[With the horribly early start to today’s contest, there wasn’t time to get this post up between the point where all the systems were updated and first pitch at five past sparrowfart, Arizona time. So, note that the playoff odds and other stats below do not include this morning’s game against the Marlins!]
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, 80 games into the season.
- Fangraphs: 35.0% division, 25.0% wild-card = 60.0% playoffs
- Baseball Prospectus: 49.2% division, 28.9% wild-card = 71.1% playoffs
- FiveThirtyEight: 46% division, 28% wild-card = 72% playoffs
- NumberFire: 49.0% division, 25.8% wild-card = 74.8% playoffs
We faced a potentially tricky road-trip, with two in Anaheim and four in Pittsburgh, then three in Miami. Last time, I wrote, “I’m hoping Arizona can keep things steady: 5-5 would be okay, anything better than that a bonus.” Though they lost the final game of the home-stand to the Mets, the team did better than I expected, particularly by sweeping all four contests against the Pirates, reaching the five-win mark before they even left Pittsburgh. After a disappointing loss in the Miami opener, they bounced back to take the next two, giving them a 7-3 record over the last 10 games. Given how almost all of them were on the road, that’s excellent, regardless of opponent.
Most systems didn’t see much with regard to the division, as the Dodgers kept pace, Fangraphs did boost us from 21.1% to 35.0%, but elsewhere, it was about 5% up. While it’s perhaps frustrating not to extend our lead, it has to be at least as frustrating for them to play their best baseball of the year, and not close the gap. On June 1, LA were three games back of Arizona. Since then, they’re 16-6... And are precisely one-half game closer. At that rate, it’ll take them till May 2019 to catch the D-backs. :) Our wild-card chances improved from a 20.6% average to 26.9%. 70 games in, we had the 4th-best record in the NL, three games back of the Brewers. Now, they’re second, one-half game behind Milwaukee.
Here are the graphs showing Arizona’s playoff odds for all four systems since Opening Day:
All four systems are more optimistic than for a while: since the 40-game point for most, and the 30-game mark for Fangraphs. The gap has also narrowed, with less than 15 percent covering the range from top to bottom, though Fangraphs remains some way off the pack at the bottom. The average sits at 69.5%, up 11.4% from ten games ago - again, that’s the highest figure since the 40-game point, and reflects the strong play of the team in June. The next 10 games are already under way, with the road-trip finale in Miami this morning. The rest will all be back at Chase Field, with three apiece against the Giants, Cardinals and Padres: a winning record would be nice.