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: 9.6% division, 34.3% wild-card = 43.9% playoffs
- Baseball Prospectus: 19.9% division, 29.7% wild-card = 49.6% playoffs
- FiveThirtyEight: 19% division, 27% wild-card = 46% playoffs
- NumberFire: 17.4% division, 28.5% wild-card = 45.9% playoffs
We continue to see the four systems gradually converging, with less than six percent now separating the lowest and highest. There was a fairly standard change over the last ten games as well. Arizona’s chance of winning the division were roughly cut in half, but some of that loss was transferred into an increased chance of the wild-card. Hard to be sure how much of the change was due to the Manny Machado trade, and how much was due to the relative performance of the other candidates. With regard to the latter, here’s how everyone’s record has stacked up since we last checked in, in descending order of win percentage.
- Rockies: 7-3
- Cubs: 8-4
- Dodgers 7-4
- Phillies: 6-6
- Giants: 5-5
- D-backs: 4-6
- Nationals: 4-6
- Cardinals: 4-7
- Brewers: 3-9
Not listed above, but worth keeping an eye on, are the Pirates, who went 11-1. Although they are still in fourth place in the Central, they now have a better record and chance of the post-season than the Giants, at 13% per Fangraphs.
Here are the graphs showing Arizona’s playoff odds for all four systems since Opening Day:
Right now, it looks to be a four-way battle for the wild-card spots, if we presume the three divisional leaders all hold their positions, between the Braves, Brewers, Rockies and ourselves. Colorado are viewed most negatively, because they have still been outscored by their opposition overall, so the projections going forward are more doubtful about their ability to sustain a winning record. Of course, that could all change, with more than sixty games left. Right now, the average of the four systems sits at 46.4%, which is down 9.3% from the 90-game mark, and almost the same as where Arizona were after 60 games on June 5.
If we do end up winning the wild-card again, I’m just hoping the Dodgers do not end up with the best record in the league again. Because I would really prefer to face someone else in the NLDS this year. The Cubs currently have the best mark, four ahead of the Phillies and 4.5 ahead of the Dodgers, so this week’s series in Chicago will be a tough test, and possible preview of any NLDS. There’s then three in San Diego before we return two against Texas and the last game before we check-in again, is the opener at Chase against San Francisco. A winning record over this ten-game stretch would be a solid result there, I think.