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, 120 games into the season.
- Fangraphs: 23.1% division, 21.1% wild-card = 44.2% playoffs
- Baseball Prospectus: 33.8% division, 18.3% wild-card = 52.0% playoffs
- FiveThirtyEight: 33% division, 16% wild-card = 49% playoffs
- NumberFire: 33.0% division, 15.2% wild-card = 48.2% playoffs
Good news! The Diamondbacks’ chances of winning the division improved markedly over the last ten games, going up by between 8.2% (Fangraphs) and 11.6% (NumberFire). Bad news! Our overall playoff odds dropped slightly, due to an even bigger decline in our wild-card chances. Though of course, since it’s significantly better to win the division than the wild-card, this probably meant a slight increase in our World Series odds. The reason for this should be obvious: while Arizona has been mediocre over the last ten games, going 5-5, the Dodgers have been worse still. They went 3-7, and saw their playoff odds drop below 80%, to their lowest since June 21. [By a click, they’re now 3rd in the West]
Here’s how all the contending teams in the NL have done since Game #110 for the D-backs, on August 2:
- STL: 8-2
- ATL: 8-4
- CHC: 6-3
- PHI: 5-4
- ARI: 5-5
- COL: 5-5
- PIT: 5-5
- WSN: 5-6
- MIL: 4-5
- LAD: 3-7
The Cardinals have climbed back into the picture, sitting two back in the wild-card of the current occupants (the Phillies and Brewers). Though in first place, Arizona are 11⁄2 games back of that pair, so right now, winning the division would be best [at the risk of stating the bleedin’ obvious!].
Here are the graphs showing Arizona’s playoff odds for all four systems since Opening Day:
The average sits at 48.4%. That’s a drop of 2.1% over ten games, though as noted, not all post-season entries are equal: we’d all be happy to see the wild-card odds drop to 0%, if there was a corresponding increase in the division hopes. The Diamondbacks’ chances have really remained remarkably steady, sitting in a ten percent range between 46-56% for the last four check-ins. Going back further, on Fangraphs, with the exception of odd days here and there, Arizona’s odds have largely sat in the 40-55% range since early June. But as the season heads into the final quarter, eventually it’s going to break in one direction or the other...
On the plus side, it looks increasingly likely we will not lose in the playoffs to the Dodgers this year! :) Firstly, a wild-card may come from the West, so just the winner reaches the post-season. And even if both do, and one wins the wild-card game, it’s unlikely the other will have the best record in the NL. We’ll see what happens after the next ten games. Those will consist of one in Texas and four in San Diego, then it’s back to Phoenix for a home-stand facing the AL West, with two versus the Angels and three against the Mariners.