Patriots (10-0; East Leader) #2 Seed: Cincinnati…

Ten Days Left: Wild Finish for the A.L. Wild Card

Three weeks ago, the Houston Astros (73-60) sat relatively comfortably atop the American League West with a three game lead over the Texas Rangers (69-62) and a 6.5 game lead over the Los Angeles Angels (66-66). Over the course of three weeks, the Rangers wrangled the division lead in a convincing series over the Astros.…

Comparing Probability Models: MLB Playoff Probabilities Update

As the season comes to a conclusion, we will continue to produce probabilities for each MLB making the playoffs. With 10-12 games remaining for each team, the need for urgency arises and teams outside the playoff picture need to start posting near perfect records (Rockies of 2007); or teams inside the playoff picture need to…

MLB Playoff Probabilities: Automatic Updating

In our recent post, Predicting MLB Playoff Probabilities, we addressed a simple method for estimating the probabilities for each MLB team using a Markov Chain Monte Carlo using historical results from earlier in the season. We introduced the notion of continuity correction to help adjust for small sample sizes and a simple random number generator to…

Who’s Going To Make the MLB Playoffs: Simple Simulation

ESPN recently updated their Hunt For October page and introduced probabilities for teams making the playoffs. While ESPN does not give a detailed analysis on how they obtain these simulations, we can instead create our own method. To do this, let’s take a simple approach: use past results of games and a little statistical machinery to build…