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Rockies control their playoff destiny with one week to go

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What you need to know about the chase for the final National League playoff spot

After salvaging a disappointing split against the Padres, the Rockies currently sit two games ahead of the Milwaukee Brewers for the second Wild Card spot while Arizona has now clinched home field advantage in the playoff game. Here’s how the playoff odds stack up for the Wild Card contenders.

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-y 99-57 -- +170 100.0% 100.0% 100% .452
Nationals-y 94-61 4.5 +150 100.0% 100.0% 100% .427
Diamondbacks-w 90-66 9 +142 100.0% 100.0% 100% .416
Cubs 87-68 11.5 +107 99.8% 100.0% >99% .497
Rockies 84-72 15 +53 76.5% 77.0% 76% .571
Brewers 82-74 17 +33 13.2% 13.5% 14% .492
Cardinals 81-74 17.5 +74 10.4% 9.5% 11% .562
y=clinched division, w=clinched wild card September 25, 2017

Colorado Rockies

Record: 84-72

Wild Card 2 games ahead: 2

BP playoff odds: 76.5%

BP Strength of Schedule: .571 (2nd hardest in MLB)

Remaining schedule: vs. Marlins (3), vs. Dodgers (3) (6 at home)

Stat to ponder: Since the 2002 only 14 players have finished a season with a higher groundball rate than Ian Desmond’s 63 percent (among players with at least 300 plate appearances).

Analysis: The Rockies have been stuck in one of their trademarked offensive ruts lately. Over their last six games against two of the National League’s worst teams, the Rockies have mustered just 15 runs and as a team have slashed just .216/.282/.290 in those games. After such a successful trip to LA and Phoenix, the Rockies have crashed hard and now are clinging to the Wild Card lead. Fortunately, they close the season with six games at home and if the bats can get hot, Coors field can help them to the finish line.

Milwaukee Brewers

Record: 82-74

WC games behind: 2

BP playoff odds: 13.2%

BP strength of schedule: .492 (18th hardest in MLB)

Remaining schedule: vs. Reds (3), @ Cardinals (3) (3 at home, 3 on the road)

Stat to ponder: The Brewers boast three players in the top-20 in terms of hard hit percentage: Jesus Aguilar (44.5%), Eric Thames (41.2%), and Ryan Braun (40.8%). The Brewers are the only team in the league with more two players in the top-25 in the category.

Analysis: The Brewers hit a wall this weekend in the form of the Chicago Cubs. Prior to their latest series, the Brewers were 9-3 and on a roll. Fortunately for the Rockies, the Brewers dropped three out of four against Chicago and over their last seven games have only scored 19 runs. The Brewers will get to face the Reds for three games which will give them a chance to catch up a bit before their potentially huge closing series against the Cardinals. If they can sweep the Reds at home, the Brewers will likely travel to St. Louis in good position.

St. Louis Cardinals

Record: 81-74

WC games behind: 2.5

BP playoff odds: 10.4%

BP strength of schedule: .562 (5th hardest in MLB)

Remaining schedule: vs. Cubs (4), vs. Brewers (3) (7 at home)

Stat to ponder: The Cardinals pitching staff owns a 3.84 FIP at home this season, the fifth best mark in baseball. On the road, their 4.28 mark is 11th in baseball.

Analysis: Although the Cardinals play all seven of their remaining games at home, they will face a serious uphill battle for the second Wild Card spot. The Cubs series will be the defining series for them. They will likely need at least a series split in order to remain relevant because the Brewers get to face the Reds for three games before the two NL Central rivals meet in St. Louis in the season’s final matchup. If the Cards can win the series against the Cubs, that last series will be packed with intrigue and may determine who travels to Chase Field to take on the Diamondbacks.

★ ★ ★

With one week to go, the Rockies control their own fate. Any combination of five Rockies wins and Brewers loses and five Rockies wins and Cardinals loses will clinch the final playoff spot for Colorado. Those who have been asking for meaningful games in September have gotten their wish. Enjoy the ride!