Even after four straight losses, Phillies still likely to make playoffs
The Phillies dropped four straight games, but the betting lines and math remain in their favor to make the postseason.
The Philadelphia Phillies have picked the worst possible time to lose four straight. And the schedule doesn’t get any easier this week as they begin their final home stand of the 2022 Major League Baseball season.
Last Wednesday, after the Phillies earned a 6-1 win over the Miami Marlins, they had a five game advantage in the loss column over the Milwaukee Brewers and a firm grip on at least the final National League wild card spot. According to FanGraphs, Philadelphia’s odds of making the playoffs at that point were at 96.3%.
Five days and four losses later, that percentage is down to 83.1%. Milwaukee, meanwhile, jumped from 21.4% to 29.6% over that same period.
The lead over the Brewers is down to just two games. Will the Phillies hold on in the final 18 games of the season? The betting odds say yes.
As far as the wild card races go, the National League is where the remaining intrigue is. In the American League, Baltimore entered Monday four games back of Seattle for the final spot, and FanGraphs gave the Orioles a 0.9% chance of making the playoffs.
As of Monday afternoon DraftKings had the Phillies at -280 to make the playoffs. Milwaukee’s odds were at +120. San Diego, which had a half-game lead on the Phillies entering Monday for the second wild card spot, was all the way up at -650 to make the playoffs. FanGraphs had the Padres at 87.5% to make the playoffs, only slightly higher than the Phillies.
That disparity, and the difference in betting odds, might give bettors some value on San Diego to miss the postseason. DraftKings had the Padres at +475 to miss the playoffs as of Monday. But if you’re looking to correlate the math, FanGraphs is saying San Diego misses the playoffs about once every 11.5 times. Thus, +475 (bet $10, win $47.50) isn’t giving you all that much incentive.
These lines will be interesting to track over the coming days. The Phillies are off Monday but play their next six games against playoff teams, including four vs. the Braves, who just swept the Phillies in a three-game set in Atlanta. Milwaukee, meanwhile, opens a three-game series Monday night vs. the NL East-leading New York Mets.
The Padres, like the Phillies, are off Monday night but then host the NL Central-leading St. Louis Cardinals. San Diego also has three games next week vs. the Los Angeles Dodgers, who’d like nothing more than to play spoiler vs. their divisional rival.
As that table shows, the Brewers have the easiest remaining schedule (on paper), while the Padres have the most difficult.
Still, a two-game deficit remains a difficult one to overcome over the final three weeks of the season when there’s no head-to-head matchups in sight.
As a reminder, there is no one-game playoff anymore, and the Phillies own the tiebreaker over the Brewers (and the Padres). So, that two-game lead is really a three-game lead. And that’s why the betting — and mathematical — odds are still in Philadelphia’s favor.
Who’s the favorite to win the National League? (odds courtesy of FanDuel)
FanDuel’s odds to win the NL also bring into focus how unlikely it is that Milwaukee overcomes the deficit, and how much of a fluke it would be for the Brewers to go on a magical run.
The Inquirer is not an online gambling operator, or a gambling site. We provide this information about sports betting for entertainment purposes only.