“They might as well make it 0% chance because that is what it is.”
— AzDbackfanInDc, Aug 3
In the (still, admittedly, unlikely) event of the Diamondbacks making it to the post-season this year, I think I’m going to get T-shirts made up with the above quote on it. Because the D-backs proved that ejaculations such as the above can sometimes be premature . Instead of entering rigor mortis as they were advised to rest in peace, they instead delivered what was arguably the best 10-game streaks we’ve seen in this feature for 2019. The Diamondbacks went 7-3, clinching three out of the four series they played, ncluding series wins over wild-card rivals in the Nationals and Phillies.
Unsurprisingly, this has had a significantly positive impact on their post-season odds. Here are what the five systems have to say. Note: these figures were after yesterday’s game in Coors, and do not include the result of today’s contest.
- Fangraphs: 12.8% (division: 0.0%; wild-card 12.8%)
- Baseball Prospectus: 25.3% (division: 0.0%; wild-card 25.3%)
- FiveThirtyEight: 24% (division 0%; wild-card 24%)
- Numberfire: 26.4% (division: 0.0%; wild-card 26.4%)
- Baseball Reference: 40.8% (division < 0.1%; wild-card 40.8%)
Last time, we saw the playoff chances slashed in half or worse, virtually across the board. This time, we see the playoff chances doubled or more, virtually across the board. It didn’t quite manage to undo all of the damage done: the Diamondbacks still sit between 2-5% below where they were 20 games ago. But it’s a pretty solid rebound from an overall season-low percentage. Here’s the chart showing how things have changed since the beginning of the year.
All told, the average comes in at 25.9%, a sharp increase from the 13.9% just ten games ago - though, as noted, it’s still down on the 29.3% at the 100-game point. Of course, 20% is also more “We’ve got a shot” than “We’re going to the playoffs.” As Jack Tweeted:
One thing I'd like to clarify for everyone. A 1/5 shot (20%) at making post season is by definition "Unlikely". It's not really entering the realm of "Likely:" until you get over 60%. They are alive, barely. Don't @ me later when/if they don't get in with "I was right all along"— Jack Sommers (@shoewizard59) August 14, 2019
But given the comment at the top, it’s clear that reports of their death have been greatly exaggerated. Today’s injury to Robbie Ray, which just happened at the time of writing, is obviously not a good thing. But the teams gets another seven games against the Giants and Rockies, before the schedule begins to turn a bit tougher, with a road series in Milwaukee. I think I’ll restrain myself from making any comments any more predictive than, “We’ll see...”