|The Diamondbacks will need to see a lot more of this to be this year's Cardinals. (AP)|
And we know the rest of the story.
A look at the same odds at Baseball Prospectus for Aug. 31, 2012, shows the Yankees, Rangers, Nationals and Reds all have a 98 percent or better chance of reaching the playoffs, while the White Sox, Rays, Athletics, Braves, Cardinals and Giants all have 59 percent or better chance at making the postseason.
As for the Cardinals of 2012? That's the Arizona Diamondbacks, who currently have a 1.3 percent shot at the playoffs, according to BP. The Diamondbacks snapped a six-game losing streak on Thursday, beating the Dodgers (and shaving a game off Los Angeles' NL West lead) on Thursday in the first game of the four game series. Arizona is also just 12-16 in August and 65-67 overall. Last year at this time, the Cardinals were 71-64 overall and were a game over .500 for August before winning on the last day of the month, starting a run of 19-8 over the last month of the season (plus the last day of August).
I'm not even coming close to suggesting the Diamondbacks can come back and make the playoffs (even with an extra wild card) -- more than anything, it serves as a reminder of just how remarkable the 2011 Cardinals were.
So, while it's highly unlikely the Diamondbacks pull a Cardinals, they will have a major say in which team wins the West. Arizona has five more games against the Dodgers and nine against the Giants.
Meanwhile, BP says the Braves have an 89.7 percent chance of making the playoffs and a 75.8 percent chance they take one of the two wild card spots -- a similar position to the one they held last year before losing 20 of their last 30 games.
The next couple of days will be filled with reminders of 2011's fantastic finish with the Braves and Red Sox collapsing in the last month of the season. The Braves are already answering questions about it, especially after finishing a 4-6 road trip.
"I'm not thinking about last year, I'm not thinking about yesterday, I'm not thinking about tomorrow," Chipper Jones told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's David O'Brien on Wednesday following a loss to the Padres. "I'm just going to go out and play the game and I'm going to play it as well as I can and let the chips fall where they may. We're going to have to win some close, big ballgames down the stretch. And I don't foresee it being any different than last year in the fact that the last couple of weeks to a month of the season, every game is a playoff game."