clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Further conjecture about the Mild Chard

The opinion has been expressed (although it has had its dissenters) that the Astros have the advantage down the stretch, because the NL East will be quote unquote beating up on each other. I decided to take a look at the race, assuming that the NL East did just that.

First I took a look at the games each team had remaining against East contenders + Houston, then when I wasn't so sure how optimistic THAT looked, I tinkered with something, and ended up happier.

Games Remaining, Atlanta and the Wild Card Contenders
Team At
Atlanta
At
Philly
At
Houston
At
Florida
At
New York
At
Washington
Atlanta       3 3 3
Philly 4   3   3
Houston   3      
Florida 3   4 3 4
New York 3 3     3
Washington       3 3  
Now, Let's Assume Home Teams Win Each 3-Game Series 2 - 1 and 4-Game Series Are Split . . .
Team Atlanta Philly Houston Florida New York Washington
At Home 6 - 4 4 - 2 2 - 2 6 - 3 6 - 3 8 - 5
On the Road 3 - 6 4 - 5 1 - 2 6 - 8 3 - 6 2 - 4
Overall 9 - 10 8 - 7 3 - 4 12-11 9 - 9 10 - 9
Vs. .500 -1 1 -1 1 0 1
Interpolated with current Standings Up 3 in NL East 3 back in NL East;
0.5 up in WC
2.5 back in WC .5 back in WC 3.5 back in WC 2 back in WC
All other games 7 games 12 games 19 games 3 games 8 games 6 games

So, assuming that home teams take the three-game series, but only split the four-game series, is not a catastrophic assumption for the Astros, but it also certainly does not lay the advantage with Houston. When just considering games against contenders, that particular scenario has the Astros dropping two further games back. With seven additional games over the Phillies to pick that advantage back up, to be sure, but dropping two back just the same.

Taking this upcoming series, and taking the Marlins series looks much better:

Now, Let's Assume Home Teams Win Each 3-Game Series 2 - 1 and 4-Game Series Are Split,
Except the Astros take this Phillies series 2 - 1, and take the Marlins Series, 3 - 1
Team Atlanta Philly Houston Florida New York Washington
At Home 6 - 4 3 - 3 3 - 1 6 - 3 6 - 3 8 - 5
On the Road 3 - 6 4 - 5 2 - 1 5 - 9 3 - 6 2 - 4
Overall 9 - 10 7 - 8 5 - 2 11-12 9 - 9 10 - 9
Vs. .500 -1 -1 +3 -1 0 1
Interpolated with current Standings Up 5 in NL East 5 back in NL East;
1.5 back in WC
1.5 up in WC 2.0 back in WC 3.5 back in WC 2.5 back in WC
All other games 7 games 12 games 19 games 3 games 8 games 6 games

That makes it look much better for the 'Stros, and taking two from three against the Phillies, at least, does not seem unreasonable with Pettitte and Oswalt going in the first two games.

But I think what this whole exercise is really showing is that a three-game sweep or my gosh, a four game sweep over any contending team would be so big all by itself that it just might propel the victorious team to the whole enchilada.

Imagine, for example, if the Phillies go into Atlanta September 12 - 15 and grab the shocking four game sweep. All by itself, that gives Philly a HUGE advantage. Or, much more pleasantly, imagine if the Astros sweep the Marlins at home. . . .

Everyone WILL be knocking each other off. If Washington doesn't take 2 of 3 at home vs. the Mets, let's say, they will almost certainly do the same in New York, evening the whole thing up. The advantage will go to the team that can go out and win at least one of its road series against a contender, or can get to the point where they don't just win the home series, they SWEEP it.