Swarming MLB: AI Picks for 6/20

As the Major League Baseball season approaches its halfway point, there’s a fascinating set of circumstances going on in the American League. One look at the Wildcard standings shows that every single AL team is within 4.5 games of a playoff spot. That’s a unique situation, the latest that all teams in a single league have been so close this late in a season to a postseason berth since the start of the wildcard playoff era.

That scenario presents an interesting and difficult challenge this year for the UNU Baseball Swarm. This is typically the time of year when MLB fully separates itself into “buyers” and “sellers”, with contending teams who need to win now trading off young prospects to non-contenders in hopes of getting an impact player for immediate help. This annual trading behavior in the league makes some clear demarcations between good and bad teams, and provides the swarm with a couple of easier picks in each group of games in the second half of the season. At least so far, though, this summer’s parity throughout the American League will keep things tough on the swarm.

As a result, the Swarm showed some rather unusual responses and “locked-in” behavior that make us think that most of these picks, even the ones labeled Best Bets, should be taken with a grain of salt. As we wrote about earlier in the week, our researchers are constantly refining our methodologies to express the Swarm AI’s output, it should be interesting to see if those same refinements will help us identify when not to bet, as well.

The dichotomy between baseball’s haves and its have-nots is really apparent in the game tonight in Tampa between Cincinnati and the Rays. Tampa Bay is an under-the-radar club without many superstars, but they come into tonight’s action tied for the second wild card spot in the American League. They host a struggling Cincinnati team who look like they’ll be fully in “sell” mode by the end of the month. The swarm, aware of the way both teams’ seasons are playing out, made Tampa Bay a high confidence play for tonight.

Every week during the MLB season, Unanimous A.I. will be conducting swarms to pick the outcomes of games. If you’d like to either join a swarm or just get the predictions weekly, feel free to drop us a line below.