Quantifying Hope: Cubs Have NL’s Second-Best Playoff, World Series Odds
Hey, remember that time the Cubs lost a series after having previously won or tied the previous nine and people started turning into Chicken Little? To be fair, the sky was falling in the form of torrential rain that blew through the Midwest and delayed Thursday’s series finale in Cincinnati for nearly two hours. But even dropping two in a row to the last-place Reds still left the Cubs with the fewest losses in the National League.
As it stands, the Cubs boast the second-best record in the league (25-16), just a couple games behind the Dodgers (29-16). And they’ve got the odds to prove it, sitting at 80.1% to make the playoffs. That’s down from a season high of 85.1% just a couple days ago, but it’s still nearly 30 points ahead of the Brewers and almost 40 points beyond the Cardinals.
It’s not displayed below, but the Cubs also have the NL’s second-best World Series odds (7.6%) after the Dodgers (19.4%). No other team in the league has as much as 4%, for what it’s worth. And if my math is correct, the Cubs’ 58.1% chance to win the division is higher than the other four NL Central teams combined.
Just in case we’re not on the same page here, yes, I know my math is correct.
Now if Christian Yelich could just stop hitting so damn many home runs, this thing would look even better. You’ll notice in the next chart that the Brewers are actually third overall in the NL when it comes to their projected shot at the postseason, followed very closely by a trio of NL East teams.
That’s a big part of the reason for anxiety, as the Cubs now face the Nationals and Phillies for six games before heading to Houston to face the best team in the majors. These next nine games will be a very serious test of the Cubs’ mettle, though the Brewers have a relatively daunting upcoming slate as well.
After three in Atlanta, the Crew return home for two against Cincy and three against Philly, then turn around to take on the AL Central-leading Twins in Minnesota. And while some might see the Brewers’ recent trouncing of the Phightin’ Harpers — they won three of four, outscoring Philly 22-6 in the three straight wins — as a bad sign, it’s probably indicative of a little correction to come.
The Cubs should be getting back to full strength soon as well, with Victor Caratini now back on the active roster and Anthony Rizzo expected to resume his everyday role this weekend.