These teams’ playoff odds have changed the most

April 29th, 2023

What a difference a month makes.

Saturday marks the 31st day of the 2023 MLB season, and not much has gone as expected. Entering the day, the Braves are the only one of last year’s six division winners currently in first place. Meanwhile, a number of upstarts have positioned themselves to shake up postseason races in the coming months.

Based on FanGraphs’ playoff odds, here are the 12 teams -- the six biggest risers and the six biggest fallers -- whose postseason chances have shifted the most since Opening Day. (All stats below, including odds, are through Thursday.)


1) Rays: +33.5 (61.3% to 94.8%)
The Rays have been virtually unstoppable so far, tying a Modern Era (since 1900) record with a 13-0 start and continuing their winning ways en route to a 21-5 record through 26 games. Tampa Bay has baseball’s best run differential by a wide margin -- it has allowed fewer than three runs per game while averaging more runs scored and hitting more homers than any other team. The club’s playoff odds have climbed over 94% despite residing in MLB’s best division.

2) Twins: +28.7 (49.6% to 78.3%)
FanGraphs viewed the AL Central as a close race entering 2023, with the Twins as slight favorites over the Guardians. However, Minnesota is currently the only AL Central team above .500, while the Tigers, White Sox and Royals are all below .400. has been an excellent addition to Minnesota’s offense, and the team’s rotation has been sensational -- , , and offseason trade acquisition  went a combined 10-4 with a 2.39 ERA over their first 20 starts.

3) Pirates: +22.1 (6.5% to 28.6%)
Coming off four straight losing seasons, including back-to-back 100-loss campaigns, not much was expected of the Pirates in 2023. But after dropping its season-opening series against the Reds, Pittsburgh has ripped off 17 wins in its past 23 games to take control of first place in the NL Central. The Pirates’ unheralded rotation has consistently churned out quality starts, and though the team lost talented young shortstop to a fractured ankle, its offense hasn’t missed a beat. The Bucs have run wild on the bases and are getting key contributions from a number of unlikely sources, including veteran additions and and second-year outfielder .

4) Orioles: +21.6 (10.4% to 32.0%)
After a surprising 83-79 season that saw them remain in the hunt for an AL Wild Card spot until the final days of the 2022 campaign, FanGraphs wasn’t buying the O’s as serious postseason contenders entering 2023. However, the club has gone 13-3 over its past 16 games, handling its business against the likes of the A’s, White Sox, Nationals, Tigers and Red Sox to beef up its record and increase its playoff odds. With a young core led by catcher  and a superb bullpen, the O’s might just hang around in the postseason race again.

5) Cubs: +16.7 (11.2% to 27.9%)
Despite a busy offseason in which they signed , and , among others, the Cubs had the fifth-worst postseason odds in the NL entering 2023. However, Chicago’s offense has been surprisingly potent, leading the NL in runs per game behind strong starts from Bellinger, , and . Taillon went down with a groin injury after three starts, but , and  have picked up the slack in the Cubs’ rotation, combining for an 8-3 record and a 2.16 ERA over 15 outings.

6) Blue Jays: +10.5 (72.0% to 82.5%)
While the Rays have set a historic pace in the early going, the Blue Jays have done well not to fall too far behind in the AL East. With the trio of , and buoying Toronto’s lineup, and ’s excellent April (4-0, 3.00 ERA) helping to make up for early struggles from some of the team’s other starting pitchers, the Blue Jays have gone 15-6 in their past 21 games.


1) White Sox: -26.2 (30.5% to 4.3%)
Although their playoff odds were only 30.5% on Opening Day, there were reasons to be optimistic about the South Siders’ chances of bouncing back from a disappointing 81-81 season in 2022. So much for that. The White Sox lost their ninth straight game and 14th out of 16 on Friday to fall to 7-20. Collectively, the team was hitting .231 with a .662 OPS and owns a 5.75 ERA with a 1.60 WHIP. Only the Royals and A’s have a worse run differential than Chicago’s -58, and FanGraphs now gives the White Sox less than a 5% chance of reaching the postseason.

2) Cardinals: -25.7 (67.4% to 41.7%)
The Cardinals were the NL Central favorites on Opening Day, per FanGraphs’ playoff odds, but not much has gone right for the team so far. While reigning NL MVP has been productive, fellow superstar infielder  has struggled, and top prospect was just optioned to Triple-A after a rough stretch. Meanwhile, St. Louis’ starting staff has provided little stability for the team with sidelined, and closer  has blown three of his six save chances, all of them leading to losses.

3) Mariners: -24.1 (40.5% to 16.4%)
The Mariners were riding high after ending their 21-year playoff drought in 2022, but they’ve stumbled out of the gate this season, going 11-14 through 25 games. At the same time, the Astros, Rangers and Angels are all above .500. If you’re looking for positives, former top prospect is showing signs of a breakout, is pitching like a true ace and has been outstanding. However, the club’s veteran additions -- , and -- have struggled, left-hander (flexor tendon surgery) is out for the season and star center fielder is slashing .224/.284/.430.

4) Red Sox: -16.5 (34.4% to 17.9%)
The Red Sox have scored the third-most runs per game in the AL, but they’ve also allowed more runs per game than all but four MLB clubs. The Sox have managed to play .500 ball through 26 games, but with the other four AL East teams all recording at least 15 wins so far, Boston’s already tenuous playoff odds have dropped below 20%.

5) Guardians: -14.5 (44.7% to 30.2%)
The youthful Guardians rode a speedy, high-contact offense and strong pitching staff to an AL Central title in 2022, but they haven't hit or pitched as well this year. While Cleveland is still making a lot of contact and running often, the club is hitting just .231 and averaging fewer than four runs per game. On the pitching side, has been the club’s only consistent starter, with and dealing with injuries and , and all struggling.

6) Padres: -13.5 (85.3% to 71.8%)
With joining the club as a free agent and returning after missing all of 2022 due to injuries and a suspension for performance-enhancing drugs, the Padres had the second-best playoff odds of any team on Opening Day. However, San Diego’s vaunted offense is tied for the worst batting average (.215) in MLB with the seventh-lowest OPS (.669), and its pitching has been mediocre. and have combined for a .205/.304/.333 slash over 224 plate appearances, and is averaging seven walks per nine innings. Their odds are still north of 70%, but the first month has taken some of the shine off of the Friars.