Experimenting with the 30-day mark as an indication of making the Postseason

In this investigation, we will attempt to determine what the standings after 30 days of the regular season indicate as to how the 2019 campaign will play out. First, we will take a look at how the standings looked in 2018 after 30 days had gone by…

2018 Standings Through April 26th

AL East

1. Boston Red Sox: 19 – 5 (.792 winning PCT)

2. New York Yankees: 15 – 9 (.625; 4.0 GB)

3. Toronto Blue Jays: 14 – 10 (.583; 5.0)

4. Tampa Rays: 10 – 13 (.435; 8.5)

5. Baltimore Orioles: 6 – 19 (.240; 13.5)

AL Central

1. Cleveland Indians: 13 – 10 (.565)

2. Detroit Tigers: 10 – 13 (.435; 3)

3. Minnesota Twins: 8 – 12 (.400; 3.5)

4. Chicago White Sox: 6 – 16 (.273; 6.5)

5. Kansas City Royals: 5 – 18 (.217; 8.0)

AL West

1. Houston Astros: 17 – 9 (.654)

2. Los Angeles Angels: 16 – 9 (.640; 0.5)

3. Seattle Mariners: 14 – 10 (.583; 2.0)

4. Oakland Athletics: 13 – 12 (.520; 3.5)

5. Texas Rangers: 9 – 17 (.346; 8.0)

NL East

1. New York Mets: 15 – 8 (.652)

2. Philadelphia Phillies: 15 – 9 (.625; 0.5)

3. Atlanta Braves: 14 – 10 (.583; 1.5)

4. Washington Nationals: 11 – 14 (.440; 5.0)

5. Miami Marlins: 7 – 17 (.292; 8.5)

NL Central

1. St. Louis Cardinals: 15 – 9 (.625)

1. Milwaukee Brewers: 16 – 10 (.615)

3. Pittsburgh Pirates: 14 – 11 (.560; 1.5)

4. Chicago Cubs: 12 – 10 (.545; 2.0)

5. Cincinnati Reds: 5 – 20 (.200; 10.5)

NL West

1. Arizona Diamondbacks: 17 – 7 (.708)

2. Colorado Rockies: 14 – 12 (.538; 4.0)

3. Los Angeles Dodgers: 11 – 12 (.478; 5.5)

4. San Francisco Giants: 11 – 13 (.458; 6.0)

5. San Diego Padres: 9 – 17 (.346; 9.0)

Winning PCT Through April 26Overall Season Winning PCT Change
BOS.792.667– .125
NY (A).625.617– .008
TOR.583.451– .132
TB.435.556+ .121
BAL.240.290+ .050
CLE.565.562– .003
DET.435.395– .040
CHI (A).273.383+ .110
KC.217.388+ .171
HOU.654.636– .018
OAK.520.599+ .079
LA (A).640.494– .146
SEA.583.549– .034
TEX.346.414+ .068
NY (N).652.475– .177
PHI.625.494– .131
ATL.583.556– .027
WAS.440.506+ .066
MIA.292.391+ .099
MIL.615.589– .026
STL.625.543– .083
PIT.560.509– .051
CHI (N).545.583+ .038
CIN.200.414+ .214
ARI.708.506– .202
COL.538.558+ .020
SF.451.458+ .007
LA (N).478.564+ .086
SD.346.407+ .061

The average disparity between the winning PCT through April 26th and the overall season winning PCT was .080 (not taking into account whether a change is negative or positive), which is equivalent to roughly 13 wins. That is indisputably a substantial gap. Take the 2019 Pittsburgh Pirates for instance. They are 12 – 12 at the moment. The margin between 94 (81 + 13) wins and 68 (81 – 13) wins is quite large. A fan should not really read much into how successful their team has been during the first several weeks (in this case, through April 26) in terms of their record. They really should be looking at two things:

  1. how individual players on their team are doing
  2. indications/clues as to whether or not the performance of each player on the team they support will improve, maintain, or regress.
  3. health of their team
  4. how other teams in their division and league are shaping out

Here’s some further analysis regarding the data in the table (unrelated to exact winning PCT)…

