With the completion of Saturday’s contest in Chicago, we are officially past the one-eighth point of the season, so let’s take a look and see where the D-backs stand in regard to their post-season chances. Since we last checked in after the 10th game, the team has gone 6-5, which is a decent result considering we faced a good number of teams with playoff hopes, in the shapes of the Padres, Braves and Cubs. The three-game sweep on the road in Atlanta was particularly impressive in that light, though this was sandwiched by series being dropped to the other two teams.
Still, there’s no indication of a runaway leader in the division. Going into play on Sunday, the Diamondbacks were two back of the Dodgers for the divisional lead, and just half a game back of the Mets and Cardinals for the second NL wild-card. Given pre-season fears that the April match-ups could result in our season being more or less over by the end of the month, that seems a better than expected result - though, obviously, it’s far behind where the team stood at this point in 2018. Is it better to exceed low expectations, or fail to live up to high expectations? Discuss... Anyway, here are the playoff chances for the four projection systems. [All results exclude this afternoon’s game at Wrigley Field]
- Fangraphs: 10.0% (division: 1.8%; wild-card 8.2%)
- Baseball Prospectus: 22.7% (division: 9.0%; wild-card 13.7%)
- FiveThirtyEight: 25% (division 10%; wild-card 15%)
- Numberfire: 20.5% (division: 5.1%; wild-card 15.4%)
An uptick across the board, by an amount ranging from 2.4% (Fangraphs) to 7.6%. The latter increase was from Numberfire, who appear to have crossed the aisle, joining BP and 548 in the 20-25% range. Fangraphs remain resolutely skeptical of our chances, and I’m not inclined to argue. Personally, this still “feels” more like a team with an outside shot at the post-season than one with a one-in-four or -five change. Still, the numbers are trending in the right direction, and if Arizona can get through the rest of the month at or above .500, I’ll be ok with that. They have eight game left - four in Pittsburgh, three back at Chase against the Cubs and the opener vs. the Yankess - and must go 4-4 or better to achieve that.
Elsewhere, #AtLeastWereNotThePadres, who have seen their odds with Fangraphs plummet from a high of 27.5% on April 13, down to a current number of just 11.1%. Colorado’s horrendous start still has them trying to play catch-up (5.8%) and San Francisco still hasn’t reached even four percent this year at any point, are still rank long-shots, at 1.0%. Conversely, the Dodgers haven’t been below 90% since the first couple of days of the season, and at 96.2%, haven’t done much thus far to damage their chances, despite a lengthy losing streak.