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Rockies remain in the driver’s seat for final National League playoff spot

What you need to know about the Wild Card teams

Following a series win against the Padres, the Rockies will travel to San Francisco to take on the Giants. I wrote about their recent series here and, for the most part, those comments hold up. The series is just two games and the Rockies will hope to continue their winning ways at AT&T Park.

Probable Pitchers and Schedule

Tuesday, September 19 @ 8:15 pm MT (ATT SportsNet, 850KOA/94.1)

German Marquez (10-7, 4.41 ERA) vs. Johnny Cueto (7-8, 4.58 ERA)

Wednesday, September 20 @ 1:45 pm MT (ATT SportsNet, 850KOA/94.1)

Tyler Chatwood (7-4, 4.07 ERA) vs. Matt Moore (5-14, 5.39 ERA)

★ ★ ★

Let’s take another look at the remaining Wild Card hopefuls and their playoff hopefuls as of today.

National League Playoff Odds

Team Record GB Run Differential BP Playoff Odds FanGraphs Odds Five Thirty-Eight Odds Remaining Strenth of Schedule
Team Record GB Run Differential BP Playoff Odds FanGraphs Odds Five Thirty-Eight Odds Remaining Strenth of Schedule
Dodgers-x 96-53 -- +173 100.0% 100.0% 100% .428
Nationals-y 90-59 5.5 +144 100.0% 100.0% 100% .429
Diamondbacks 87-63 9.5 +145 100.0% 100.0% >99% .424
Cubs 83-66 12.5 +106 90.9% 97.1% 93% .507
Rockies 82-68 14 +59 81.0% 84.0% 81% .475
Brewers 80-70 16 +38 23.7% 14.8% 22% .510
Cardinals 77-72 18.5 +70 4.4% 4.0% 4% .493
x=clinched playoffs, y=cliched division September 19, 2017

Arizona Diamondbacks

Record: 87-64

Wild Card #1 games ahead: 4.5

Baseball Prospectus playoff odds: 100%

Baseball Prospectus strength of schedule: .424 (easiest in MLB)

Remaining schedule: @Padres (3), vs. Marlins (3), vs. Giants (3), @ Royals (3) (6 at home, 6 on the road)

Number to know: The Diamondbacks have a home winning percentage of .640, second only to the Dodgers in the National League. Home field advantage is very important to their success and getting the Wild Card game at home would be a big boost.

Who’s hot: J.D. Martinez has hit 10 home runs in his last 15 games with a slash line of .426/.466/1.056 and a 280 wRC+.

Who’s not: Jake Lamb has been one of baseball’s worst hitters over the last month. Since August 19, he’s slashed .157/.269/.225 with just four extra base hits and a wRC+ of 29

Chicago Cubs

Record: 83-66

NL Central games ahead: 3.5

BP playoff odds: 90.9%

BP strength of schedule: .507 (16th in MLB)

Remaining schedule: @ Rays (2), @ Brewers (4), @Cardinals (4), vs. Reds (3) (3 at home, 10 on the road)

Number to know: The Cubs have won 6 straight games to close in on a playoff spot. Their recent sweeps of the Mets and Cardinals have put them in great position to win their division and make a play for a World Series repeat.

Who’s hot: Jose Quintana has had an excellent September thus far, helping to boost an ailing pitching staff that has under-achieved most of the year. Quintana owns a 2.54 xFIP, a K/BB ratio of 7.0 and a 1.13 WHIP.

Who’s not: Ian Happ is having a difficult month of September. The team has been red hot so it’s hard to find a true cold player but Happ has just one home run this month and has a whopping 39.2 percent K% leading to a wRC+ of 80 for the month

Colorado Rockies

Record: 82-68

Wild Card #2 games ahead: 2

BP playoff odds: 81%

BP Strength of Schedule: .475 (7th in MLB)

Remaining schedule: @ Giants (2), @ Padres (4), vs. Marlins (3), vs. Dodgers (3) (6 at home, 6 on the road)

Number to know: The Rockies have a .636 winning percentage in one run games this season, best in the National League. This number probably involves a little luck but it also speaks to the strength of the Rockies bullpen, a big reason why this team in in the playoff hunt.

Who’s hot: Carlos Gonzalez has been the best player on the team in the month of September. He has completely turned things around at the plate and is slashing .388/.500/.837 in September with a wRC+ of 224.

Who’s not: September has not been kind to Mark Reynolds and really, his struggles date back to the All-Star break. For the month, he’s slashed .170/.235/.298 with a 33.3 percent strikeout rate and a 23 wRC+.

Milwaukee Brewers

Record: 80-70

WC games behind: 2

BP playoff odds: 23.7%

BP strength of schedule: .510 (17th in MLB)

Remaining schedule: @ Pirates (2), vs. Cubs (4), vs. Reds (3), @ Cardinals (3) (7 at home, 5 on the road)

Number to know: in their last ten games, the Brewers have scored 60 runs, highlighting the resurgence of the team. At the start of last week, the Brewers have had the league’s worst offense in the second half. Over the last ten games, they’ve been a top ten offense and the four game set against the Cubs at home will be a huge test.

Who’s hot: Eric Thames has had an up and down season, but right now he’s way up. His 275 wRC+ over the last ten games is best in the National League as is his 1.000 slugging percentage and his .579 ISO.

Who’s not: Catcher Steven Vogt was added to the roster early in the year after he was cut by the Athletics. Vogt has been a blight on the offense this month as his 5 wRC+ is one of the worst marks in baseball. The other half of the platoon, Manny Pina, is sporting an ugly 57 wRC+ so catcher has been a problem spot for this team of late.