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Monday, July 14, 2014

Reds playoff odds over 50% at All-Star Break

With the Reds' series win over the Pirates this weekend, their playoff odds have risen to over 50% for the first time this season!  At least, they have according to Baseball Prospectus:

The Reds are currently on pace for 87 wins.  BPro sees a slight regression over the rest of the season, and projects them at 85 wins.  The Brewers are projected for virtually the same record.  That means they are splitting most of the non-Cardinals NL Central division winner berth with the Reds, along with whatever chances 85 wins gives you at a wild card (quite good, it appears, about 25%).

FanGraphs isn't quite as optimistic.  This seems to be driven by more pessimism about the Reds' rest of season winning percentage (0.491 vs. 0.506) as well as more optimism about the Pittsburgh Pirates (0.517).  FanGraphs puts the Reds' over/under at 84 wins by the end of the season, which means the Reds will usually miss a playoff spot (37% chance).

With so many teams in the Central within a few wins of each other, and with whoever loses between the Braves/Nationals and the Dodgers/Giants also in contention for a wild card, these percentages are all pretty volatile right now.  But we've seen the Reds playoff chances fall below 10% this season, so to be in the 37-51% range is pretty exciting.  It's been a very up-and-down season thus far, but it's nice to go into the All-Star break with a certain degree of optimism about this year.  

Really, after the way this team began in April, just being in contention for a playoff berth into September would be a pretty decent success.  It's pretty exciting that the Reds have already been able to undo so much of the damage they did to their record.  Let's hope they still have a bit more in the tank for the second half!

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