[Another slightly-delayed updated, excluding yesterday’s marathon loss. That’s because I was in Las Vegas over the weekend and so not able to write this up in the gap between Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. However, I did check and note down the playoff odds Sunday morning - valuable leisure time which COULD have been spent slaying a buffet. I trust you all appreciate this sacrifice...]
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: 19.2% division, 28.6% wild-card = 47.8% playoffs
- Baseball Prospectus: 39.5% division, 22.6% wild-card = 62.1% playoffs
- FiveThirtyEight: 33% division, 20% wild-card = 53% playoffs
- NumberFire: 38.1% division, 21.9% wild-card = 60.0% playoffs
4-6 for the D-backs over this time, but it helps that neither the Giants nor Dodgers were really able to take advantage of a weak performance by Arizona. The Rockies did best among the NL West contenders, so the race has tightened up. From eight games covering the top four teams, we are now down to 4.5 games, and the series against Colorado coming up this week is taking on additional significance.
The system generally show a drop of 10-15% in our play-off odds, though the spread is quite large, ranging from 9% (Baseball Prospectus) to a whopping 19% (FiveThirtyEight). Interestingly, Fangraphs gave Arizona an increase in their wild-card odds, even as the D-backs’ record dropped back to fifth overall in the NL, now sitting 31⁄2 back of the Brewers. The other systems all agreed that both our division and wild-card chances deserve to be shaved as a result of the disappointing home-stand.
Here are the graphs showing Arizona’s playoff odds for all four systems since Opening Day:
It’s interesting to note the systems appear gradually to be coming to a consensus. The spread across the projections, between most- and least-optimistic is now 14.3%, less than half of the 30.0% we saw at the beginning of the season. This makes sense: as we pass the half way mark, the actual record so far, which is “fixed” and agreed upon by all four, will form an ever-increasing element of the projected final record. The variation in projections are now the minority, and will have a decreasing impact as we go forward. The average this time is 55.7%, whch is down 13.8%.
Last night’s lengthy defeat will not have helped much, and the rest of the next batch (home and away series to Colorado, and on the road in Atlanta) will be a test of the team’s credentials. So far, they seem to have been really streaky, which is not necessarily a bad thing. If the D-backs hit their hot hand in October, it doesn’t matter if they just squeak into the post-season. See the 2014 World Series, between two teams who couldn’t even win 90 times over the regular schedule...