Thursday, September 29, 2011

2011 MLB Playoffs - My Predictions

The regular Major League Baseball season ended last night, and while my own team, the Chicago Cubs, were never close to a playoff berth, I do plan to pay some attention to the few weeks of postseason play that begins this weekend. I have some predictions for the series ahead.

My predictions are based on the season series results between each pair of teams. I use the home record component of each season series to predict how each team will perform in its own ballpark. For example, a team that has won four of six home games in its home park in the season series is predicted to win 2/3 of the home games in a given round. My predictions resulted in a World Series pairing of two teams who did not play each other in the regular season, so I used each team’s home record in interleague play to predict that result.

Some interesting facts came to light as I looked up the season series results. During the regular season, each pair of playoff opponents had an odd number of games together, and in three of the four pairings (all but Philadelphia and St. Louis), the season series were split as evenly as could be with an odd number of games (i.e., one team had a one-game advantage). Also interestingly, as you will note below, the prediction method, which I created several weeks ago, actually predicts a wild-card team (and both wild card teams this year came from behind in the last week to upset the leader) defeating the best team in its own league in the first round (see the Philadelphia-St. Louis series).

Here are my predictions (*home field advantage):

American League Division Series

New York Yankees* vs. Detroit Tigers
Yankees are 2-1 at Yankee Stadium; Tigers are 3-1 at Comerica Park
Prediction: Detroit in 5 games

Texas Rangers* vs. Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Rangers are 2-1 at Rangers Ballpark; Rays are 3-3 at Tropicana Field
Prediction: Texas in 4 games

National League Division Series

Philadelphia Phillies* vs. St. Louis Cardinals
Phillies are 1-3 at Citizens Bank Park; Cardinals are 3-2 at Busch Stadium
Prediction: St. Louis in 5 games

Milwaukee Brewers* vs. Arizona Diamondbacks
Brewers are 1-2 at Miller Park; Diamondbacks are 2-2 at Chase Field
Prediction: Arizona in 5 games

American League Championship Series

Texas Rangers* vs. Detroit Tigers
Rangers are 1-2 at Rangers Ballpark; Tigers are 4-2 at Comerica Park
Prediction: Detroit in 6 games

National League Championship Series

Arizona Diamondbacks* vs. St. Louis Cardinals
Diamondbacks are 1-2 at Chase Field; Cardinals are 2-2 at Busch Stadium
Prediction: Arizona in 6 games

World Series

Arizona Diamondbacks* vs. Detroit Tigers
Diamondbacks are 5-4 in interleague play at Chase Field; Tigers are 6-7 in interleague play at Comerica Park
Prediction: Arizona in 7 games

We’ll see where it all goes.

This is Rubio, over and out.

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