At the season's halfway point (or, rather, just past it, if you want to be pedantic), FanGraphs' MLB Playoff Odds calculator lines up pretty neatly with the league's actual standings -- except in one instance.
The cold-hearted calculator still doesn't believe in the Cincinnati Reds, giving the Milwaukee Brewers a 57.6% chance to win the NL Central and the scorching Reds just a 34.5% chance. That's bad news, as always, for the Dodgers' trade deadline prospects. They were really hoping to pull a fast one on the Brew Crew. Alas ... numbers don't lie.
But while the NL Playoff Odds are mostly chalk, things get muddled again with FanGraphs' World Series odds, where the metrics just can't quit their preseason favorites. The numerical process here skews towards stacked teams that just can't get out of their own way. Sure, the Padres are the fourth-most-likely NL West team to make the playoffs, but if they actually got into the postseason ... does anybody want to face them?
Per FanGraphs, the Dodgers have a typical 91.4% chance to make the postseason, as well as a 12.2% shot at a World Series win. They're the second-likeliest NL team to win the World Series, ranking behind the runaway Atlanta Braves at 24.3%.
Unfortunately for Los Angeles' haters, the model still features the Padres in fourth in the West, but as the second-likeliest World Series winner out of the division:
1. Dodgers (12.2%)
2. Padres (3.8%)
3. Giants (3.6%)
4. Diamondbacks (3.2%)
MLB Standings: Dodgers Playoff Odds skyrocketing, Padres World Series odds won't go away
Now, if the D-Backs were to sign three high-profile free agents and dangle a $500 million offer to Shohei Ohtani next offseason, maybe they could get enough preseason love to still have solid World Series odds in July despite being in the dumper.
Kidding! Kidding. Kinda.
Arizona hasn't received the oddsmakers' respect yet because they haven't all-caps EARNED IT, but, truthfully, what have the Padres done? Last season is done. The past is in the past. The team has 2.5 months to gel, or else they'll be locked out of the playoff picture entirely. Their path to the championship seems far-fetched ... but the calculators still believe. Quite annoying.