SportsLine MLB playoff race projections: Red Sox chasing Astros for AL top seed

We're in the dog days of the 2017 MLB season, and that means our focus is mostly on the various and sundry playoff races. 

Obviously, a glance at the standings page will give you an idea of where things stand when it comes to those coveted 10 postseason berths, but to peer a bit more deeply into these vital matters, we'll turn to our compadres over at SportsLine (@SportsLine on Twitter). Over there, they cook up projections and playoff percentages for each team and tell you what each team's chances of winning the pennant and World Series are. It's partly based on results to date, of course, but how each team projects the rest of the way at the roster level also plays a big role. 

So below you'll see each team's forecast regular-season record for 2017, forecast record for the remainder of the season, chances that they make the playoffs via division title or wild-card berth, and then the current chances that they win the pennant and World Series. Pretty much covers it, no? By the way, these numbers aren't just plucked from thin air; they come to us via the SportsLine projection system. 

First up, the American League ... 

AMERICAN

LEAGUE

SEASON FORECAST

REST OF SEASON

MAKE PLAYOFFS

POSTSEASON SUCCESS

WINS

LOSS

WIN%

WINS

LOSS

WIN%

WIN DIV

PLAYOFF

ALCS ODDS

LCS%

WS ODDS

WS%

Houston Astros

97.2

64.8

60.0%

25.2

19.8

56.1%

92.9%

98.3%

2/1, 33.3%

31.53%

6/1, 14.3%

12.40%

Boston Red Sox

94.1

67.9

58.1%

27.1

17.9

60.2%

76.3%

94.2%

5/2, 28.6%

28.42%

6/1, 14.3%

10.65%

Cleveland Indians

89.4

72.6

55.2%

26.4

20.6

56.1%

70.1%

81.1%

3/1, 25%

17.88%

7/1, 12.5%

6.58%

New York Yankees

87.0

75.0

53.7%

26.0

20.0

56.4%

18.8%

62.6%

7/1, 12.5%

8.31%

16/1, 5.9%

3.22%

Los Angeles Angels

82.9

79.2

51.1%

21.9

21.1

50.8%

4.0%

31.8%

20/1, 4.8%

3.47%

40/1, 2.4%

0.97%

Minnesota Twins

82.4

79.6

50.9%

23.4

22.6

51.0%

15.5%

32.6%

40/1, 2.4%

2.30%

80/1, 1.2%

0.54%

Kansas City Royals

81.5

80.5

50.3%

22.5

22.5

50.0%

13.0%

26.6%

15/1, 6.2%

3.31%

30/1, 3.2%

0.99%

Tampa Bay Rays

81.1

80.9

50.1%

22.1

20.9

51.4%

3.4%

21.9%

30/1, 3.2%

1.31%

60/1, 1.6%

0.35%

Texas Rangers

80.7

81.3

49.8%

24.7

21.3

53.7%

1.8%

20.0%

150/1, 0.7%

1.70%

300/1, 0.3%

0.41%

Seattle Mariners

79.9

82.1

49.3%

20.9

22.1

48.6%

1.3%

15.4%

20/1, 4.8%

0.89%

40/1, 2.4%

0.42%

Baltimore Orioles

77.6

84.4

47.9%

19.6

24.4

44.6%

1.2%

8.4%

50/1, 2%

0.44%

100/1, 1%

0.07%

Toronto Blue Jays

75.2

86.8

46.4%

19.2

25.8

42.7%

0.4%

3.5%

50/1, 2%

0.19%

100/1, 1%

0.07%

Detroit Tigers

74.0

88.1

45.7%

21.0

24.0

46.6%

1.3%

2.8%

250/1, 0.4%

0.24%

500/1, 0.2%

0.06%

Oakland Athletics

70.9

91.1

43.8%

18.9

25.1

42.9%

0.1%

0.7%

5000/1, 0%

0.01%

9999/1, 0%

0.00%

Chicago White Sox

61.8

100.2

38.1%

16.8

30.2

35.7%

0.1%

0.1%

5000/1, 0%

0.00%

9999/1, 0%

0.00%


Right now, here's how the AL playoff bracket is projected to look ... 

  • Wild card: Angels at Yankees
  • ALDS: Indians versus Red Sox
  • ALDS: Wild-card winner versus Astros

Yep, the Angels -- despite losing Mike Trout for a big chunk of the schedule and getting exactly one start from Garrett Richards -- are in playoff position. We've already run down their improving fortunes. Elsewhere, the Astros' second-half slide has dropped them below 100 projected wins for the first time in a long time. Now, the Red Sox can be considered within range of the top AL seed. The AL wild card still looks like the most compelling race down the stretch, as you have perhaps eight teams with legitimate designs on one of those two spots. 

