The Reds took a 4-0 lead against the Pirates in the third inning last night, just as Jake Arrieta was doing his thing against the Brewers. Things were looking good for the Cubs, who need two Pirates losses this weekend to have a chance at home field advantage in the Wild Card Game.
Unfortunately, the Reds didn’t score again, and the Pirates tied the game in the 6th inning, and then then won it in the 12th on a walk-off Starling Marte homer. The Reds left 11 on base in the game, and went just 2-10 with runners in scoring position.
That leaves the Pirates’ magic number for clinching home field in the Wild Card Game at just one.
If the Cubs lose either of their final games against the Brewers, Pirates clinch. If the Pirates win either of their games against the Reds, Pirates clinch. Even if we very generously say the Pirates have a mere 50/50 shot of winning each game against the Reds, that yields a mere 25% chance that they lose them both. And even if we very generously say the Cubs have a 70/30 shot of winning each game against the Pirates, that yields a mere 49% chance that they win both. Since both things need to happen, that yields a mere 12.5% chance that the Cubs can pull this off. And that’s with some extremely generous inputs.
If you believe the Pirates’ chances of beating the Reds are closer to 70/30 – which, yeah – the Cubs’ chances of pulling this off drop to just 4.4%.