Edward Eggros
FOX Sports MLB Rate analyst

Class!

We are approaching the home stretch for your instructions, so now is the time to think about the final exam. Some call it the World Series, but here it’s the culmination of everything you’ve learned to end up with an A+ bankroll.

I wanted to take a look at all 12 MLB ball clubs that will compete in the postseason and then use the data to predict the winner. I ran a model using Statcast data to determine the probability of each team winning this year’s World Cup (the same data we discussed after our first class together). So let’s dig in and take a look at the results.

Here are the odds for each team in the playoffs and my ranking of the team to win it all, from worst to best (*odds via Bet FOX):

12. Cleveland Guardians (<1%, +2500 to win the World Series at FOX Bet)

Why does Cleveland have the best chance to win among the division winners? The way they won games is radically different from everyone else.

As a team, the Guardians have hit the fewest home runs of any playoff team (127) and have the lowest slugging rate in the majors (33.1%). But bumpers such as Andres Gimenez and Stephen Kwan are hitting for a higher average (batting around .300) and are third in stolen bases with 119. The bullpen also deserves respect with an ERA of 3.49, second best in MLB.

As the youngest and healthiest team in the postseason, it wouldn’t be easy to pick them while almost everyone else is zigzagging.

11. Philadelphia Phillies (<1%, +3000 to win the World Series)

Because we praise the judge for the AL record, we might as well honor the National League home run champion. This honor belongs Kyle Schwarber with his 46 blasts.

JT Realmuto also contributed to his .341 OBP, but what really sets him apart is his work at the plate. His pop time, or how quickly he can move to second to beat a base stealer, has consistently been the best in MLB. That part of Philadelphia’s defense has never been a problem, but the rest of the team has the second-worst strikeouts above average at -37.

However, when Aaron Nola and the rest of their pitching staff can throw up crazy numbers, maybe it won’t matter.

10. San Diego Padres (1%, +2500 to win the World Series at FOX Bet)

The winners of Juan Soto the Rallies still believe in their superstar, even if he hasn’t had the start they would have liked. As of August 3rd, Soto still has an absurdly high walk rate and ABP (19.6% and 0.393), but only six home runs and 16 RBI. however, Manny Machado 7.3 fWAR ranks second in baseball, and he’s one way or another maintained his .336 batting average on balls in play.

What the Padres carried has always been their playground. Blake Snell averaging more than a dozen strikeouts per nine innings, Yu Darvish not walking too many hitters and Joe Musgrove has the lowest ERA of the group (2.93).

The ceiling for the Padres is pretty high, the only question is if they can reach it.

9. Seattle Mariners (1%, +2500 to win the World Series at FOX Bet)

Ending the longest postseason drought in North American sports is one thing. Fighting off two more dangerous batting orders just to make the ALCS is another challenge.

Seattle will try to counter the prodigies Julio Rodriguez leads with a top-25 ISO (.220) and Eugenio Suarez 31 home runs. The M’s also invested $108 million in SP Luis Castillowho can throw a 97 mph fastball consistently but has a low strikeout to walk ratio (4.53).

There is overall talent, but no single skill set that surpasses the rest of the MLB.

8. Tampa Bay Rays (2%, +1700 to win the World Series at FOX Bet)

Injuries hampered the Rays. Impact players like OF are gone Kevin KirmaierC Mike Zunino2B Brandon Lowe and P Ryan Yarbrough. While the rest of the fight clubs were more than capable of getting past Game 162, there are questions about their offensive strength. The Rays’ average launch angle of 11.3° ranks 24th in the majors, leading to one of the lowest barrel velocities and expected wOBA in MLB.

While defense and pitching have always been the hallmarks of their playoff run — including this year — the pop that’s missing will be hard to create.

7. Toronto Blue Jays (5%, +1400 to win the World Series at FOX Bet)

This has to be the most feared rebounder in the leaderboards, perhaps Vladimir Guerrero Jr No one has more hard balls (95+ mph exit velocity) than the Blue Jays first baseman with 263. At third? Toronto shortstop Because Bichette with 250. Even Teoscar Hernandez has the longest home run average at 410 feet. Enough Blue Jays hitters can pounce on pitching errors to make Toronto intriguing.

However, when it comes to manufacturing offense in other ways, they struggle. Their -11.1 BsR ranks fourth worst in the majors.

The strength is there, but this team has a lot of work to do.

