Both: The NL Central Race
Even if the NL Central wasn’t seen as the deepest division heading into 2019, we knew it’d be a dogfight for the division crown. And boy, was that accurate. The lines on this graph are crazy to look at, and they probably represent each fan base’s anxiety levels throughout the season.
On September 5th, here’s what the playoff odds for each of the Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee Brewers, and St. Louis Cardinals looked like:
It’s not surprising that two of these three teams qualified for October. It’s just surprising that one of them was the Brewers, especially since they eventually lost NL MVP candidate Christian Yelich in the middle of it all.
The Cubs’ downward spiral was particularly surprising because of how quickly they collapsed while the others around them continued to rise above. Just two weeks ago, Chicago had a 76.5% chance of getting themselves back to the postseason. Now, the only thing they’ll be doing that includes the MLB playoffs is watching them from home.
The Cardinals rise was equally impressive — at the start of July, their chances of breaking a short postseason drought was 17.7% before making a steady climb toward an NL Central title. Jack Flaherty‘s historic second half on the mound was helpful, while Tommy Edman‘s emergence helped balance out the struggling Matt Carpenter.
About Matt Musico
Matt Musico currently manages Chin Music Baseball and contributes to The Sports Daily. His past work has been featured at numberFire, Yahoo! Sports and Bleacher Report. He’s also written a book and created an online class about how to get started as a sports blogger. Check those out and more helpful tips on sports blogging at his website.