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Twins 2021 postseason odds


(WARNING: Very small numbers ahead.)

Here's a round-up of the Twins 2021 postseason odds, by various systems, as of today (Monday June 21).

Baseball Prospectus: 16.2%

Fangraphs: 2.5%

538: 2%

Baseball-Reference: 0.4%

Whoa, Baseball Prospectus takes a bold stance! Somehow we gained 4.5% on our odds there in the last day -- maybe due to Buxton's return?

As you might have guessed, all of these systems give the Twins higher odds of winning the division than winning a wild card. So it seems our best path to the postseason is a strong comeback paired with a Chicago collapse.

My perspective is that we shouldn't get too discouraged by these odds yet. Obviously we need to keep winning, but keep in mind, these odds are evaluating a binary proposition -- do they make it or not? -- but there is a slightly wider range of interesting outcomes that have the Twins getting back in the race at some point. Also, these projections are a snapshot of what we know about rosters as of today -- but rosters can change, especially around the trade deadline.

With that in mind, the trade deadline this year is Friday July 30 at 4 PM EST.

Here are the Twins opponents leading up to that date (34 games):
CIN 2
CLE 4
CHW 10
KCR 3
DET 11 (including a doubleheader)
LAA 4

And here are the White Sox opponents (31 games):
PIT 2
SEA 3
MIN 10
DET 3
BAL 3
HOU 3
MIL 3
KCR 4

We're 12.5 games back today. If we can make up 2-3 games head-to-head with the White Sox, and 2-3 games otherwise, that could put us within striking distance at the trade deadline, where we could potentially augment our roster for the stretch run.

FWIW, Twins will miss Bieber and Plesac vs Cleveland (and Perez is still out), and Danny Duffy likely won't be back when we face KC (but he could be back by the time the White Sox play KC next). Trout will probably be back for the Angels-Twins series, though.

One potential disadvantage is that Twins have the more "compressed" schedule in this time -- after Wednesday this week, we have no scheduled off-days until the All-Star Break. And coming out of the break, we have 14 games scheduled in 13 days before our first off day. Of course, if we can actually get on a roll, playing every day might not be so bad!

What do you think? Have I converted any pessimists to optimists? :)

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Take 7 of 10 from Chicago. 3 of 4 from Cleveland. 7 of 11 from Detroit. 2 of 3 from Kansas City. 3 of 6 from non-division foes. 22-12 over the next 34 and there's a glimmer of hope. The real hope is dominating the division the rest of the way. Especially Chicago. Only way to really catch them is to beat them head to head at an incredible clip.

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The Twins will decide whether or not to trade in the weeks before the trade deadline, not the day of.  If the Twins are human, and I think they are, like most of us they already made the decision.  A 12-15 game winning streak might change their minds, but short of that, it's sell time. 

And even if the Twins do the improbable and are back in it at the end of July, and it's not sell time, its probably not buy time either.

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Texas is worse than every team on that list, so I'm not ready to convert.  If the Twins can take 3 of 4 from Cleveland at home, maybe I'll nudge.

I'll tell you what I don't want to see is top prospects being moved for rentals just to get a hope and a prayer for a shot at getting 0fer'd in the first round of the playoffs again.

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Their fortunes will be tied to how they do against the Pale Hose.  At worst, if they can split with them and gain a few games elsewhere, then there may be some light.  I don't see that happening, but that's why they play the games!

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25 minutes ago, Dodecahedron said:

The Twins will decide whether or not to trade in the weeks before the trade deadline, not the day of.

That's true, and I didn't mean to suggest otherwise -- we'll need a pace of steady gains in the coming weeks if we want to be buyers, not just a winning streak right before deadline day.

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31 minutes ago, Dodecahedron said:

And even if the Twins do the improbable and are back in it at the end of July, and it's not sell time, its probably not buy time either.

Normally I'd agree -- but the Twins already sold when they were on the fringes of contention in 2017-2018. The front office might have to be aggressive in 2021 to try salvaging their own future here.

