By Stephen Oh
The Giants are the big winners in the NL after going 5-2 and picking up a whopping +26 percent playoff percentage points in the process. They managed to split their 4 game road series vs NL Central leader Cincinnati which scored them one more quality win than expected. The Giants benefited from the struggles of the Phillies and Cardinals. San Francisco is now ahead of both of these potential Wild Card competitors. San Diego is still not considered a favorite in the NL West. AccuScore simply does not think they will be able to maintain their +.500 road record. The Dodgers plummeted nearly 20 points thanks to getting swept at home by the Angels. When you lose 3 games when you were expected to win 2 you are going to lose significant ground. When you combine that with a hot team in the division (SF) then you have a big loss like the one the Dodgers had.
The Nationals got two great games from Stephen Strasburg. While the 4-2 week helped them pick up +13 percentage points, the real impact is the one Strasburg has on the Nationals the rest of the season. With another 19 or 20 starts he could definitely help the team win 14 or 15 of these games vs 9 or 10 without him. Strasburg could help Washington win 5 more games than they would have otherwise. The Phillies are crashing in the NL East. A month ago they were 86.6 percent favorites in the division and now they are just 34.4 percent favorites. The Braves and Mets also had their odds significantly increase and now all the NL East teams are finishing with an average of 83 to 90 wins.
The Cardinals nearly matched the Phillies with a -24 percentage point drop after going just 1-5. They have also mimicked Philadelphia's month-long slide going from being a 72 percent NL Central favorite to a 50.5% percent favorite since Week 6. AccuScore still favors the Cardinals over Cincinnati 50.5 to 47.4 percent to win the division. Despite being 1.5 games behind Cincinnati the Cardinals do have 5 more home games than road games to play and the Reds have 10 more road games to play. The Cardinals are also helped by the fact that Albert Pujols will likely start to get hot again after seeing his avg dip below .300.
The Los Angeles Angels were the big winner in Week 10. They earned a respectable road split with Oakland and swept the Dodgers. While an inter-league win does not help as much as a win within the division, the fact that the Angels won 3 games when they were expected to win 1 of 3 helped them pick up nearly 14 percent in the playoff race. Texas also went 5-2 this week, but they actually lost a little ground because their 5 wins was expected given the level of competition. Oakland was the biggest loser in the AL which is bound to happen when you go 2-5 in a division where two teams went 5-2.
The Yankees have re-established themselves as the 62 percent favorite to win the AL East after a strong 5-1 week. They had an easy week with games vs Baltimore and Houston, but they at least did what they were supposed to do. The Rays only went 3-3 as they continue to play much worse at home (18-15) than on the road (22-8). Even if they slipped to #2 in the AL East playoff percentage race they still have the second highest playoff percentage (74.6%) in the entire league (Al and NL). Boston went 4-3 to remain a threat. They are forecasted for the 4th best record in the AL but they only have a 23.8 percent chance of making the playoffs.
Detroit picked up a little ground on Minnesota after going 4-2 while the Twins went 3-3. The Twins lost 2 of 3 to Atlanta and while losses are never good they did lose much ground since the impact of Inter-league losses is not that much. This is why Detroit's sweep of Pittsburgh did not really help much. They only had something to lose in this series. Anything short of a sweep to a team that is 9-25 on the road would have been a major disappointment.