The Phillies woke up Wednesday with an 81.6 percent chance to make the postseason, according to FanGraphs. Baseball-Reference gave them a 95.1 percent chance.
Computers like the Phillies’ chances to snap a 10-year postseason drought. We know this because FanGraphs ran 10,000 simulations, meaning the Phillies made the postseason 8,160 times, while they missed the postseason 1,840 times. Meanwhile, Baseball-Reference ran 1,000 simulations.
There is a long way to go, of course, but here are a few things fans might want to know as the weather cools and the pennant races heat up:
1. Major League Baseball released its postseason schedule on Monday. If the Phillies make it, they almost certainly will do so as one of three National League Wild Cards. The two NL Wild Card Series begin Oct. 7. The Phillies play their final regular-season game Oct. 5 in Houston, capping a season-ending 10-game road trip that begins Sept. 27 against the Cubs at Wrigley Field.
If the season had ended Tuesday, the Phillies would be the second NL Wild Card and would play the Braves in a three-game series in Atlanta. If the Phils end up as the third NL Wild Card, they would play the NL Central winner on the road.
The only way the Phillies could host an NL Wild Card Series is if they catch the Braves and win the first Wild Card.
2. If the Phillies win a Wild Card Series, they will play Game 1 of the NL Division Series on the road on Oct. 11.
So, if you’re following along here, the Phillies will want to bring their biggest suitcases with them (one Phillies beat writer will want to bring old, reliable “Big Blue”) because they will fly to Chicago on Sept. 26 and might not return to Philadelphia until Oct. 13.
That would be 18 consecutive days on the road, unless the Phillies win the NLWC in two games and sneak home for a day to do laundry.
3. Teams are not reseeded between rounds.
So, if the standings hold and the Phillies win their first-round Wild Card Series as the second Wild Card, they would play the Dodgers in the NLDS.
4. The Mets are the only postseason contender to give the Phillies fits this season. They are just 4-11 against New York. The Phillies won their season series against the Dodgers (4-3), Cardinals (4-3), Padres (4-3) and Brewers (4-2). They are 6-6 against the Braves.
Head-to-head records are important because there are no more one-game playoffs at the end of the regular season. If the Phillies and Padres finish with the same record, Philadelphia will be the second NL Wild Card and the Padres will be the third. But, more importantly, if the Phillies and one of the Padres/Brewers/Cardinals tie for the third NL Wild Card, the Phillies will earn that spot and the other team will go home.