Sometimes as fans we get a little too caught up in how many games back the Rays are in the standings. Ultimately, what is more important is just making sure the Rays take care of their own business and hope it turns out well in the end. With two Wild Cards, that means getting to 22 games over .500 (92-70). If they do that, there is a very good chance they’ll be in the playoffs.

As we can see, the Rays are in the midst of their of their second big run of the season. They are currently ten games over .500, which means they are about two games below where they need to be…

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4 Comments

  1. Scot says:

    Just curious, how do you define “very good chance”? 95%

    The claim makes sense with only 1 wildcard per league, but hasn’t the number of wins for 95% likelihood dropped with 2 wildcards? Could 90 wins mean virtual certainty?

    And my last comment relates to making the playoffs now that all playoff spots are not equal. Any team that wins a wildcard is approximately 50% less likely to continue than a team that wins the division. Baseball Prospectus has added this aspect to their odds calculations by including the column “Playoff Pct (Adj)” for adjusted. This is the probability that a team will reach the round where there are 4 teams left in the playoffs per league – the format used for approximately 20 years before. So while the Rays may have around a 60% chance of winning either the division or one of the 2 wildcard teams, the probability of them reaching the final 4 per league is closer to 40%. In short, it really pays to win the division.

    • Cork Gaines says:

      From ’96-’12 the team with the best record after the (first) Wild Card averaged just over 89 wins in the AL and ranged from 84 to 93 wins. Based on that alone, I would say 93 is near certainty and something around 90-92 is “very good” based on my own subjective opinion.

      However, the exact “very good” number is probably a little higher than 90-92 since in most of those seasons a second hypothetical wild card team might have played the final weeks a little differently if the additional wild card were available. So I just took the upper boundary.

      In the end, this is all arbitrary and the ultimate purpose is not to guarantee anything but to just giving a visual representation of what kind of pace the Rays are on. If you want a higher or lower goal, adjust accordingly.

  2. Rob says:

    Will you be posting this graph on a regular basis – maybe include it as a link across the top of the blog like you do the organizational information. The Rays are one game closer to the red line after tonight,

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