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Rays playoff odds update: gaining ground

Up to nearly 20%.

"We at 20% playoff odds yet?" "Yup, just about."
"We at 20% playoff odds yet?" "Yup, just about."
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

I held back updating this yesterday, because I was certain that if I quietly wanted it hard enough, all of the off-day games would go the Rays way. Didn't happen. Toronto won, New York won, Los Angeles won. Baltimore did not play, and Texas and Minnesota played each other (Texas won).

Still, it was a pretty good week for the Rays, with a two-game series sweep, and two other series wins.

When we last checked on the playoff odds back on August 7, their chances were around 10%. Now they are higher.

Below are playoff odds taken from FanGraphs. "CF" is a simulation where every team had a 50% shot of winning each game. "FG" is a simulation where the teams are weighted by their FanGraphs Depth Charts projections, for which the Rays are considered a .488 true-talent team.

Division (CF) Division (FG) Wildcard (CF) Wildcard (FG)
7-Aug 3.7% 1.2% 14.2% 9.8%
14-Aug 6.7% 2.2% 22.9% 18.4%

That second wild card slot is starting to look totally possible. Right now, the Rays are only two games behind the Angels, and are about to start a three-game series in Arlington (Texas is one of the teams chasing that spot as well).

Adding intrigue to the scoreboard watching, New York and Toronto are about to play each other, meaning that one of those teams will have a losing record over the next three days. Therefore, the Rays have an opportunity to make up ground on two of their direct competitors in this upcoming series.