That’s Baseball Prospectus’s NL Playoff Odds Report as of today, 1 June, 2011.
It’s early and I haven’t had nearly enough caffeine yet, but I’m having trouble making any sense of this at all. Phils and Cards winning East and Central, sure, that makes sense, although the Braves and the Brewers each have a realistic chance of taking their division. But the Giants, sans Buster Posey, have a better chance of making the playoffs than either St. Louis or Philadelphia? 91 wins?? That seems fucking nuts.
The Giants offense is miserable. Like, second- or third-worst in every important offensive category. Yes, many of their hitters are due some positive regression, and hitting savant Pablo Sandoval will be back in the lineup soon. Replacing Miguel Tejada with someone with a pulse will also give them a slight bump. And of course their pitching is among the best in baseball. But they just lost a (conservatively) 5 WAR player in Posey. Is the NL West really that bad??
I mean, I guess it is. The Wild Card sure as hell ain’t comin’ outta the West. Even with their recent run, the Diamondbacks still have less than a 6% chance to make the playoffs, and the Rockies rate just over 11%. (Apropos the Rockies, if you missed Satchel Price’s piece on just how good Troy Tulowitzki actually is, you need to check it out. Seriously. I can’t help but feel that that Troy Tulowitzki’s Rockies stand better than an 11% chance of making the postseason.)
I’m mostly posting this so I’ll be able to go back and look at this chart at the end of the season and see if I was right. I still don’t think the Giants win the West. Even with this pitching. Until Tim Lincecum figures out how to win a 0-0 game, at least.