It’s never too early to talk about the MLB playoffs, especially in a 60-game season. So, that’s exactly what we’re going to do.
The A’s appear already locked-in for the playoffs, and not just because of the new format.
Entering Sunday, according to FanGraphs, the A’s have a 97.7 percent chance of making the playoffs. To break it down more precisely, Oakland also has a 71.8 percent chance to win the AL West.
Oakland sits pretty in first place with an 11-4 record, and the Houston Astros are 4.5 games behind them.
The new playoff format, which MLB and the Player’s Association agreed upon, only helps the A’s chances. The expanded playoffs have second-place teams in each of the divisions qualified for the playoffs. So, unless something crazy happens, the A’s still have a huge chance. Plus, compared to the rest of the division, their strength of schedule for the remainder of the season only is a boost for the team.
FanGraphs does have the Astros slightly higher (8 percent) than the A’s (7.2 percent) to win the World Series, but that’s to be expected from a perennial contender.
The new playoff format was brought forth to create a competitive pennant race, as MLBPA executive director Tony Clark said in a statement.
The playoffs are scheduled for Sept. 29-Oct. 2, which will come much faster than it might feel like.
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