- Baseball in the Garden of Eden, A Book ReviewPosted 771 days ago
Bet on Phillies reaching the postseason
- Updated: August 30, 2012
Sam Donnellon posted an article today proclaiming the Phillies postseason dreams finished. In the article, Sam references the website coolstandings.com, who gives the Phillies a 1 in 1,000 chance of making the playoffs. If that’s what Vegas is offering, TAKE THE DEAL. Sure, that dollar you spend is probably worth less than Monopoly money, but throw down just 100 bucks and you just might be staring down a full year’s salary just by backing your team…
Sam provides a compelling argument. The likelihood of hurdling six teams and 9.5 games in the Wild Card standings, taking into consideration the multitude of misfortunes which must befall upon the teams ahead of them are, well, probably 1 in 1,000.
But calculating the odds of each playoff possibility is too much for this infantile mind to handle. Ultimately what matters is the number of Phillies wins at the end of the season. Can they get to 88 wins? 90 wins? Unless the Phillies play, not just great, but incredible baseball down the stretch, what the Cardinals, Pirates and Braves do over the next month is about as useless as an old VCR.
88 wins is a good baseline to use for the mandatory number of victories the Phillies need for even a sniff of postseason baseball, so we will begin there. To reach such a win total will require a 27-7 record, that’s a .794 winning percentage. Accomplishing such a feat seems like a gargantuan task, but it would not be the first time the Phillies did so in Charlie Manuel‘s tenure. In 2009, the Phillies went 23-4 (.852) down the stretch on their way to a 27-7 finish prior to the final game. So, it’s not like the Phillies are being asked to do something they had not done before.
Given the change in personnel from even three years ago, a better comparison might be what the Phillies were able to accomplish last year. The Phillies best stretch last season was 27-10 (a .730 winning percentage). That would equate to a 25-9 record this season, putting the Phillies at 86-76. That means the Phillies need to play two games better in 2012 than any 34 game stretch from the 102 wins last season.
Now let’s look at this another way. The Phillies can only lose 7 games the entire rest of the season if they are to reach 88 wins. Last season, the Phillies best record when reaching seven losses was 19-7 (.731). If the Phillies replicate that mark, they will reach 74 losses and be eliminated on September 25th against Washington.
I will admit even the 27-7 figure is a bit misleading. If we were to include the four game winning streak entering last night’s game, it means in reality the Phillies would finish the season with 31-7 (.816) to grasp 88 wins.
All of that BEFORE calculating the odds of the other Wild Card contenders falling flat enough to even allow this discussion. But that’s alright. Just keep your eyes on 88 wins. As long as that mark is still in sight, the Phillies have a chance. If not, I hope you enjoy watching the development of Brown, Frandsen, and Kratz.