One Last Week For All the Marbles: ZiPS Projects the Postseason Home Stretch (9/28 Update)

9/28 Late Morning Update

ZiPS Playoff Drive Projections – AL Wild Cards
Day Home Team Starter Road Team Road Starter Home Team Wins Road Team Wins
9/28 Orioles Bruce Zimmermann Red Sox Chris Sale 37.5% 62.5%
9/28 Blue Jays Hyun Jin Ryu Yankees Jameson Taillon 56.1% 43.9%
9/28 Mariners Tyler Anderson Athletics Chris Bassitt 41.1% 58.9%
9/29 Orioles Zac Lowther Red Sox Nathan Eovaldi 31.6% 68.4%
9/29 Blue Jays José Berríos Yankees Gerrit Cole 51.9% 48.1%
9/29 Mariners Logan Gilbert Athletics Frankie Montas 45.0% 55.0%
9/30 Orioles Alexander Wells Red Sox Nick Pivetta 31.4% 68.6%
9/30 Blue Jays Robbie Ray Yankees Corey Kluber 56.9% 43.1%
10/1 Blue Jays Alek Manoah Orioles Chris Ellis 74.5% 25.5%
10/1 Nationals Erick Fedde Red Sox Eduardo Rodriguez 47.3% 52.7%
10/1 Yankees Nestor Cortés Jr. Rays Luis Patino 54.3% 45.7%
10/1 Mariners Marco Gonzales Angels Jose Suarez 46.2% 53.8%
10/1 Astros Zack Greinke Athletics Sean Manaea 57.0% 43.0%
10/2 Blue Jays Steven Matz Orioles John Means 62.7% 37.3%
10/2 Nationals Josh Rogers Red Sox Tanner Houck 38.8% 61.2%
10/2 Yankees Jordan Montgomery Rays Shane McClanahan 53.7% 46.3%
10/2 Mariners Chris Flexen Angels Jhonathan Diaz 50.7% 49.3%
10/2 Astros Framber Valdez Athletics Paul Blackburn 64.7% 35.3%
10/3 Blue Jays Hyun Jin Ryu Orioles Bruce Zimmermann 66.0% 34.0%
10/3 Nationals Josiah Gray Red Sox Chris Sale 41.6% 58.4%
10/3 Yankees Jameson Taillon Rays Shane Baz 45.3% 54.7%
10/3 Mariners Tyler Anderson Angels Shohei Ohtani 38.4% 61.6%
10/3 Astros Jake Odorizzi Athletics Cole Irvin 63.5% 36.5%

 

ZiPS Playoff Drive Projections – AL Wild Card Standings
Team Wild Card 1 Wild Card 2 Playoffs
Boston 37.2% 42.1% 79.3%
New York 46.0% 29.4% 75.3%
Toronto 16.0% 24.1% 40.2%
Seattle 0.8% 4.3% 5.2%
Oakland 0.0% 0.1% 0.1%

