Welcome to our monthly check-in on the pecking order of MLB teams. We last did this in early August, when only a few games had been logged by each club. Now it's a month later, and already we are headlong into the stretch drive. Only in 2020.
As always, the numbers attached to Stock Watch reflect two things: a snapshot of the baseline strength of each team's roster and the probabilities for what that roster might accomplish during the season. As has been noted far and wide, when you have a baseball season so short and combine it with a playoff field so large, the resulting dynamic is a democratization of probability. In other words, more teams can claim to have a chance to make the playoffs. That part is straightforward.
At the same time, the question of baseline strength is more difficult to answer. In an ordinary season, current results are gradually folded into past results as projections are revised, with recent outcomes taking on more weight as the season goes along. At a certain point, you largely decide that a team is what it is in the standings because the samples are large enough to be telling (though the talent baseline suggested by the projections never fully goes away).
How do you assess that in 2020?