We’re just about two months into the season and the Giants are 1⁄3 of the way through getting their clocks cleaned by the Cubs this weekend, so, now’s as good a time as any to check in on the Giants’ odds concerning the playoffs. This is a fitting article because I’m sitting in bed on a holiday weekend with a case of food poisoning, and every few minutes, my stomach twists and I feel like I’m gonna throw up.
The Giants have a 10% or 12% chance of making the playoffs, depending on who you ask. Either way, reading those numbers does not help my stomach, but maybe your stomach is made of stronger stuff. It’s Five Thirty Eight who are the optimists. They also give the Giants an 8% chance to win the division, which is about 8% higher than my gut tells me, even as I write this sentence beside the toilet bowl and even if I factor in how middling the rest of the division has played this month.
FanGraphs, on the other hand — they speak to me. They really program to my stomach’s nausea: 10.2% chance to make the playoffs, 6.9% chance to make the division. What’s really nice about that is it’s a 0.1% greater chance than the Phillies have to win their division, and the Phillies absolutely demolished the Giants when they played them. You might be extremely better, Phillies, but you actually have a worse chance to win your own division! Take THAT.
After the Giants swept the Braves, they stood at 19-15 and FanGraphs had them at 20.3% to make the playoffs and 8.5% to win the division. That was 20 days ago. The longer they’re under .500, the longer these odds get, of course, so your optimism must be entirely rooted in the idea that they won’t be under .500 for very long.
Madison Bumgarner begins his rehab tonight and will probably rejoin the team in 2 weeks, barring any major setbacks. One player won’t turn it all around, but perhaps his presence, along with Mac Williamson playing more often, might be enough to staunch the bleeding. A long winning streak will swing it all around, and if the rest of the NL West doesn’t get its act together soon or even at all, it could be the wonky a-mathematical development to give the Giants a better shot.
Okay, now I’ve got to go throw up.