Who’s gonna win the AL Central?

Well, the Tigers and the Twins go into the last game of the season tied for the lead of the AL Central. Who’s going to come away with the win?

Most likely, neither team. At least not tomorrow.

Both teams have the advantage of home cooking, so that’s a wash. With that included, what are the odds of a win tomorrow for each team? I put together a quick little spreadsheet that takes into account team runs scored, bullpen RA and projected starter RA to predict what’s going to happen, at least as best I can.

The Tigers get a favorable pitching matchup – Danks is good, but he’s not as good as Verlander. Verlander also goes deeper into games, negating the Sox’s slim advantage in bullpen strength. The Tigers have an expected win percentage of 0.631.

The Twins, on the other hand, have a less than impressive pitching duel going on. Pavano isn’t really the guy you want on the mound for a win-or-die game, but they really don’t have a choice. I really don’t know how to project him coming off three days rest versus regular rest, so I just ignored that. The Royals are trotting out Hochevar, who has been feast or famine (emphasis on famine). The Twins are still the better team overall, and have an expected 0.613 win percentage.

So what does that mean? Well, here are the odds for the various outcomes:

Twins: 23%
Tigers: 24%
Playoff: 53%

These are rather crude projections, to be sure – and rather sterile as well. Do the Twins have momentum? Are the Tigers feeling the heat after letting the Twins get this far in the first place? I’m not the person to ask. Feel free to adjust those odds accordingly.

(Now if you ask me? I’d favor the Twins a little more here. I ain’t saying Trey Hillman is going out there to try and lose a game. But Ozzie Guillen? I’d expect him to manage this game like HE’S facing elimination.)

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  1. Vegas Watch said...

    The Vegas lines prefer the Twins:

    MIN -196/KCR +183 (65.2%)
    DET -184/CHW +176 (64.1%)

    Which puts the outcomes at:

    Twins: 23.4%
    Tigers: 22.3%
    Playoff: 54.3%

    Very similar to your numbers, not surprisingly.

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