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, 50 games into the season.
- Fangraphs: 21.1% division, 21.1% wild-card = 42.2% playoffs
- Baseball Prospectus: 42.4% division, 22.1% wild-card = 64.5% playoffs
- FiveThirtyEight: 42% division, 19% wild-card = 61% playoffs
- NumberFire: 44.6% division, 20.0% wild-card = 64.6% playoffs
A solid 7-3 record since last time, with series wins over the Rockies, Pirates and (pending the result of this afternoon’s game) Mets. There’s only one team in the National League to have done better over the previous ten games. However, the bad news is, that’s the Los Angeles Dodgers, who have gone 8-2, and sit 1.5 games back. There has still been a slight uptick in the D-backs divisional odds, as ten more games get crossed off the remaining schedule but none of the four systems increased that by more than 3.3%.
Where there has been a sharp uptick is in the wild-card chances, because Arizona’s record continues to climb the overall NL rankings. 50 games in, we had the 10th-best record in the league; after 60 games, we were up to 7th; now, the Diamondbacks sit with the 4th-best record. Even if the Dodgers theoretically teleported past us (using some kind of fiendish device concocted by Andrew Friedman), right now we would still be in the second-wild card spot, which would be played at Wrigley Field, since we are 21⁄2 games back of the Cubs. Big losers are the Nationals, Phillies and Cardinals, all of whom have a losing record since we last checked in, dropping three games apiece on the D-backs.
Here are the graphs showing Arizona’s playoff odds for all four systems since Opening Day:
The overall average sits at 58.1%, up from 46.7% at the sixty-game mark, an improvement of 11.4%. While still lowers than it was at any point from ten to forty games in, thanks to the horrendous May, I’m just content as long as the trend continues to be in the upward direction. Some weeks will be better than others, but is a marathon, not a sprint, and as long as the figure ends up being 100% after 162 games [though ideally just a little earlier, for the sake of my nervous system!], I’ll be fine with that.
Hopefully, there’ll be more improvement to report on. After the series finale against the Met this afternoon, the Diamondbacks go back on the road for the rest of the stretch, with series in Anaheim, Pittsburgh and Miami. Of those three teams, only the Angels currently have a winning record, so I’m hoping Arizona can keep things steady: 5-5 would be okay, anything better than that a bonus. I’m particularly looking at four games against the Marlins, whom we swept at Chase by a 21-4 margin, as being especially promising.