Phillies' updated playoff chances and likeliest first-round opponents


If the Phillies linger where they are in the National League and make the playoffs, their likeliest first-round opponents are the Padres and Cubs.

The Phils' playoff chances, even after a pair of ugly losses Saturday and Sunday, are at 87%, according to Fangraphs. With three weeks left in the regular season, they have a 55% chance of finishing in second place in the NL East.

All six second-place teams will make the playoffs in 2020. There will be eight playoff teams in each league. The division-winners are the 1, 2 and 3 seeds; the second-place teams are 4, 5 and 6; and the teams with the next two best records are 7 and 8.

Every first-round playoff series is a Best of 3.

If the season ended today, the Phillies would be the 6-seed in the NL. They are 19-17 and the Cardinals are 17-15, so St. Louis is ahead .531 to .528 in winning percentage.

This will remain relevant because the Cardinals, who did not play from July 30 until August 15 because of positive COVID-19 tests, have 58 games on their schedule rather than 60. Playoff seeding could come down to winning percentage even if the Phillies and Cardinals are tied mathematically in the win-loss department, as they technically are right now.

The NL team that gets the 6-seed is likely to play the Cubs.

The NL team that gets the 5-seed is likely to play the Padres. 

The Dodgers are 30-12, five games in front of the Padres in the NL West. You can essentially lock the Dodgers into the 1-seed in the NL.


The Padres, three games ahead of the Phillies and Cardinals, have a great chance to claim the top second-place seed. San Diego has won 14 of 19 and has weak opponents left on its schedule like the Angels and Mariners.

The Phillies are three games behind the Braves in the NL East. Atlanta won seven of 10 at the same time the Phillies won 10 of 11. The Phils' odds of winning the NL East, per Fangraphs, are just 16.3%. The best way to make up ground in the division is with head-to-head matchups but the Phillies are finished with the Braves after splitting the 10 meetings.

The Phillies' remaining six series are vs. Red Sox, at Marlins, vs. Mets, vs. Blue Jays, at Nationals, at Rays.

The Braves' remaining six series are vs. Marlins, at Nationals, at Orioles, at Mets, vs. Marlins, vs. Red Sox.