I love checking the playoff odds on FanGraphs. But as the Rays decide whether to trade David Price, I’m not sure they should assign the numbers too much weight.
The odds are based upon a simulation of the remaining schedule run 10,000 times. The Rays currently stand a 6.5 chance of winning the AL East and 11.1 chance of reaching the postseason.
Still, a 7½-game deficit in a mediocre division isn’t insurmountable. And in recent seasons, teams almost routinely have defied the odds, which represent a mere snapshot in time.
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2013: The Indians hosted the wild-card game and finished one game behind the Tigers in the AL Central after entering September with a 0.8-percent chance of winning the division and 16.9-percent chance of earning a wild card.
2012: The A’s won the AL West after holding a 4.9-percent chance of winning the division on September 24. Septempter 24!
2011: The Rays won the sole wild card after having a 1-percent chance of reaching the postseason on September 1.
Make no mistake: If the Rays get the right offer, they should do the rational thing and trade Price.
But is winning the division such an irrational idea? I don’t think so. And I’ll bet the Rays’ players don’t, either.