Percent of teams with a winning PCT of .____ through April 26th that made the postseason

  • .700 or above: 50% (1 out of 2)
  • .600 – .699: 43% (3 out of 7)
  • .501 – .599: 63% (5 out of 8)
  • .401 – .500: 20% (1 out of 5)
  • .301 – .400: 0% (0 out of 2)
  • .300 or below: 0% (0 out of 5)

Percent of the teams who made the playoffs that had a winning PCT of .___ through April 26th

  • .501 or above: 90% (9 out of 10)
  • .500 or below: 10% (1 out of 10)

2017

Percent of teams with a winning PCT of .____ through May 2nd (~30 days into the season) that made the postseason

  • .700 or above: N/A
  • .600 – .699: 80% (4 out of 5)
  • .501 – .599: 67% (6 out of 9)
  • .401 – .500: 0% (0 out of 13)
  • .301 – .400: 0% (0 out of 3)
  • .300 or below: N/A

Percent of the teams who made the playoffs that had a winning PCT of .___ through May 2nd

  • .501 or above: 100% (10 out of 10)
  • .500 or below: 0% (0 out of 10)

2016

Percent of teams with a winning PCT of .____ through May 3rd (~30 days into the season) that made the postseason

  • .700 or above: 50% (1 out of 2)
  • .600 – .699: 100% (3 out of 3)
  • .501 – .599: 40% (4 out of 10)
  • .401 – .500: 20% (2 out of 10)
  • .301 – .400: 0% (0 out of 3)
  • .300 or below: 0% (0 out of 2)

Percent of the teams who made the playoffs that had a winning PCT of .___ through May 2nd

  • .501 or above: 80% (8 out of 10)
  • .500 or below: 20% (2 out of 10)

2015

Percent of teams with a winning PCT of .____ through May 5th (~30 days into the season) that made the postseason

  • .700 or above: 100% (1 out of 1)
  • .600 – .699: 83% (5 out of 6)
  • .501 – .599: 25% (1 out of 4)
  • .401 – .500: 20% (2 out of 14)
  • .301 – .400: 0% (1 out of 4)
  • .300 or below: 0% (0 out of 1)

Percent of the teams who made the playoffs that had a winning PCT of .___ through May 5th

  • .501 or above: 70% (7 out of 10)
  • .500 or below: 30% (3 out of 10)

2014

Percent of teams with a winning PCT of .____ through April 29th (~30 days into the season) that made the postseason

  • .700 or above: 0% (0 out of 1)
  • .600 – .699: 50% (1 out of 2)
  • .501 – .599: 60% (6 out of 10)
  • .401 – .500: 21% (3 out of 14)
  • .301 – .400: 0% (0 out of 3)
  • .300 or below: N/A

Percent of the teams who made the playoffs that had a winning PCT of .___ through April 29th

  • .501 or above: 70% (7 out of 10)
  • .500 or below: 30% (3 out of 10)

Overall Summary (2014 – 2018)

Percent of teams with a winning PCT of .____ roughly 30 days into the season that made the postseason

  • .700 or above: 50% (3 out of 6)
  • .600 – .699: 70% (16 out of 23)
  • .501 – .599: 54% (22 out of 41)
  • .401 – .500: 14% (8 out of 56)
  • .301 – .400: 7% (1 out of 15)
  • .300 or below: 0% (0 out of 8)

Percent of the teams who made the playoffs that had a winning PCT of .___ through the first 30 days of the season

  • .501 or above: 82% (41 out of 50)
  • .500 or below: 18% (9 out of 50)

Conclusions

  1. The only team with (practically) a zero percent chance of making the playoffs is the Miami Marlins (.296)
  2. Teams with extremely low odds include the Baltimore Orioles (.357), Kansas City Royals (.333), and the Los Angeles Angels (.393)
  3. Based on this model, the teams with reasonably high odds of making the postseason include the Tampa Bay Rays (.654), Minnesota Twins (.625), Seattle Mariners (.621), St. Louis Cardinals (.615), and Los Angeles Dodgers (.607)

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