Quantifying Hope: Despite Struggles, Cubs Still Boast 90 Percent Playoff Odds
The Cubs have lost five of six games and have fallen to an unthinkably awful .500 winning percentage as we sit a whole 21 percent of the way through the season. It’s time to freak out, folks. Seriously, step away from your computer or phone or whatever and start running around the room waving your hands in the air and screaming.
Okay, now get back here, you look incredibly ridiculous.
In spite of the struggles no one can seem to stop analyzing, the numbers still pointing to the Cubs being just fine. According to FanGraphs, they have a 72.4 percent chance to win the division (St. Louis is at 24.9) and a 90.4 percent chance to make the playoffs (St. Louis is at 63.1).
Baseball Prospectus has a less sunny outlook, but the nearly 40-point spread between the Cubs (76.1 percent) and the Cardinals (39.8 percent) is significantly greater than we see above. The overall results are pretty similar in both cases, though.
FanGraphs has the Cubs at 92 wins, finishing 5.5 games ahead of the Cardinals, while BP has them at 88.3 wins with the same 5.5 game division lead. Viewed in light of preseason predictions, that sounds kinda disappointing. Coming from the shadows of mediocre performances that have marked the early part of the season, however, this is a nice look.
We know the Cubs should be better and the stats say they should be better, now it’s just a matter of seeing them put it into action.