By Jason Wojciechowski on July 14, 2011 at 12:30 PM
I'm always a little hesitant to bring things out from behind a paywall, but hopefully this is a small enough taste that Baseball Prospectus will not come after me.
Ben Lindbergh today, in surveying the American League landscape going into the second "half" of the season, printed a table showing which teams had gained the most in their current chances of reaching the playoffs compared to their projected odds at the beginning of the year. Guess who has given the most ground over the course of the year?
You guessed right!
The A's started the year with a 42.8% chance of making the playoffs as PECOTA figured the A's had a solid shot of finishing on top of a weak AL West. Now? The A's are in last place, double digits behind a stronger-than-expected Rangers team and also looking up at the surprising-as-usual Angels, not to mention the Mariners. All of this has dropped their current playoff odds to just 1.1%.
There are teams with lower current playoff odds (Kansas City, Toronto, Baltimore, and Seattle), but, of those four, the Orioles had the highest pre-season projected odds at a measly 7.9%, so their drop from 7.9 to 0 hasn't been nearly as drastic as Oakland's descent from coinflip to extreme longshot.
And in case you're feeling optimistic about those 1.1% odds, here's something else: with the news of Brett Anderson's surgery having just come in, his projected 78 innings (worth 1.5 WARP) haven't been removed from the accounting yet. Tyson Ross is also figured for 54 innings, and who knows, with his recently experienced rehab setback, whether he'll be able to manage that.