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The Rays Had A 44% Chance At Reaching The 2011 Playoffs

Well, that's what The Book Blog suggested today. The venerable Tom Tango dusted off an old and fun formula for predicting playoff odds based solely on payroll size.

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The results were, shall we say, parts inspiring and parts laughable.

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The Tampa Bay Rays had a -1% of winning 89 games giving their wackily-low payroll (they won 91). They had a 44% chance of winning enough to reach the playoffs -- second worst in the league only to the Kansas City Royals.

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For contrast's sake, the Florida Marlins had an 8% chance of reaching the 89-win mark and a 61% of reaching the playoffs (they actually won 72). The New York Yankees, meanwhile, had a 218% chance of a playoff run. Go figure.

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This is actually one of the reasons the MLB still lacks -- and may never get -- a salary cap. With so many teams spending a lot but not reaching the playoffs (the Red Sox had a 174% chance of a playoff showing), the richest teams do not always dominate the poor ones.

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Yeah, they don't always dominate them, but they usually do.

Photographs by cstreet.us, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.