The Giants’ Odds of Making the Postseason
Heading in to today, the Giants have five games remaining to their schedule. They’re currently sitting at 89 wins and 68 losses. If they’re perfect, they wind up with 94 wins (.580 w%); if they lose all five, they finish with a .549 win percentage. Considering that I expected the Giants to be around .500, I’m very happy with the way the season has gone. I never expected Aubrey Huff to hit the way he has, I never expected Andres Torres to break out like this, I certainly never thought I’d see Buster Posey play as well as he has so quickly- seriously, this kid looks like a superstar- and Madison Bumgarner to pitch as well as he has. There’s numerous other little surprises, of course, but these are the ones most prevalent in my mind right now.
But I’m selfish. I’ll readily admit that I’ll be extremely disappointed if the Giants don’t make the playoffs. As previously stated, they’ve got 89 wins- and they’re two games ahead of the San Diego Padres. The Giants have two more games against the Diamondbacks before finishing up the season against these very same Padres…which will be one of the most dramatic series in recent memory. Obviously, there’s no telling what will happen- but I’d like to think that Baseball Prospectus’ Postseason Odds will be pretty accurate. Their method:
As the title says, the post-season odds report was compiled by running a Monte Carlo simulation of the rest of the season one million times. Current wins, losses and expected winning percentages are taken from the Adjusted Standings Report.
Expected winning percentages (EWP) for each team starts with their W3 and L3 from the Adjusted Standings. A regression is applied to derive the EWP for the rest of the season, which is going to be between the current winning percentage and .500. To allow for uncertainty in the EWP, a normal distribution centered on the EWP is randomly sampled, and that value is used for the remainder of the season in that iteration. To simulate the normal 4% home-field advantage, the home team gets a .020 point bonus, while the visitors take a 0.020 penalty. The likelihood of winning each game is determined by the log5 method.
As of right now, their Postseason Odds give the Giants an 87% chance of winning the division and a 3% chance of winning the Wild Card. Added together, the Giants have a 90% chance of making the Playoffs. And once they make it in…well, anything can happen. To me, it feels like we’ve really caught lightning in a bottle with this team- and who knows…as cliche as it may be (and even worse to actually use their horrendous slogan), perhaps there really is some magic inside.