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I honestly don't see the great advantage of being 'sellers' this season. They have a nice stable of young talent already. The vets they would 'sell' won't give them much return, so is it sell just for the sake of selling?  Definitely do NOT trade the legitimate prospects they are already grooming.

This team, as I have observed before, is a decent team that has played badly...due to factors discussed ad nauseum. They need pitching. They won't get that by offloading the likes of Cruz, Simmons, Kepler, or Polanco. At least not this season. If they continue to heat up over the next month, and are playing good, exciting ball, leave them alone for the most part. Maybe these guys actually WANT to stay together, if they start winning again (and staying healhy) We really have yet to see the 'full' Twins we had envisioned in April.

Sometimes even teams with horrendous records don't need to be total 'sellers'. I look at the O's roster. They have the makings of an incredible lineup.....but they need pitching. So, in order to get 'maybe' one or two decent arms....do they bust up a young nucleus? Some often say the best trade they made is the one they didn't make.

Bottom line for me...unless this team goes straight into the tank in the next 2 or 3 weeks, don't break them up. Let's see what they can do. Also, its pretty clear the return 'sellers' get at the deadline is not very good. Not sure yet that the Twins are that team.

Always a good subject to debate.

 

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37 minutes ago, MMMordabito said:

Texas is worse than every team on that list, so I'm not ready to convert.  If the Twins can take 3 of 4 from Cleveland at home, maybe I'll nudge.

That's a good barometer. I think getting Buxton back has been just as important as sweeping Texas.

39 minutes ago, MMMordabito said:

I'll tell you what I don't want to see is top prospects being moved for rentals just to get a hope and a prayer for a shot at getting 0fer'd in the first round of the playoffs again.

There aren't many rentals that should require top prospects this year. Story maybe, but the Twins likely aren't interested in an infielder. My dream target is Scherzer, if he's healthy and the Nats are willing to deal -- he's the kind of acquisition that could get us dreaming about breaking the postseason curse too!

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54 minutes ago, insagt1 said:

I honestly don't see the great advantage of being 'sellers' this season. They have a nice stable of young talent already. The vets they would 'sell' won't give them much return, so is it sell just for the sake of selling?

Yes, kind of like 2017-2018 -- except if we're reloading for 2022, we'd have to be much pickier about what kind of returns we'd take (we don't want more marginal guys clogging the 40-man roster).

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I should note that Baseball-Reference's projection system seems like the simplest -- based on their team "Simple Rating System" for the past 100 games (even spanning seasons), with no extra accounting for things like injuries or roster changes. That means the White Sox rating/projection is still benefitting from Madrigal, Robert, and even some Jimenez, even though none of them will be on the field in the near future.

Fangraphs and Prospectus rely more on their individual player projections and forecasted playing time.

I'm not sure about 538.

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While this weekend was what we expected, I'd be surprised if we get to 84 wins- if even that high. We need to be healthy to get there but it seems unlikely. The odds of making the Wild Card is about 5% or about 30-1. But anything is possible.

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Twins postseason odds as of today (Tuesday June 29) -- pre-White Sox series:

Baseball Prospectus: 8.2%

Fangraphs: 3.2%

538: 3%

Baseball-Reference: 0.4%

Looks like 4.3% of the BP downgrade was in the last day, not sure why. (Maybe some input in their projection model was out of date and didn't get fixed until now? Like, they expected Buxton back sooner, etc.?)

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On 6/21/2021 at 5:06 PM, twinfan said:

While this weekend was what we expected, I'd be surprised if we get to 84 wins- if even that high. We need to be healthy to get there but it seems unlikely. The odds of making the Wild Card is about 5% or about 30-1. But anything is possible.

I'd be surprised if they get to 74 wins.

