By Stephen Oh
The Yankees had a rough week. They dropped one of two at home to Boston, they lost 2 to the Rays and even lost 2 of 3 to the Mets. With Tampa Bay and Boston going a combined 11-3 in the week the Yankees dropped over 25 points in the playoff race. They still have the 4th best chance of making the playoffs, but the Yankees are definitely not the favorite in the AL East. The Rays not only beat them twice, they seemed to almost be toying with the Yankees and you could feel how confident the Rays were. Boston still only has a 21 percent chance of making the playoffs but they did jump +15 percent to lead the AL this week.
The Rangers stayed hot going 5-2 and they have seen their playoff chances jump from 8.8 percent in Week 3 to 64 percent after Week 7. They have hot a hot month, but it definitely helps when Seattle and the Angels continue to struggle. Oakland has kept up with Texas and they are now a solid second in the AL West. Seattle is down to under 1 percent which would be nearly impossible to imagine in the off-season when they added Cliff Lee.
The AL Central continues to be a two team race with the Twins and Tigers leading the way. Even thought the teams combined for a 6-7 record they only saw their playoff chances dip a combined -4.2 percentage points and there is only a 2.6 percent chance that the White Sox, Royals or Indians win this division.
The Dodgers had another great week going 5-2 and they now have a 54 percent chance of winning the NL West. The surprising Padres also had a solid 4-3 week and they saw their playoff chances increase by over 8 percentage points. With the Diamondbacks also picking up +7.3 points after a 5-2 week the obvious big loser in the division was San Francisco. They have reverted back to 2009 when their offense struggled, to say the least. In 5 of their 6 losses they scored an astoundingly low 3 runs. The Giants lost nearly 30 percentage points off their playoff chances because of their 1-6 week and the negative impact that a pathetic offensive week has on future simulations.
The Reds blew a 6 run lead in the 9th inning to the Braves but still had a good week, going 4-3 and picking up over 12 percent. The Cardinals were 5-2 this week but actually lost 1 percent because they were solid to heavy favorites in all their games so 5-2 was the record that was expected of them. The Cubs had a good 5-2 week but taking 2 of 3 from Texas does not help as much as taking 2 of 3 from an NL competitor would.
The Mets were 4-3 and took 2 of 3 from the Yankees, but they still only have a 4.2 percent chance of making the playoffs as they are still in last place in the NL East. The Braves had a better week going 4-2 to get back over .500 and their tremendous 13-6 home record bodes well for the rest of the season as they have 6 more home games than road games the rest of the season.