Prior to Sunday’s game against the Cubs, the Rockies have played 64 contests and have won 41 of them. The Rockies have the most wins in the National League, as well as the best winning percentage. Extrapolated over 162 games, their .641 winning percentage would translate to 104 wins. The #roadto100 has a different meaning now than it did before.
The Rockies are unlikely to keep up this extraordinary pace, and the Dodgers and Diamondbacks are both annoyingly playing well. But the fact that the Rockies are in the most competitive division in the National League makes their current playoff odds that much more impressive. Let’s check in on those.
FanGraphs is the most skeptical of the Rockies—they give the team an 83.9 percent chance to make the playoffs. The annoying Dodgers are still holding high. This graph allows us to pinpoint April 23 as the day the Rockies’ playoff odds surpassed those of the Giants.
Five Thirty Eight’s model is a little more optimistic. They give the Rockies an 88 percent chance of making the playoffs. It’s a 17 point increase over the past week. That’s due to the fact that the Rockies haven’t lost in the last week.
Both FanGraphs and Five Thirty Eight have the Rockies’ playoff odds somewhere in the 80s—they’re the relatively pessimistic ones. Baseball Prospectus gives the Rockies a 91.1 percent chance to make the playoffs. It’s the third highest among NL teams, after the Dodgers and the Nationals.
Not bad, not bad. There’s also more to the story as well. Teams can have a good record over the course of a couple months based mostly on smoke and mirrors. The 2015 Twins were 11 games over .500 on June 4, but every indication suggested that they would fall back down to earth. In particular, their run differential and third order win percentage suggested they weren’t as good as their record indicated. They went 51-58 for the rest of the season and finished 12 games out of first place.
The Rockies, so far, have a +72 run differential, which is second in the National League to the Dodgers’ 88. It’s just ahead of the Nationals and Diamondbacks, who both have a +71 run differential. Third order win percentage is more advanced and calculates what a team’s record should be based on what their run differential should be. FanGraphs estimates that the Rockies should be 36-28, a .568 win percentage. Baseball Prospectus is once again sees it a little differently, and a little better for the Rockies. They estimate that the Rockies’ win percentage should be about .604—about 39 wins. That’s second best in the NL after the Dodgers.
The Rockies still have 98 regular season games to go. And right now, everything points to them playing a few more after those 98.