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, 140 games into the season.
- Fangraphs: 7.9% division, 10.5% wild-card = 18.4% playoffs
- Baseball Prospectus: 11.5% division, 10.8% wild-card = 22.3% playoffs
- FiveThirtyEight: 15% division, 10% wild-card = 25% playoffs
- NumberFire: 14.1% division, 10.4% wild-card = 24.5% playoffs
Ouch. Not entirely unexpected, but the slew of bad results for the Diamondbacks, who haven’t won a series since August 22, sent they post-season odds cratering. Fangraphs slashed them by two-thirds, and everyone else by more than half, though the overall drop was in the 35-40% range across all the systems. Fangraphs now has us at a lower chance of making the playoffs than we had on Opening Day, for the first time this year. But if I had to make a statement, I’d say that losing the games in Los Angeles, where the team had the lead late, may end up being looked back on as the beginning of the end.
Here’s how all the contending teams in the NL have done since Game #130 for the D-backs, on August 26.
- CHC: 7-4
- COL: 6-3
- LAD: 6-3
- MIL: 6-3
- STL: 5-4
- ATL: 4-6
- PHI: 3-6
- ARI: 3-7
What a difference ten games makes - or even the three or four games lost by Arizona on most of the competition, as the D-backs dropped out of first place. While that’s something they’ve done before on multiple occasions before, they are now staring at the largest deficit they have had all season. Barely three weeks left in the season is probably not the best time to be doing that, shall we say. It’s not over. If we sweep the rest of the series against the Braves, we’ll certainly gain ground back on the Dodgers and/or Rockies, who are playing each other in Colorado this weekend. But the recent form of the team makes that “if” seem less than likely.
Here are the graphs showing Arizona’s playoff odds for all four systems since Opening Day:
Seems legit. The average across them is 22.6%, and I’d say in terms of fan sentiment, this figure is probably still too optimistic. Last night’s game started what is arguably the most brutal schedule EVER for ANY team. If the standings remain as they are, it will be the first of seventeen consecutive games against first-place teams for the Diamondbacks, as they play Atlanta, Colorado, Houston, Chicago and back to Colorado. Per Fox Sports Arizona, this would be an MLB record, breaking the previous high of 14 consecutive games against first-place teams, set by the 1993 Orioles and 1996 Tigers. But, imagine what a story it would be IF the D-backs pull it off and cash in on that 22.6% chance...
Keep fighting till the last breath. It’s all the team can do.