As we did last season, we’ll track the D-backs’ post-season chances every ten games as the season progresses, until the number either reaches 100% or 0%. Here’s where we stand after the first 30 games of the season:
- Fangraphs: 42.1% division, 21.6% wild-card = 63.7% playoffs
- Baseball Prospectus: 76.2% division, 14.2% wild-card = 90.4% playoffs
- FiveThirtyEight: 62% division, 18% wild-card = 80% playoffs
- NumberFire: 79.9% division, 9.7% wild-card = 89.6% playoffs
While still lagging the other metrics, Fangraphs finally got on the bandwagon this time, our playoff odds leaping from only 41.0% last time. We even surpassed the Dodgers briefly in their eyes after Tuesday night’s win, but last night’s loss puts us back just behind them (64.0%). Though I’m not sure if that factors in the injury to Ryu yet, which could well be a significant setback since he was leading their pitchers in bWAR. The other metrics were also impressed with our recent run, but their gains were smaller, partly because the higher you are, the harder it gets to climb more. Baseball Prospectus now has us over a 90% shot to make the playoffs, and NumberFire is virtually at 80% to win the division.
On May 3.
This is quite impressive, needless to say. Of course, there’s room for a lot of things to happen between now and the end of the season, and most of them probably will. Some will be good (the returns of Souza, Lamb and Delgado) and some will be bad (the bullpen will blow a save eventually, I suspect!). None of which should take away from the amazing results so far, and I imagine the fans of at least 28 other major-league teams would be more than willing to swap places with the Diamondbacks right now.
Last time, we were looking forward to what I described as “a potentially tough road trip” through Philadelphia and Washington. Sitting at 65.8%, I wrote, “If we can sustain those playoff odds when we next check in, I think I’d be fine with that.” Suffice to say, the D-backs have done considerably better than that. They’ve increased them by more than 15%, with the average score now sitting at 80.9%. A win this afternoon should see even Fangraphs move us back above the Dodgers: although the schedule doesn’t get much easier, with a series against the World Champion Astros, two games in Los Angeles, and then four more against the Nationals taking us to our next check-point. Onwards and upwards!
And I’ll just leave this neo-troll comment from last time here, as bulletin-board fodder...
“There is no question LA will win the division, they are simply too big to fail... To think that [Arizona] will make the playoffs, let alone win the division with such a competitive NL is foolish.”
-- SonomaComa1999, Apr 22.