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, 150 games into the season.
- Fangraphs: 0.8% division, 1.4% wild-card = 2.2% playoffs
- Baseball Prospectus: 0.9% division, 2.8% wild-card = 3.8% playoffs
- FiveThirtyEight: 1% division, 2% wild-card = 3% playoffs
- NumberFire: 1.0% division, 2.9% wild-card = 3.9% playoffs
Yeah, it’s like that. The decline has been steep and rapid. On August 22, Fangraphs gave Arizona a 64.6% chance of making the post-season. Since the then the D-backs have posted a record of 7-16, won consecutive games just once and gone seven series without a win, losing six and splitting two games in San Diego. If we had even gone 11-12 over that time, we’d still very much be in this, likely half a game or closer (depending on if one of those additional wins was against them) to the Rockies. That’s why we sit here today, clinging to a sliver’s edge. It’s not how we played in April. It’s not how we played in May. We got through all that, reached late August in top of the division, and then collapsed.
Here’s how all the contending teams in the NL have done since Game #140 for the D-backs, on September 6.
- MIL: 6-3
- ATL: 6-3
- LAD: 6-4
- COL: 5-5
- CHC: 4-5
- STL: 4-6
- ARI: 3-7
Arizona’s overall record is not an enormous amount worse than the Dodgers or Rockies, but losing series against both those teams recently really hurt the odds. And with the remaining number of games now shrinking to a mere dozen, the chances left to make up the lost ground are vanishing. On the plus side, it seems very unlikely anyone will get to celebrate in the pool at Chase Field. They Dodgers would need to be 41⁄2 games better than the Rockies over the next nine games, so unless they sweep Colorado in the series at Dodger Stadium beginning tonight, it seems almost impossible.
Below is the graph showing Arizona’s playoff odds for all four systems since Opening Day:
With the post-season odds now down to 3.2%, the question is more, on what day will the D-backs be eliminated? It’s all a bit complex. Right now, they sit four back in the wild-card of both the Dodgers and Cardinals, with a tragic number of 9. Any combination of nine Arizona losses and Dodgers/Cardinals wins will end us, though the Rockies’ results may come into play, depending on how that goes. But I’d say Sunday against Colorado or Monday versus Los Angeles are probably the most likely exit dates.