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MattS' Conditional Playoff Odds

Going into today, most systems had the Phillies at approximately a 99%+ chance of making the playoffs.  Clearly, with a Phils loss, a Mets win, and a Brewers win, those odds had to go down.  How much? is now saying 98.9%, still pretty good.,, and maybe even will have estimates tomorrow morning.

Unsatisfied with the cold facts, I've decided to dig a little deeper and give myself a sense of the stochastic roller coaster ride I'm about to take!

Firstly, I'm saying 98.0% chance of making the playoffs.  From there, I'll explain some breakdowns.

{EDIT: I've changed a few numbers due to some calculation errors I made}

Using the fact odds of certain teams winning baseball games are more or less accurate, I'm approximately what to expect from here out.  I'll use the following guess:Odds that the Mets, Phillies, or Brewers beat a team other than the Cubs (Braves, Pirates, Nationals, Marlins) are approximately 70% on any given day.  Odds that the Mets or Brewers beat the Cubs are about 60% on any given day.  Obviously, this isn't exact, but it give me an idea of what's in store, but given those assumptions, the following things should be true:

Our odds of clinching on the following days are:

Thursday: 6.3%

Friday: 45.3%

Saturday: 32.4%

Sunday: 11.9%

Monday: 1.7%

Tuesday: 0.4%


Keep in mind that if the Phillies have clinched the playoffs by Sunday, they won't need to use Cole Hamels-- those odds are 84%.  (I assume we wouldn't waste Cole on Sunday to win the division if we had a playoff spot wrapped up, but our odds of winning the division by Sunday are 51.3%.)


What about if you just want to know what we need to do to win?

Our odds of making the playoffs given that we have the following records is:

0-4: 60.2%

1-3: 79.2%

2-2: 96.8%

3-1: 100%

4-0: 100%

This makes you feel a good deal better, doesn't it?


For us to win on Thursday, it requires that we win tomorrow and that Brewers lose to the Pirates tomorrow and Thursday.  That seems unlikely...6.3% about actually. 

Going into Friday, we can expect to have the following possibilities:

6.3% pre-clinched

32.1% magic number of 1

43.8% magic number of 2

17.8% magic number of 3


Obviously, tomorrow will give us a better sense of these, but with the 32 possible outcomes of the five possible games that can happen between now and Thursday, this is how it breaks down.


Going into Saturday, we can expect:

51.63% pre-clinched

33.42% magic number of 1

13.11% magic number of 2

1.84% magic number of 3


Calculating this out for Sunday is a bit much right now, but maybe after some more games happen, I can narrow this down.

For those who are curious, our odds of winning the division by Sunday are approximately 76.4% and our odds of having a one-game playoff with the Mets on Monday (needed only if the Brewers have a record as good or better than the Phillies and Mets) are about 2.0%, so our odds of winning the division are approximately 77.4%.

Let's hope that this gets easier to calculate after tomorrow...a win would probably help that cause!