Magic Number = 3: The Post-Season Race Nears Finish

After going into Wrigley and winning 4 consecutive wins against the Cubs, the Cardinals battled for 9 more innings to beat the Diamondbacks… for their 6th consecutive win overall. What an incredible run for the Cardinals!


Last night's baseball theatrics included Home Runs by Edman, Goldschmidt, Molina, and Bader. What a run! Let's take a look at the new MLB Post-Season Odds makers, as of the morning of September 24, 2019:


CARDINALS PATH

(Division Magic Number: 3)

(Clinched Post-Season)

There are just not enough adjectives to described it... These Cardinals are on Fire! The Cardinals' have won 6 in a row ! And every night there are different heroes. What a fantastic run. The Cardinals are in the Post-Season, and the continue to control their own destiny as they lead the Brewers by 3.5 games with only 5 games to go (the Brewers have 6 to go) .


With a Division Magic Number of 3, any combination of 3 (wins by the Cardinals in their Final 5) + (losses by the Brewers in their Final 6) will give the Cardinals the NL Central Division. The odds are aligning giving the Cardinals a 100% guarantee of making the Post-Season, and around 98-99% chance of winning the Division.


On Sept. 16, the Cubs had a 76.7% Chance of making the Post Season (via Fangraphs). Now??? It's basically over.... between 1-2%.

CUBS PATH

(Division Path: NONE)

(Wild Card Magic Number: 8)

The Cardinals' Sweep of the Cubs has basically left the Cubs dead in the water. The Cubs are eliminated from winning the Division, and their chances at a Wild Card birth are between 1-2%. The Cubs will have to win (at least) 4 of their next 6 and have the Brewers lose 4 of their final 6 games. The Cardinals demolished the Cubs... at Wrigley this past weekend.


BREWERS PATH

(Division: 3.5 Games Back)

(2nd Wild Card Leader)

(Magic Numbers: 10 Division, 3 Wild Card)

The Brewers still control their down destiny for a Wild Card spot and they still have a chance at the Division. As we noted previously, the Brewers took serious advantage of the Cardinals and Cubs facing each other in The 7 Games. While the Cubs were favored 5 days ago over the Brewers, I noted clearly that the Brewers "should be significantly favored above the Cubs." Right now, the Brewers just need to win 3 games (6 remaining) (against ONLY below-.500 teams) to guarantee a Wild Card spot. And with the Cubs' losses to the Cardinals, the Brewers' job becomes easier and easier to clinch. On the other hand, with the Cardinals' 6th, the Brewers chances to win the NL Central are dropping -- even with their easy schedule. With 6 games to go (5 for the Cardinals), the Brewers will need to have a combination of 10 (wins) + (losses by Cardinals) to win the NL Central. Those odds are tough -- especially the way the Cardinals are playing. But, considering their schedule and the Cubs' position, the Brewers are in the driver's seat for a Wild Card spot!


As promised, it’s going be a wild ride over the next week. Each game is meaningful, and each game has significant impact on which of these NL Central Opponents will make the Post-Season. The Cardinals continue to lead each of the other teams, but now, only Cardinals and the Brewers control their own post-season destiny.



Adam Van Grack is an attorney at the law firm of Longman & Van Grack, LLC practicing litigation, business law, and sports law. Adam is a fan of the St. Louis Cardinals having attended Washington University in St. Louis for college and law school. Adam has been previously appointed as the Chair of a U.S. Olympic National Governing Body.