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The Giants' postseason odds

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Neither especially good nor as bad as Bryan would have you beleive

"Come on, Blue, just, like, let us have one"
"Come on, Blue, just, like, let us have one"
Jason O. Watson/Getty Images

The Giants are 7-9 so far this year, and I can think of almost 10 records I'd prefer them to have. But while it's hard to see them as a playoff team right now, considering that they're playing badly, how has this poor of a record affected their chances to reach the postseason? Let's look at the odds some smart people have come up with.

Baseball Prospectus runs a playoff odds report every day, which you can find here. Through the magic of technology, if you click on that link tomorrow at the same time, the numbers will be different. Someday I'll figure out how they do that. These odds take into account a lot of factors: the team's current record, the records of the other teams in their division, the presence of Jupiter within certain constellations, the records of the other teams in their league, the strength of schedule that each team has, geopolitical strife in South Asia, the projected talent level of each team, and anything else that might affect a team.

At the beginning of the year, BP said that the Giants had a 41.4% chance of making the playoffs. At their highest point, on April 10, their odds were at 56.3%. After last night's loss, those odds dropped to 37.4%. After taking into account the various hitting and pitching slumps the team is going through, that's not bad! That's also not good – good would be in the 80s, where the Dodgers have been hanging out all year – but it's not a disaster.

But how many teams really make the playoffs after starting 7-9? It has to happen sometimes, right? How about last year? Was any playoff team last year that bad?

Team Record Are the Giants better or worse?
Royals 12-4 Worse
Blue Jays 9-7 Worse
Rangers 6-10 Better
Astros 9-7 Worse
Yankees 9-7 Worse
Mets 13-3 Worse
Cubs 9-7 Worse
Cardinals 12-4 Worse
Dodgers 10-6 Worse
Pirates 8-8 Worse

Yes! The Rangers! Thanks, Rangers. How about the year before?

Team Record Are the Giants better or worse?
Royals 9-7 Worse
Orioles 8-8 Worse
Angels 8-8 Worse
Tigers 9-7 Worse
A's 11-5 Worse
Giants 10-6 Worse
Cardinals 10-6 Worse
Nationals 9-7 Worse
Dodgers 10-6 Worse
Pirates 8-8 Worse

Oh. So out of the last 20 playoff teams, exactly one had a record as bad as the 2016 Giants. That's not incredibly promising, huh? Well, let's look at the two years before that, because I already made the tables and so I might as well use them. They also take up space, which makes it look like I wrote more, and I enjoy that. First, 2013:

Team Record Are the Giants better or worse?
Red Sox 12-4 Worse
Tigers 9-7 Worse
A's 12-4 Worse
Rays 6-10 Better
Indians 6-10 Better
Cardinals 9-7 Worse
Dodgers 7-9 Same!
Braves 13-3 Worse
Pirates 8-8 Worse
Reds 9-7 Worse

Now 2012:

Team Record Are the Giants better or worse?
Tigers 10-6 Worse
Yankees 10-6 Worse
A's 7-9 Same!
Orioles 9-7 Worse
Rangers 13-3 Worse
Giants 9-7 Worse
Nationals 12-4 Worse
Reds 7-9 Same!
Cardinals 11-5 Worse
Braves 10-6 Worse

Hey, that's much better! Five out of these twenty teams made the playoffs with records as bad as or worse than the Giants, so that's a much more hopeful ray of hope than we had just a minute ago.

Is it too early to be talking about playoff odds? Yes, it certainly is. But it's also too early to have any sort of despair about how things are going. The Giants are a good team having a bad run, and that bad run has obviously been a negative, but it's not a crippling one. It doesn't have to mean any more than that.