Rays playoff odds, 17 games left

Are the Rays the arrow speeding toward the target, or the watchers, observing the playoffs fly away? - Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The last time we looked at postseason odds was Monday. It was a kinder, simpler time. Then the Red Sox came in and took two out of three games in The Trop. Here's how the rest of the Rays' wild card competition did over that same span. Texas, by the way, went 0-3, and is two games up in the first wild card slot.

Wins Losses Games Back
Yankees 3 1 1
Indians 2 2 1.5
Orioles 1 3 2.5
Royals 2 1 2.5

Yesterday, Dan looked at the Rays upcoming schedule, and how it impacts the playoff race (the Rays play many of the teams chasing them). Now let's take a look using the FanGraphs playoff odds calculator and the Pecota calculator at BP. at how this stretch of three games has changed the the projections.

September 9 WC% September 13 WC%
Coin flip 52.5% 50.1%
Season to-date 48.6% 45.8%
FanGraphs 61.4% 63.9%
Pecota 67.2% 62.8%

Posting a losing record while three quarters of your competition posts winning or an even record isn't going to help your chances, especially in calculations that are weighted toward recent win-loss record (Season to-date). But it's not all bad. The FanGraphs projected odds actually improved over the series loss. That's likely on account of how much FanGraphs liked the Red Sox. They're the best team in the league right now, and a sweep at their hands was a real possibility.

I'm not sure where the sudden drop in Pecota's odds comes from, as I would expect it and FanGraphs to behave similarly. My hunch is that it rates the Yankees above the rest of the wild card chasers, so a comparative rise in the standings by the Yanks is a larger threat to the Rays. It's on to Minnesota for a three game series with Joe Mauer unavailable. We'll check back in on playoff odds after it's finished.

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