Opinion

What are the Royals’ current odds of making the postseason?

The Royals’ odds of clinching back-to-back AL Central Division titles remains low, but their chances of making the postseason as a wild-card team are on the rise.
The Royals’ odds of clinching back-to-back AL Central Division titles remains low, but their chances of making the postseason as a wild-card team are on the rise. deulitt@kcstar.com

“Never tell me the odds.” — Han Solo in “Star Wars”

“The advanced metrics had us winning 70 games and we won a World Series. So that tells you how good they are.” — Eric Hosmer, June 2016

What are the chances the Royals make the playoffs? Well, it depends where you look — and maybe who you ask. After bottoming out at 51-58 on Aug. 5, the Royals won 18 of 22 and got back into the race.

 

Royals postseason odds

Through the games of Sept. 14, here is the percent chance the Royals have of making the postseason and winning the AL Central Division.

Playoffs%AL Central%Proj. W-L
FiveThirtyEight1.0%<1.0%83-79
Baseball Prospectus0.5%0.0%82-80
FanGraphs0.4%0.0%82-80

On Aug. 5, the Royals had just a 0.2 percent chance to make the playoffs, according to the projection model at BaseballProspectus.com. Put another way: Just 0.2 percent of teams in baseball history in a similar position had made the postseason. After an Aug. 28 victory in Boston, that number had increased to 11.8 percent.

This is just one model, of course, and the Royals have proven themselves quiet proficient at beating the odds. Examples:

1. The 2014 AL Wild Card Game

2. Game 4 of the American League Division Series

With that in mind, The Star will be tracking the percentage chance that the Royals return to the playoffs for a third straight year — something the franchise has not done since 1976-78. As the calendar pushes toward September and beyond, we’ll be keeping an eye on the projection models at Baseball Prospectus, FanGraphs and FiveThirtyEight.

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