Last night’s was another great game for the Cleveland Indians.
Down 1-0 in the seventh, the Indians got on the board with Matt LaPorta’s RBI single before taking advantage of the Oakland Athletics‘ “no doubles” defense to string together a three-run rally in the ninth. Chris Perez shut down the A’s in the ninth to give Fausto Carmona his third win of the season as Cleveland notched a 4-1 victory.
It was the seventh straight win for the Indians, who improved their already-best-in-the-game record to a fantastic 20-8. Cleveland’s lead over the second-place Kansas City Royals held steady at 4.5 games, while the preseason favorite Chicago White Sox dropped to 10.5 games behind.
And, best of all, the Indians’ chances of making the playoffs hit a new season high. Every day, Baseball Prospectus calculates each team’s chances of making the playoffs by running a Monte Carlo simulation for the rest of the season, playing through all the remaining games a million times based on teams’ projected winning percentages.
Based on the Tribe’s current record and an extremely conservative .462 true-talent winning percentage going forward (the equivalent of a 75-win team), there is now a 41.9% chance that there will be baseball played in Cleveland after September 28.
More specifically, the Indians now have a 40.9% chance of winning the AL Central—better than the odds of the White Sox, Twins, or Royals taking the division combined. The Indians are the seventh-most likely team in baseball to be a division champ.