With each passing day, the 2018 Major League Baseball non-waiver trade deadline inches ever so slightly closer. As a result, each team must evaluate their chances of making the postseason before they decide to buy or sell before the July 31st deadline. Of course, front offices generally, although not always, have an honest handle on where their team stands at this point in the season. They will then make those moves accordingly.
For fans, figuring out the answers to those same questions can be a bit quicker. Yankees, Red Sox and Astros fans have nothing to worry about. Their teams are going to be playing in the postseason. But, for just about everyone else, it’s still up in the air.
There are a handful of projection models out there that attempt to quantify each team’s odds at making the postseason. FiveThirtyEight, FanGraphs and Baseball Prospectus all have highly-regarded models, and Clay Davenport (who founded BP) also has one of his own. Generally, they all work the same. They simulate the remainder of the 2018 season x-number of times—whether that’d be 10,000 or 100,000 or something of the like—and see which teams make the postseason and how often. The tricky part, then, is trying to figure out each team’s relative strength. And every model does that a little bit differently.
Like with weather patterns, whether that’d be hurricanes, snowstorms or even the next heat wave, we generally have the best idea if something is going to happen if all models—such as the European, American and Canadian models—are in agreement. Therefore, I decided that, in order to have the best handle on where each team stands about four weeks from the trade deadline, we should do the same. We should see where the models agree (or disagree) on each team’s ultimate fate, and then we should figure out that to do from there.
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