2020 Expanded Playoff Odds Are Here!

With the surprise news that the 2020 season will feature expanded playoffs, we’ve been scrambling all afternoon to get our playoff odds updated:

And we did it! Or, at least we think we did it, based on the following reporting earlier in the day, which gave us something of a head start:

The updates we made include:

  • Changing the total number of teams to 16.
  • Winning the division title is now reported as “Win Div 1st.”
  • The division runner-up is reported as “Win Div 2nd.”
  • “Win Wild Card” now represents the probability that a team secures the seventh or eighth playoff spot in their league.
  • In the Postseason section of the playoff odds, we’ve changed “Make LDS” to “Win WC Series.” They are equivalent, but now the only way for a team to make the Division Series is to win its Wild Card Series.
  • We cleaned up the previous runs of the 2020 playoff odds to retain the following dates:
      3/11/2020 — Original 162-game playoff odds
      7/21/2020 — Final old-format, 60-game playoff odds
      7/22/2020 — Preseason new-format, 60-game playoff odds

The big takeaway here is that the very best teams see their World Series odds decrease somewhat, and everyone else’s playoff odds increase significantly. Unless you’re the Orioles.

We just received some clarity about the tiebreaker rules, but haven’t implemented them just yet. Right now, ties are broken randomly. We will include the tiebreaker rules in the near future, and expect the impact to be minimal.

If something looks off, please let us know!

David Appelman is the creator of FanGraphs.

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3 years ago