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Astros Playoff Odds: Because it's never too early for this game

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As I stated in yesterday's game wrap, I'm finally back from my graduation celebration, and to be quite honest it has been a week since I watched more than two innings of a single Astros game.  So with my fingers searching for the Astros pulse, I figured that I'd get to one of my passions in life: reporting on the various odds making devices for the playoffs.

While this will become a regular feature at some point in the season (should circumstances warrant it), I think that it's not entirely unfounded to delve into what the Astros less than stellar start means for our chance at a meaningful September and possible October appearance.  Last year I went through these pretty regularly, but I'll refresh everyone's memory one the various models that I'm citing and give you the odds...after the jump.

Below is a table featuring the most relevant models of playoff odds that I came across last year when I tried to chronicle the team's chances at making the playoffs.  While this post is set to publish before the odds are calculated to include today's trouncing of the Padres, rest assured I will update the table once they're available when I wake up (whenever that may be).*

The BPro Unadjusted model uses a standard monte carlo simulation and runs it a million times.  When the Astros have enough wins to make the playoffs, they are credited with with a 1, and when they're not, they get a zero.  While I have placed a percentage in front of it the BPro numbers, they could be read as the Astros made the playoffs x (remove the decimal point and percentage) times over 1,000,000.

The BPro Schedule Adjusted model utilizes Nate Silver's (now primarily of 538.com) interpretation of the popular soccer odds making model, ELO.  It takes into account the strength of teams schedule by looking at their performances between teams to weight the monte carlo.  PECOTA adjusted just means it uses the PECOTA prediction of a team's talent to weight its probability for success later.  Since we all vociferously disagreed with PECOTA's assessment of the team's true talent level, I say screw'em.  ELO sees the most generous finish of the Astros of all the BPro models, with 86 wins, but doesn't for see post season play, while the PECOTA adjusted predicts 68 wins.  What do the gap in those win totals mean? Pretty much that the season is still young.

Both Cool Standings and Sports Clubs Stats have excellent explanations at varying degrees of technical proficiencies, and I'll leave the truly curious reader to delve into them.

Model Odds
BPro Unadjusted 6.86315%
BPro Schedule Adjusted o.ooooo%
BPro PECOTA ADJUSTED .89723%
Cool Standings 7.7%
SCS Weighted 13.4%
SCS 50/50 5.5%

**UPDATE 1:39 PM (12 hours of sleep later)**

So I linked to the wrong Cool Standings Report and I put the wrong info for the Sports Club Stats report as well.  Those reports are much more favorable than the miniscule percentages I had reported, especially the SCS Weighted version, the one that is the more nuanced of the two.  After such a dismal start by the Astros, it's nice to see that hope does exist.  My comments below, for the most part, pretty much stand.

All in all, what I see in these odds right now is that the Astros are going to have to get their butts in gear if they want to sniff a chance at the post season.  Prior to the season beginning, HLP and I pegged the second half as a much stronger schedule than the first half, so I hope something gets going for the Astros...soon.  Getting the bullpen and Lance Berkman back to health would be a major plus in that endeavor—so keep your fingers crossed.

Of course, all of this can be taken with a giant grain of salt.  It's May 10th, so anythign is possible: Good, Bad, and Mediocre.

*I haven't slept more than four hours in I don't know when, so it could be awhile.