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Insider

MLB stock watch: Potential champs, contenders and also-rans

The Red Sox are romping, but will they achieve a franchise record of wins? Dan Hamilton/USA Today Sports

This is the most interesting edition of the Stock Watch of the season. Early August is it. The playoff race has come into focus, and each team's in-season maneuvering is, generally speaking, complete.

There have been plenty of trade-deadline postmortems floating about, so I want to take a more holistic approach while presenting this month's Watch. There are the usual benchmarks: updated win forecasts and playoff odds. But this time around, I've inserted a little bit of Excel code that looks at how the roster rating for each team has changed since Opening Day.

To explain, at the beginning of the season, a team's roster rating is simply its win forecast. We know the roster, we know the individual player forecasts, and this is how it all adds up. As the season progresses, those original projections are moved and jostled by actual results (damned reality). And of course, the rosters themselves change, as players get hurt, traded or waived. So goes the endless pseudo-life cycle of professional baseball.

With the deadline behind us, check out how each team's 162-game, roster-based projection has changed since the season began. In many cases, you should also check how real-life results have overwhelmed those mathematical projections. It's all good. It's why we play the games.