So you’re telling me there’s a chance.
Last night, the Phillies came from behind to top the Mets (finally) and the Braves fell to the Cardinals to inch the team one game closer to the division lead. With 12 games to play, the Phillies are 5.5 games back.
What does that mean for their chances, though?
According to FanGraphs.com, the website the MLB uses to project playoff probability, the Phillies have a 4.1 percent chance to win the NL East.
Here’s how it could happen.
The Phillies have one more against the Mets and the Braves finish their series today with the Cardinals. According to Vegas odds, both the Phillies and Braves are slight underdogs tonight, however, if the Phillies can pull off the win and the Braves lose, that means the Phillies would be 4.5 back entering a four-game series with them.
In Atlanta, the Braves are just 38-38 on the season, they’re actually better on the road, however, the Phillies are a disappointing 31-42 away from home. They probably need to win at least three games in Atlanta, and if they do, the Phillies could be 2.5 back with seven to play.
The Phillies then travel out west to take on the Colorado Rockies, who are in a playoff hunt of their own, just 1.5 games behind the Dodgers in the NL West and the same margin behind the Cardinals for the Wild Card. Hey, the Phillies have played down to such opponents as the Mets and Marlins, maybe they’ll rise to the occasion in Colorado. The Braves play three against the Mets, so if the Phillies win three and the Braves win two, that puts the Phillies one game back, entering a three-game series with Atlanta at Citizens Bank Park to end the season.
If that’s the case, it’s on.
If you think about it, the above scenario is maybe more possible than you thought, however, given how the Phillies have played recently, it doesn’t make you want to make reservations for October just yet. The good news, however, is that the Braves have lost four straight and don’t look like world-beaters themselves, either, and seven of the last 12 games pit the team head-to-head.
At their peak, on Aug. 5, the Phillies had a 70 percent chance to make the playoffs and a 54.1 percent chance to win the NL East, so is it upsetting to see those chances cut so drastically in such a short amount of time? Absolutely. However, whether you like it or not, the Phillies have exceeded expectations in 2018 and could be on the verge of adding to what has already proven to be a capable roster of players for a serious run next year.
There’s still hope, though, Phillies fans.