With each Cubs victory or Brewers loss, the chances of Milwaukee winning the NL Central dwindle. The Brewers are 3.5 back of the Cubs with 11 games left in their season, and they have a 3.6 percent probability of wresting the division from Chicago before they run out of season. That number is a little misleading as to their chances in a way, as the Brewers do have a four-game series against the Cubs left on the schedule, but they probably have to sweep to see a serious increase in their chances.
The Rockies' chances of winning the NL West died somewhere back in mid-summer, and they're still 14 games back of the Dodgers in the division despite Los Angeles' horrific September. They're also 4.5 games behind the D-Backs for the first wild card, so the Rockies are still very much in this postseason race, whereas their division mates are basically comfortable in the knowledge they'll be playing meaningful October baseball.
It's here in the third paragraph that the stories of these two teams converge, as the Brewers are just one game behind the Rockies for that second NL wild card. If you look at the probabilities, the Rockies are the clear favorites, as they have an 84 percent chance of holding on to that spot. However, much of that has to do with the remaining schedules: As stated before, the Brewers have four left against the Cubs and three against the Cardinals, while the Rockies get four against the lowly Padres and follow that up with a three-game Marlins series.
The Rockies finish the year against the Dodgers, who have obviously been great in 2017, but the past tense right there isn't a coincidence. The Brewers get one series you could consider a layup in the Reds, while the Rockies are at more like 2.5 out of the three remaining ones.
The thing is, if these probabilities are mostly coming down to remaining schedule, they're ... well, they aren't meaningless, but it's a good spot for the Brewers to go all Han Solo about odds. Much more unlikely occurrences than the Brewers playing well over 10 games while the Rockies play slightly less well, regardless of who the opponents are, occur all the time.
And it's all close enough that this could come down to a game 163. Another game 163 for the Rockies, 10 years after the last one? Let's get weird, baseball.
- Alex Gordon has had a miserable season, but he helped change its narrative a little on Tuesday by hitting a record-setting homer. Gordon's blast was the 5,994th of the 2017 season, the most ever hit during an MLB campaign. Oh, and there are still almost two weeks of regular season baseball left for dingers to compile.
- Everyone is hitting homers except the Giants, who are comically incapable of doing so during a time when it's never been easier. It's not a problem with an easy solution, either, so, uh, sorry, Giants fans.
- Chase Headley got hit right in the beans by a pitch, so of course there is a post on it with a video you can watch and cringe at.
- Forty-five men dressed like Magnum P.I. were thrown out of a Tigers' game for being jerks. I have many questions, but we should probably just move on.
- The Phillies fan who promised to buy chicken nuggets for everyone if Rhys Hoskins hit a homer bought chicken nuggets for everyone.
- The Red Sox and Rays are finished playing each other, and it turns out that Craig Kimbrel pitched a better "game" than anyone in 2017: Nine innings, no hits, one walk, and 23 strikeouts against Tampa Bay.
- The Mariners stars disappointed in 2017, but don't worry, everything at the bottom of the roster fell apart, too.
- Ichiro Suzuki is already the single-season hit champion and the all-time leader in hits as a professional, and now he's closing in on the single-season pinch-hit record.
- Buried in that piece, by the way, is a note that Ichiro has actually been hitting well again since mid-season. That's the best baseball news you'll hear all week.
- Kiri Oler wrote a piece titled "Using Recurrent Neural Networks to Predict Player Performance" if you feel like diving in to some sci-fi baseball ish.
- The Nationals set a bunch of season marks on Tuesday, and all of them somehow came on boring plays.
- The Red Sox won in extra innings again, giving them a 15-3 mark in those games on the season. Alex Speier took a look to see if all these extras victories bode well for Boston in the postseason.
- Here's a thought experiment on reconfiguring baseball so that it's a little more like tennis in terms of how games are scored and end.