And now for the National League ... 

NATIONAL

LEAGUE

SEASON FORECAST

REST OF SEASON

MAKE PLAYOFFS

POST-SEASON SUCCESS

WINS

LOSS

WIN%

WINS

LOSS

WIN%

WIN DIV

PLAYOFF

NLCS ODDS

LCS%

WS ODDS

WS%

Los Angeles Dodgers

112.9

49.1

69.7%

29.9

15.1

66.4%

99.7%

100.0%

1/1, 50%

48.62%

2/1, 33.3%

34.33%

Washington Nationals

98.8

63.2

61.0%

28.8

17.2

62.6%

98.7%

99.4%

3/1, 25%

24.38%

6/1, 14.3%

14.73%

Arizona Diamondbacks

90.0

72.0

55.5%

25.0

20.0

55.5%

0.2%

77.4%

10/1, 9.1%

6.80%

20/1, 4.8%

3.48%

Colorado Rockies

88.4

73.6

54.6%

23.4

21.6

52.1%

0.1%

68.9%

10/1, 9.1%

3.33%

20/1, 4.8%

1.50%

Chicago Cubs

87.1

74.9

53.8%

26.1

19.9

56.8%

50.3%

61.9%

5/1, 16.7%

9.88%

10/1, 9.1%

6.30%

St Louis Cardinals

85.5

76.6

52.7%

24.5

19.5

55.6%

32.2%

48.0%

9/1, 10%

4.47%

18/1, 5.3%

2.05%

Milwaukee Brewers

81.0

81.1

50.0%

19.9

22.1

47.5%

10.9%

18.1%

40/1, 2.4%

1.21%

80/1, 1.2%

0.44%

Miami Marlins

79.6

82.4

49.1%

23.6

22.4

51.2%

1.1%

11.0%

250/1, 0.4%

0.41%

500/1, 0.2%

0.10%

Pittsburgh Pirates

78.8

83.2

48.6%

20.8

23.2

47.2%

6.4%

11.1%

50/1, 2%

0.71%

100/1, 1%

0.23%

New York Mets

75.4

86.6

46.5%

22.4

24.6

47.6%

0.2%

2.5%

500/1, 0.2%

0.12%

1000/1, 0.1%

0.08%

Atlanta Braves

73.6

88.4

45.4%

21.6

25.4

45.9%

0.1%

1.5%

500/1, 0.2%

0.04%

1000/1, 0.1%

0.00%

Cincinnati Reds

68.0

94.0

42.0%

19.0

25.0

43.1%

0.1%

0.2%

5000/1, 0%

0.02%

9999/1, 0%

0.02%

San Francisco Giants

67.9

94.1

41.9%

20.9

22.1

48.5%

0.1%

0.1%

5000/1, 0%

0.01%

9999/1, 0%

0.00%

San Diego Padres

65.6

96.4

40.5%

14.6

30.4

32.4%

0.1%

0.1%

5000/1, 0%

0.00%

9999/1, 0%

0.00%

Philadelphia Phillies

62.0

100.0

38.3%

19.0

28.0

40.4%

0.1%

0.1%

5000/1, 0%

0.00%

9999/1, 0%

0.00%


Here's the current projected NL playoff bracket ... 

  • Wild card: Rockies at Diamondbacks
  • NLDS: Cubs versus Nationals
  • NLDS: Wild-card winner versus Dodgers

In the NL, everything looks reasonably settled except for the NL Central. The Cardinals' recent play has drastically improved their chances of winning the flag, but the reigning champion Cubs still forecast as the team to beat. As you can see, no team in the Central has a strong shot at winning a wild-card spot, so it's essentially four teams -- the Cubs, Cardinals, Brewers and Pirates -- fighting for one spot. Sounds good to us. 

On the other end of the continuum, it's looking like a heated "race" between the White Sox and Phillies for the top overall draft pick in 2018. 

And that should catch you up on how the playoff field projects. We'll check back in next week and see how things have changed. 

(Check out more of this sort of thing over at SportsLine.)

CBS Sports Writer

Dayn Perry has been a baseball writer for CBS Sports since early 2012. Prior to that, he wrote for FOXSports.com and ESPN.com. He's the author of three books, the most recent being Reggie Jackson: The... Full Bio

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