What Are The Odds Of Every World Collection Matchup?

The 2021 MLB common season got here all the way down to its last day with loads of potential for chaos — together with a attainable four-way tie for the American League’s two wild-card slots and contingency plans for a number of further video games simply to get the playoff subject set. However whereas Sunday offered some momentary intrigue, essentially the most dramatic of situations by no means fairly materialized, because the San Francisco Giants sealed up the NL West and the Boston Purple Sox and New York Yankees each claimed the AL’s wild playing cards. Now we sit up for the postseason, the place a subject filled with sturdy groups and loads of compelling matchups has us pondering that baseball’s October spectacle is simply getting began.

How we’re forecasting the 2021 MLB playoffs

Probabilities of reaching every playoff spherical for 2021 MLB postseason groups, in keeping with the FiveThirtyEight mannequin

Likelihood to… Likelihood to…
American League Make
Nationwide League Make
Rays 62% 36% 18% Dodgers 47% 35% 25%
Astros 56 27 12 Giants 41 24 13
White Sox 44 19 8 Braves 54 19 9
Yankees 22 11 4 Brewers 46 16 7
Purple Sox 16 7 2 Cardinals 12 6 2

Within the American League, our favourite to make the World Collection (at 36 p.c) is the defending pennant-winning Rays, who will begin the playoffs by taking up the winner of the Yankees-Purple Sox play-in contest — two division rivals that Tampa Bay went a mixed 22-16 in opposition to through the common season. The Rays will likely be counting on the acquainted system of a deceptively good offense, a gentle protection and an incredible bullpen to return to the Fall Traditional. 

However we give the remainder of the AL subject a 64 p.c probability of unseating them, led by the Astros at 27 p.c. Houston nonetheless has loads of stars and topped the majors in scoring, although the workforce can also be removed from assured to win its division collection matchup in opposition to a gifted White Sox membership that contains a lethal lineup and robust pitching. And the Boston-New York winner might even make some noise. Although the Yankees have had their ups and downs (and ups and downs, and …) this 12 months, we give the workforce a really stable 21 p.c probability to make the World Collection — and an 8 p.c probability to win all of it — conditional on making it out of the wild-card sport. For the Purple Sox, these numbers are considerably decrease — 15 p.c and 4 p.c, respectively — however Boston does have a deep lineup that might make bother for opposing pitchers. (We give the Yankees a slim 53 p.c edge within the wild-card sport itself.) All of it provides as much as an AL postseason bracket the place absolutely anything can occur.

Over within the Nationwide League, the Dodgers are additionally favorites, however that’s primarily a testomony to how a lot expertise they’ve — and never the scenario they instantly discover themselves in. Los Angeles has that NL-best probability of constructing the World Collection (35 p.c) regardless of having to play a do-or-die sport in opposition to the Cardinals, MLB’s hottest workforce since mid-September. Due to this, our mannequin says there’s a 30 p.c probability that this Dodgers season — 106 wins and all — ends after only one postseason sport. Nonetheless, if L.A. does beat St. Louis, the Dodgers would instantly change into sizable NL favorites, with a conditional 50 p.c chance of constructing the World Collection (and a 36 p.c probability to win the title). 

The Giants are the NL’s second-most-likely pennant winner, they usually greater than held their very own (10-9 head-to-head document) in opposition to the Dodgers through the common season, outdueling them for the NL West crown down the stretch. San Francisco’s franchise-record 107 wins got here from scary stability on either side of the ball. However nonetheless, the Giants’ lives can be made a lot simpler if the Cardinals took care of L.A. for them; they’d have a 35 p.c probability to make the World Collection in the event that they confronted St. Louis within the NLDS, versus a 19 p.c probability in the event that they confronted Los Angeles. We will’t overlook the Braves and Brewers, both. Within the closest projected division collection matchup of all of them, we’ll get to look at Milwaukee’s dominant pitching workers go in opposition to Atlanta’s highly effective lineup. However the NL’s greatest story is how its most gifted workforce on paper will both flame out in a single sport or change into dominant favorites in a single day.

The almost certainly 2021 World Collection matchups

Odds of every matchup of AL vs. NL groups within the 2021 World Collection, in keeping with the FiveThirtyEight mannequin

Group Dodgers Giants Braves Brewers Cardinals
Rays 12.6% 8.6% 6.8% 5.8% 2.2%
Astros 9.5 6.5 5.1 4.3 1.6
White Sox 6.7 4.6 3.6 3.0 1.1
Yankees 3.9 2.6 2.1 1.8 0.7
Purple Sox 2.5 1.7 1.3 1.1 0.4

As issues at present stand, the mannequin offers an almost 13 p.c probability to a Dodgers-Rays rematch from 2020 — the one almost certainly World Collection matchup in our simulations. Nonetheless, meaning there’s an over 87 p.c probability we get a unique battle by the tip of October. The second-most-likely matchup, at just below 10 p.c, is a repeat of 2017 — Dodgers versus Astros — and let’s simply say there can be a lot of luggage related to that one. Third-most possible? At just below 9 p.c, Giants versus Rays — a matchup we’ve seldom seen in any respect (it’s solely occurred in 15 complete video games ever, all clearly coming within the common season). Name it the Evan Longoria Bowl, if it occurs. And at just below 7 p.c apiece, the following three almost certainly World Collection are Rays-Braves (the Battle of Fred McGriff), Dodgers-White Sox (a rematch of the 1959 World Collection) and Giants-Astros (a matchup of former division rivals who now occupy completely different leagues). 

The 19 different attainable permutations are available at various levels of decrease chance, proper all the way down to the least-likely matchup of all: Purple Sox versus Cardinals (0.4 p.c), itself a rematch of the 2013, 2004, 1967 and 1946 World Collection. The chances are stacked in opposition to seeing that rivalry be reprised in three weeks’ time — however given how wide-open this postseason subject seems to be, we are able to’t rule it out completely.

Take a look at our newest MLB predictions.

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