With less than 100 games remaining in the 2018 season, the Atlanta Braves are in fantastic shape. Before the campaign began, virtually no one could have predicted that Brian Snitker’s team would begin with a 37-28 record and, because they have, the Braves sit in a tie for first place in the NL East with strong positioning toward a potential spot in the upcoming MLB Playoffs.
Obviously, there is a long way to go but, after an off day on Monday, it is time to check in on a few prominent statistical projection systems and what they foresee for the Braves, through the prism of playoff odds, during the rest of the season.
This is the only “real-time” projection, to the point where it actually updates after every game played across the league. At one point last week, the Braves cracked the 50 percent mark but, after the skid in California, things settle at a fairly optimistic 46 percent. Atlanta still trails five teams but the Braves stand ahead of the Cardinals, Giants and Phillies in the pecking order here.
The Braves are projected to finish 86-46 here but that is apparently enough to justify a 42 percent playoff clip. In a weird twist, the Cardinals are given worse odds despite a superior win projection, and we can likely trace that back to the possibility of Atlanta claiming the NL East title in a potential slug-fest.
First of all, it’s always a good idea to read Baseball Prospectus. Beyond that, the Braves dip a bit here, with two teams in both the NL Central and NL West kind of separating from the pack. Atlanta is battling with Philadelphia and St. Louis (sensing a theme yet?) and there is jockeying to be done.
The Braves are given only a 16 percent chance to win the NL East here. That leaps off the page considering that, at the time of this post, things are knotted at the top of the division. Obviously, the Nationals would be favored on paper but that isn’t a ton of respect for Atlanta.
Another day and another point in which FanGraphs is the lowest on the Braves. That has been the case all season long (including a 3.2 percent playoff chance in March) but things are steadily climbing. If you’re wondering how the division odds shake up, let’s just say Atlanta has a single-digit number. That tells you a lot about how this particular system feels.