Last week, we discussed Baseball Prospectus’s first iteration of its PECOTA projections for the Chicago Cubs, which offered a relatively bleak picture of the Cubs, individually, but a not-so-terrible 77-win projection for the team as a whole.
That number, which is much higher than I would bet on, assumes health and a team that stays together for the full 2013 season. If the Cubs are on a mid-70s win pace come mid-July, you’ve got to believe they’ll consider selling off some short-term pieces once again, which could put downward pressure on that pace – yielding a final total considerably lower than 77.
But, while we reside in the happy world of health and an unbroken-up 2013 Chicago Cubs team, why not take the next step? If the Cubs are projected to win 77 wins, what are their playoff odds? A 77-win projection, with luck becomes 82 or 85 wins. With a lack of luck, it becomes 72 or 68 wins. The point is, the Cubs have *some* chance of making the playoffs in 2013, however remote.
If you believe BP’s initial playoff odds report, the chance isn’t that remote after all.
Read it and weep: 12.5%.
That’s the chance, based on player projections, team schedules, and all kinds of other crazy inputs, that the 2013 Chicago Cubs will make the playoffs. It is just a statistical model, subject to the vagaries of “reality” – they actually have to play the season. But the model is likely as sophisticated as they come right now.
The Cubs are undoubtedly helped considerably by the addition of a second Wild Card (their chance of taking the division is just 4.6%). Still, I’ll take it. Just a sliver of hope – not so much that I do anything rash like believe the Cubs will be competitive this year. But enough to reinforce my thoughts when I look at the roster: it’s possible that everything breaks just right, and the Cubs are a surprise team in 2013.
The Cubs’ 12.5% mark is better than only the Orioles, Royals, Twins, Astros, Marlins, Padres, and Rockies, and is still lower than any other team in the Central (the Pirates are next at 17.0%), so let’s not get too hopeful.
A good alternative to betting on your team would be an online casino site. These sites now offer a range of sporting casino games – including great slots games themed around baseball. The really good baseball themed slots games capture a great deal of the excitement of the matches themselves, through the use of top end video graphics and atmospheric sound effects, while also offering all of those features that have made slots the most popular type of casino gambling. These include the excellent chance of a payout, cheap play and a variety of exciting game bonuses – making them worth a spin for any baseball fan who doesn’t want to risk betting on their team.