Quantifying Hope: Cubs Still Have Better Playoff Odds Than Reds, Pirates

If you ever needed proof that the playoff odds at FanGraphs are colored by preseason expectations, look no further than the Reds (3-16) having a better projection than the Pirates (8-11). Both teams are bad, mind you, but Cincy actively got worse this offseason while Pittsburgh can at least tout some young talent and a few wily vets. I probably said this last week too, but Joey Votto playing tenor sax in the Titanic’s dance band — RIP, Harry Chapin — is so sad to watch.

In any case, the Cubs are still believed to be better than their 68-win pace even though their upcoming schedule says otherwise. They do at least have some easier games in the middle of May and then again to close the season, so it’s possible we’ll see an upward trend in the near future. However, the prospect of being out of contention by June means they could very well move several of their biggest contributors at the deadline.

The Brewers look like they can more or less hit cruise control for the rest of the regular season, though they’d better do something about that putrid offense if they want to make any noise after that. The Cardinals are likewise in a good position to play past Game 162, which is also the combined age of their four oldest players. Okay, the quartet of Albert Pujols (42), Adam Wainwright (40), Yadier Molina (39), and Paul Goldschmidt (34) actually totals 155 years.

But if you consider that three of them have birthdays later in the season and the other may actually be two years older than he claims, they’re pushing 160. What does this have to do with the Cubs? Nothing at all, it’s about as worthwhile as the fake sellout streak the Cards still expect people to believe is intact.

It’s also more entertaining than discussing the Cubs’ chances, which have trudged steadily downward since peaking at 9.7% following their series-opening win against the Rays last week. You can almost hear the theme from Fantasia playing, specifically the part where all the brooms are marching along with their buckets of water.

To that end, we can at least take solace in knowing the Cubs have yet to be swept in a series. They’ve been mopped up, sometimes by scrubs, and some of their players have looked washed, but they have thus far avoided a sweep.

Apologies for what might come across as a dour tone, it’s probably just my way of distancing myself emotionally ahead of what will otherwise be a very busy weekend in our household. With at least four games in the next three days, I may not even have a chance to watch the Cubs. But hey, maybe that means they’ll play their asses off just to spite me.

Because that’s how it works, right?

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