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Turns out Baseball Prospectus (the site with that 84 win projection a couple weeks ago) was still relying heavily on their preseason projections. They're now incorporating 2021 performance more and hence the Twins are falling a bit:

https://www.baseballprospectus.com/news/article/67888/prospectus-feature-information-based-updates-to-projections/

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45 minutes ago, Otto von Ballpark said:

Turns out Baseball Prospectus (the site with that 84 win projection a couple weeks ago) was still relying heavily on their preseason projections. They're now incorporating 2021 performance more and hence the Twins are falling a bit:

https://www.baseballprospectus.com/news/article/67888/prospectus-feature-information-based-updates-to-projections/

On the podcast, Gleeman recently mentioned this has been a problem with BP projections for a long time and it was a source of frustration while he worked there. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Had we simply won our two most recent series with the White Sox (just 2 out of 3 each, no sweeps), we'd be 42-47 and 9 games out of 1st, with 4 games in Chicago next week and 3 more at home in August. And that's without any kind of White Sox collapse yet. Still wouldn't have been great odds, of course, but the first week out of the break would have potentially been very interesting.

As it stands now, even if we have an amazing and unlikely week coming out of the break, taking 3-of-4 in Detroit before sweeping in Chicago while the White Sox lose 2-of-3 to Houston, we'd still be 9.5 games back with only 7 games left before the trade deadline. (FWIW, the same amazing week, after taking 2-of-3 in our previous two White Sox series, could have brought us up to 3.5 games back.)

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54 minutes ago, Otto von Ballpark said:

Twins postseason odds, All-Star Break update (Monday July 12):

Baseball Prospectus: 5.5%

Fangraphs: 0.9%

538: <1%

Baseball-Reference: <0.1%

BP is still the outlier. They project us to go 40-32 in our remaining games, which I guess might still be a good goal regardless of postseason odds.

 

So you're saying there's a chance

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13 minutes ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

Yikes. BP's predictive modeling only becomes more broken as the season progresses.

BP isn't as much of an outlier on the Twins anymore -- their rest-of-season projection for us is just 2.5 wins ahead of Fangraphs (which has us going 38-35 the rest of the way). Can't really project trades, of course, so I'd expect a shift in these projections after July 30.

The thing about BP that gives us even 5.5% odds is that they are simultaneously pessimistic about the White Sox (35-38 the rest of the way) which doesn't seem unreasonable when looking at their roster/injuries and regression candidates. (And everyone is pretty "meh" on Cleveland right now.)

538 and B-R both predict us to play under .500 over our remaining games, so they're definitely on the pessimistic side.

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Is it prediction time? We have 73 games left, right (162-89=73)? Bragging rights to whoever is the closest, although I'd be willing to play for Scotch (Bourbon for those with relatives still in the holler). By the way, if you drink Bourbon do you have to marry a cousin and get a mullet or is that optional? Just curious. But I digress.

My prediction for the last 73 games - 43-30 for a final record of 82-80. We finish 7 games behind a 90 win White Sox team and 8 games out of the Wild Card. Who's with me?

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5 minutes ago, LA VIkes Fan said:

My prediction for the last 73 games - 43-30 for a final record of 82-80. We finish 7 games behind a 90 win White Sox team and 8 games out of the Wild Card. Who's with me?

Well... that's.... optimistic.

I'd lop off about ten wins off that season total. I think they'll play relatively close to .500 but they're going to lose too many good players this month to make any kind of push.

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13 minutes ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

Well... that's.... optimistic.

I'd lop off about ten wins off that season total. I think they'll play relatively close to .500 but they're going to lose too many good players this month to make any kind of push.

Agreed, I'd guess about 2 games under, but who knows what the trades will, or will not, do to the roster.

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I admire the optimistic predictions. Oddly I think losing some of their best players might motivate some scrappy play from the boys. Might be more fun to watch.

Alas, although we might see some better and more interesting baseball games, I don't think that translates into wins.

30-43 in the 2nd half for a final record of 69-93.

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2 hours ago, LA VIkes Fan said:

There we go, someone willing to step out on a limb and make a prediction. Well done Leviathan. Brock, Mike, c'mon now, let's back that trash talk up with a prediction we can hold you to. Walk out on that limb,

I don't really do predictions, especially when so many variables are in play. I expect this team to lose around 90. Maybe less if they only trade expiring contracts, almost certainly more if they trade expiring contracts and non-expiring contracts like Berríos, Buxton, and/or Donaldson.

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