6. St. Louis Cardinals (6%, +1400 to win the World Series at FOX Bet)

Arguably the top two NL MVP candidates play for the Redbirds. 1B Paul Goldschmidt ranks fifth in MLB in solid contact rate (10%) to go with his .317 batting average and .404 OBP. 3B Nolan Arenado has the seventh-lowest strikeout rate among skilled hitters (11.5%) and the seventh-best WRC+ (151) thanks to good contact.

Despite this, the pitching staff tends to put a lot of balls in play. Their 7.39 K/9 mark is the worst in baseball. Swan songs for Albert Puholz and Yadier Malina will be the main stories in St. Louis, but the pitching depth needs to be analyzed to determine the Cardinals’ real chances this month.

5. New York Mets (7%, +850 to win the World Series at FOX Bet)

It might be tempting to succumb to late-season bias after the Mets let the division lead slip away in the final hours of the season. And an extra run should always be seen as a negative, especially when it’s New York’s two best pitchers Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer were injured in 2022.

However, when they are at their best, no team has a better xFIP (3.46) and no team has a better than Edwin Diaz (17.1 strikeouts per 9 innings). Add to club Pete Alonso with his 40 home runs (third most) and you have a serious contender among the Wild Cards.

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4. Houston Astros (14%, +350 to win the World Series at FOX Bet)

It’s a new postseason, but it’s the same story in Houston: hitting depth.

Starts with DH/OF Jordan Alvarez (.405 OBP and 37 home runs), who would be a serious MVP candidate if it weren’t for the referee and Ohtani which have galactic seasons. 2B Jose Altuve leads the Astros in the fWAR (6.6)but Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker are not far behind.

As for the playground, SP Justin Verlander hasn’t given up a home run since July and will likely win the Cy Young. The bullpen has the best xFIP among the majors (3.47).

If postseason experience counts, Houston has plenty of it. They are AL favorites for a reason.

3. Los Angeles Dodgers (17%, +275 to win the World Series at FOX Bet)

Is it possible that the Dodgers are even better than their stellar record suggests? Pythagorean Record converts a team’s runs scored and runs allowed into the record they “should” have for the season. As great as the Dodgers are, they’re actually even better approximately five wins! And yet, their road to the World Series is much more difficult because they could face the Braves and Mets.

However, Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, Trea Turner & Co. made at least 150 hits each! Julio Urias, Tony Gonsalin and Clayton Kershaw all earned a GPA of 2.30 or higher. They hit well, serve well and defend well. There aren’t that many seasons where a favorite has so many.

2. Atlanta Braves (22%, +500 to win the World Series at FOX Bet)

For the last time this season I’m promoting “Bet on the Braves” article from June. This year’s edition now has OF Ronald Acuña JrWorld Health Organization is in the top 15 by the number of victims (49.9%). He runs the batting order the first place in the rate of barrels (10.9%). They also have P Spencer Strider, who has one of the most effective four-seam fastballs in MLB. He is part of a pitching staff that ranks second in xFIP (3.56).

But another reason they are in great shape to repeat as world champions is the running. Baseball-Reference has a metric called Extra Base Taken Rate that measures how often baseball players take second base on a typical single and third base on a typical double. The Braves lead the way with a 50% extra base grab rate.

It’s the little things that make the Braves such a big repeat threat.

1. New York Yankees (25%, +500 to win the World Series at FOX Bet)

Let’s turn our attention away from Aaron Judge for a moment (horror!). As a team, their .331 xwOBA is the best in baseball thanks to contributions from other hitters such as DH Giancarlo Stanton (11.3 barrels per plate), 1B Anthony Rizzo (32 home runs) and 2B Gleyber Torres (7.5 barrels per plate view).

Pitching has also reached its milestones as an SP Gerrit Cole breaking the Yankees’ single-season hitting streak. But will they have enough pitching depth and consistent power while potentially missing home-field advantage in the final rounds of the postseason? That’s the only thing keeping this team from making a deep postseason run.

Well, there it is! These are your notes. Learn them well, use them and build from there. Your grade—and your wallet—depends on it.

The class is closed!

Edward Eggros is a broadcaster/sports writer, sports betting analyst, data scientist and adjunct professor of statistics at Pepperdine University. These passions led him to become a lover of cold kvass. Edward previously worked in local television, most notably the Fox affiliate in Dallas, covering Rangers, Cowboys and high school football. Follow him Twitter @EdWithSports.

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