There are a lot of games yet to be played. This post is not meant to cause alarm or melancholy. Now is not the time to pace with anxiety or make rash decisions like declaring the season over and done for. This post is merely meant to educate and provide insight. There are a lot of games yet to be played.
With that out of the way, let us take a peek at the data. Before the season began, the Cardinals’ playoff odds sat at a comfortable 61.6%. Twelve games into the young season they have fallen a lot to... 50.2%. The Birdos began the year as the favorites for the first Wild Card and have slid down into the second Wild Card slot. With a 5-7 record this is not a catastrophic decrease, but if the Cardinals want to make everyone much more comfortable in this playoff race, beating their direct competition for the Wild Cards spots - like the Mets and Brewers - would go a long way. Per Jeff Sullivan of Fangraphs:
The biggest drop belongs to the Cardinals, whose odds are down about 11 points. At 4-6, the Cardinals haven’t been dreadful... this is mostly about the wild-card competition. The Cardinals began as favorites for WC1...Now the Cardinals project as favorites for WC2... The Mets’ hot start matters to them. The Diamondbacks’ hot start matters to them. Even the Pirates’ hot start matters to them. The wild-card races are always tight, and a team can lose ground in a hurry.
Even after a mediocre start to the season and a great start from the competition, the Cardinals are still projected for a playoff spot. The odds have taken a hit and most people reading this would rather they had not, but there is no need to panic... yet. In the early goings, there will be lots of movement because there just is not a lot of data points. That is why they play so many games. And there are a lot of games yet to be played.
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