“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.
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:
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.