2013 MLB Predictions: Projected Standings, Most Likely World Series, Preseason Ratings

The 2013 MLB season starts in only two days, as the Rangers and Texans kick things off with a Lone Star State Showdown. With opening day fast approaching, it’s time to release our preseason ratings and projections.

The main purpose of these ratings is to provide a data-driven starting point for our MLB projected standings. Just like last season, we’ll have fully automated win-loss predictions, playoff chances, and World Series win odds, and all the info will be updated every single day of the season to reflect the latest results and the most up to date MLB power ratings.

A word of caution — while our preseason projections for other sports have proven to be useful indicators of where values may lie among the various full season futures bets, we’re not nearly as confident in our MLB preseason ratings. We’re publishing these in the interest of full disclosure, so that you know what the initial rating in our projection system was for each team. We’re most definitely not recommending that you use these ratings and forecasts to go place preseason bets.

You may look at the projections below and think that they aren’t extreme enough. In a way, you’d be right — the best team in the league will almost certainly win more than the 90 games we’ve forecast for the Yankees, and the worst will likely lose more than 95. However, picking which teams will wildly exceed expectations is rather tricky, and on average these conservative predictions should provide a less biased starting point than more aggressive ones.

However, if you’d like to see our best case and worst case scenarios for each team, check out their team projections page. Here are the New York Yankees projections as an example. Follow that link and you’ll find a chart showing the projected odds of the Yankees winning any specific number of games, as well as a list of their toughest & easiest games, and a table showing how their chances of winning the World Series change depending on what seed they get in the playoffs.

Quick Predictions For The 2013 MLB Season

Let’s go over a few of the insights these projections provide, before laying all the details out below.

  • The most likely World Series result is the New York Yankees beating the St. Louis Cardinals. Of course, that exact outcome only has about a 1 in 100 chance of occurring.
  • The NL East appears to be the most balanced division — it’s the only division where no single team has a 30% or better chance to win.
  • The Detroit Tigers in the AL Central appear to be the biggest lock for a division title. However, our projections still don’t see them as a sure thing, putting their chances of a division crown at only 40%.
  • The race for the two NL Wild Cards is wide open. Only Pittsburgh, Miami, Colorado, and Chicago have less than a 10% shot at snagging a Wild Card berth, and favored Washington has only an 18% chance.
  • The top 5 teams are all in the AL East and AL West. Yet at least one of the Yankees, Rays, Rangers, Angels, and A’s is going to be staying home for the playoffs.

Here is how the playoffs would play out, if these projections end up being spot on:

  • Wild Card Round: Rays over Angels; Braves over Phillies
  • Division Round: Yankees over Rays, Rangers over Tigers; Cardinals over Braves, Nationals over Giants
  • League Championship Series: Yankees over Rangers; Cardinals over Nationals
  • World Series: Yankees over Cardinals

Full 2013 MLB Preseason Projections

2013 MLB Preseason Projections
AL EastWLTR RankPlayoffsWild CardWin DivTop SeedWS Champs
NY Yankees9072160.2%22.8%37.4%18.0%8.9%
Tampa Bay8874256.1%23.1%33.0%14.4%7.5%
AL CentralWLTR RankPlayoffsWild CardWin DivTop SeedWS Champs
Chi Sox83791639.7%10.4%29.3%6.2%3.6%
Kansas City78842123.1%8.1%15.0%2.4%1.6%
AL WestWLTR RankPlayoffsWild CardWin DivTop SeedWS Champs
LA Angels8676446.7%19.6%27.1%10.4%5.3%
National League
NL EastWLTR RankPlayoffsWild CardWin DivTop SeedWS Champs
NY Mets78842323.1%11.7%11.4%3.4%1.7%
NL CentralWLTR RankPlayoffsWild CardWin DivTop SeedWS Champs
St. Louis8676752.5%17.1%35.4%13.5%5.9%
Chi Cubs73892910.0%5.2%4.8%0.7%0.5%
NL WestWLTR RankPlayoffsWild CardWin DivTop SeedWS Champs
SF Giants85771045.6%14.5%31.1%10.9%5.0%
LA Dodgers83791538.0%14.1%23.9%7.1%3.8%
San Diego78842223.6%10.7%12.9%3.3%1.8%