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ZiPS Playoff Drive Projections – Changes in Playoff Projections
Scenario BOS NYA TOR SEA OAK
Boston Beats Washington on Friday 9.3% -2.8% -5.0% -1.4% 0.0%
Boston Beats Washington on Sunday 8.3% -2.6% -4.3% -1.3% -0.1%
Boston Beats Washington on Saturday 7.6% -2.4% -3.9% -1.3% 0.0%
Boston Beats Baltimore on Tuesday 7.6% -2.3% -3.9% -1.4% 0.0%
Baltimore Beats Toronto on Friday 7.1% 7.0% -15.9% 1.8% 0.0%
Boston Beats Baltimore on Thursday 6.8% -2.0% -3.6% -1.1% -0.1%
Baltimore Beats Toronto on Sunday 6.7% 6.4% -14.6% 1.5% 0.0%
Boston Beats Baltimore on Wednesday 6.6% -2.1% -3.4% -1.1% 0.0%
Baltimore Beats Toronto on Saturday 6.4% 6.2% -14.2% 1.6% 0.0%
New York Beats Toronto on Tuesday 3.5% 15.3% -19.1% 0.3% 0.0%
Tampa Bay Beats New York on Friday 3.5% -9.6% 5.0% 1.1% 0.0%
Tampa Bay Beats New York on Saturday 3.4% -9.6% 5.0% 1.2% 0.0%
New York Beats Toronto on Thursday 3.2% 15.3% -18.8% 0.3% 0.0%
New York Beats Toronto on Wednesday 2.9% 14.6% -17.9% 0.3% 0.0%
Tampa Bay Beats New York on Sunday 2.8% -7.6% 4.0% 0.8% 0.0%
Los Angeles Beats Seattle on Saturday 1.6% 0.9% 1.1% -3.6% 0.0%
Los Angeles Beats Seattle on Sunday 1.5% 0.8% 1.1% -3.3% 0.0%
Los Angeles Beats Seattle on Friday 1.5% 0.8% 1.2% -3.5% 0.0%
Oakland Beats Seattle on Wednesday 1.3% 0.8% 1.1% -3.3% 0.1%
Oakland Beats Seattle on Tuesday 1.2% 0.9% 1.0% -3.2% 0.1%
Houston Beats Oakland on Friday 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% -0.1%
Houston Beats Oakland on Saturday 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% -0.1%
Houston Beats Oakland on Sunday 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Oakland Beats Houston on Friday 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.1%
Oakland Beats Houston on Saturday 0.0% 0.0% -0.1% 0.0% 0.1%
Oakland Beats Houston on Sunday -0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.1%
Seattle Beats Los Angeles on Saturday -1.7% -0.9% -0.9% 3.5% 0.0%
Seattle Beats Oakland on Wednesday -1.9% -1.2% -1.3% 4.4% 0.0%
Seattle Beats Los Angeles on Friday -2.0% -1.0% -1.1% 4.1% 0.0%
Toronto Beats New York on Tuesday -2.2% -11.6% 14.0% -0.2% 0.0%
Seattle Beats Oakland on Tuesday -2.2% -1.2% -1.5% 4.9% -0.1%
Toronto Beats New York on Thursday -2.3% -11.7% 14.1% -0.2% 0.0%
Toronto Beats Baltimore on Friday -2.4% -2.4% 5.3% -0.5% 0.0%
Seatle Beats Los Angeles on Sunday -2.4% -1.5% -1.6% 5.5% 0.0%
Toronto Beats New York on Wednesday -2.6% -13.1% 16.1% -0.3% 0.0%
New York Beats Tampa Bay on Saturday -2.6% 8.4% -4.6% -1.1% 0.0%
New York Beats Tampa Bay on Friday -2.8% 8.6% -4.8% -1.0% 0.0%
New York Beats Tampa Bay on Sunday -3.1% 9.2% -5.0% -1.0% 0.0%
Toronto Beats Baltimore on Sunday -3.4% -3.1% 7.3% -0.8% 0.0%
Toronto Beats Baltimore on Saturday -3.5% -3.6% 8.1% -1.0% 0.0%
Washington Beats Boston on Friday -10.4% 3.1% 5.4% 1.9% 0.0%
Washington Beats Boston on Sunday -11.6% 3.4% 6.0% 2.1% 0.1%
Washington Beats Boston on Saturday -12.5% 3.6% 6.5% 2.3% 0.1%
Baltimore Beats Boston On Tuesday -12.8% 3.8% 6.6% 2.5% 0.0%
Baltimore Beats Boston on Thursday -14.6% 4.3% 7.5% 2.7% 0.1%
Baltimore Beats Boston on Wednesday -14.8% 4.3% 7.6% 2.9% 0.0%

 

ZiPS Playoff Drive Projections – Game Leverage
Game Leverage
Toronto vs. New York on Wednesday 0.34
Toronto vs. New York on Tuesday 0.33
Toronto vs. New York on Thursday 0.33
Toronto vs. Baltimore on Saturday 0.22
Toronto vs. Baltimore on Sunday 0.22
Baltimore vs. Boston on Wednesday 0.21
Baltimore vs. Boston on Thursday 0.21
Toronto vs. Baltimore on Friday 0.21
Baltimore vs. Boston On Tuesday 0.20
Washington vs. Boston on Saturday 0.20
Washington vs. Boston on Sunday 0.20
Washington vs. Boston on Friday 0.20
New York vs. Tampa Bay on Friday 0.18
New York vs. Tampa Bay on Saturday 0.18
New York vs. Tampa Bay on Sunday 0.17
Seatle vs. Los Angeles on Sunday 0.09
Seattle vs. Oakland on Tuesday 0.08
Seattle vs. Oakland on Wednesday 0.08
Seattle vs. Los Angeles on Friday 0.08
Seattle vs. Los Angeles on Saturday 0.07
Houston vs. Oakland on Saturday 0.00
Houston vs. Oakland on Sunday 0.00
Houston vs. Oakland on Friday 0.00

