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, 130 games into the season.
- Fangraphs: 31.8 division, 22.4% wild-card = 54.2% playoffs
- Baseball Prospectus: 39.4% division, 18.9% wild-card = 58.4% playoffs
- FiveThirtyEight: 42% division, 18% wild-card = 60% playoffs
- NumberFire: 43.7% division, 17.7% wild-card = 61.4% playoffs
Positive moves across the board, mostly thanks to a significant increase in our division odds. But it has been particularly volatile, as results here and elsewhere move our projected record above or below the expected record for the Dodgers. This has led to the recent Fangraph odds, say, resembling the ECG of someone watching a particularly scary horror movie, showing swings of more than 8% in a single day. With more than 30 games left to go, that’s quite... impressive? But overall, Arizona’s post-season odds have gone up by between 6.4% (Baseball Prospectus) and 13.2% (NumberFire). The wild-card has been kinda static, but it’s the golden ticket of division victory we really want.
Here’s how all the contending teams in the NL have done since Game #120 for the D-backs, on August 13 [the Pirates and Nationals have seen their odds drop into single digits since last time, so for now are no longer tracked]:
- STL: 9-3
- ARI: 7-3
- CHC: 8-4
- COL: 8-4
- LAD: 6-5
- MIL: 6-5
- ATL: 7-6
- PHI: 5-8
A winning week for everyone but the Phillies, with the Cardinals continuing their surge. [They are 19-5 in August and have not lost a series in more than a month] You might not think it, based on the social media reaction, but the D-backs were second-best among the NL candidates over the last ten games. Arizona currently has the fourth-best record in the league. Even if they weren’t the division leaders, they would fractionally own the second wild-card (they’re in a virtual tie with the Brewers, but have a W% a point better) and would play at St. Louis. But for now, we’re all about the division, and the D-backs hold their destiny in their own hands.
Here are the graphs showing Arizona’s playoff odds for all four systems since Opening Day:
The average of the four systems sits at 58.5%, up a little more than ten percent from the last check-in figure (48.4%). That’s both the largest increase and the highest it has been for fifty games, since the end of June. With the season now inside the final 20%, that’s what we want to see. It’s quite possible the next time will see a decisive break - hopefully, up. The upcoming ten games start tonight. We play three in San Francisco, then a pivotal four-game set in Los Angeles: a split there would be to Arizona’s benefit, so the pressure is on the Dodgers. We then come back home for two against the Padres, and we’ll check in after the opener of the Atlanta series which follows.
Interesting times, folks!