The original data and methodology are below.
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We’ve reached the final week of the 2021 regular season, and for fans of high-intensity, stretch-drive baseball — a group I think we can refer to as “everyone” — there’s still quite a lot to play for. Only five of the 10 playoff spots are claimed, with two of those five teams in a battle for a division title. And since there are just a handful of games left to play, we can move the ZiPS projections from the macro to the micro. In April, it’s always hard to project specific pitcher matchups, but with a week left to go in the season, it’s a more reasonable task of extrapolation. As a result, that allows me to adapt the ZiPS model into a game-by-game projection of the final week of the season for the relevant teams.

I’ve focused on three of the playoff spots, the two AL wild cards, and the NL East, along with the division versus wild card battle in the NL West. The Astros can still technically lose the division to the Mariners (one-in-about-1,800) or the Athletics (one-in-about-2,150), and the Cardinals could still have an epic collapse in which they lose six, the Reds win six, and they lose the tiebreaker (one-in-about-3,300). These could also become mathematical impossibilities quickly; if they become plausible rather than proverbial lottery tickets, I’ll update with the data.

Let’s start with the easy races.

NL East

The Braves enter the final week with a 2 1/2-game lead in the division but three games remaining against the Phillies. Their schedules are similar in strength, with Atlanta getting home games and Philadelphia on the road, something that’s largely canceled out by the former getting the slightly harder opponent (the Mets versus the Marlins). The edge comes from the cushion.

ZiPS Playoff Drive Projections – NL East
Day Home Team Starter Road Team Road Starter Home Team Wins Road Team Wins
9/28 Braves Charlie Morton Phillies Zack Wheeler 55.3% 44.7%
9/29 Braves Max Fried Phillies Aaron Nola 52.9% 47.1%
9/30 Braves Ian Anderson Phillies Kyle Gibson 57.4% 42.6%
10/1 Braves Huascar Ynoa Mets Carlos Carrasco 56.4% 43.6%
10/1 Marlins Sandy Alcantara Phillies Ranger Suárez 47.9% 52.1%
10/2 Braves Jesse Chavez Mets Trevor Williams 58.7% 41.3%
10/2 Marlins Jesús Luzardo Phillies Hans Crouse 50.1% 49.9%
10/3 Braves Charlie Morton Mets Marcus Stroman 62.0% 38.0%
10/3 Marlins Trevor Rogers Phillies Zack Wheeler 42.3% 57.7%
10/4 Braves Max Fried Rockies Kyle Freeland 54.6% 45.4%
10/5 Phillies Aaron Nola Braves Ian Anderson 51.7% 48.3%

With the edge in the standings, ZiPS projects just over a four-in-five chance that the Braves will not have to play the Rockies in a makeup game on Monday. Overall, the Braves win the division 87.7% of the time without the makeup game, and the Phillies stick the Braves in at least a 1 1/2-game hole 1.0% of the time.

In 8.3% of scenarios, the Braves have a half-game lead after Sunday, requiring the Rockies game. If they win, they’re in, removing the need for an extra game against the Phillies. Kyle Freeland looks to pitch on Monday for Colorado, and ZiPS projects Atlanta as worse against lefties, so this is a closer projection than you’d expect, with the Braves beating the Rockies 54.6% of the time. In 3.0% of the simulations, the Braves go into Monday with a half-game deficit, meaning they would have to win to force a Phillies tiebreaker.

That leaves us with 5.4% odds of a second tiebreaker. This game would always be played in Philadelphia; with a two-game deficit in the head-to-head record, the Braves would have to sweep the Phillies to get the home game in a tiebreaker, in which case the Phillies would be mathematically eliminated, mooting the issue. In an Aaron Nola versus Ian Anderson matchup, the Phillies eke out a minor advantage in the projections. Add it all up, and ZiPS comes out with the Braves taking the NL East 94.8% of the time, with the Phillies winning it in the remaining 5.2% of the projections.

NL West

This is the simplest of the three scenarios, with no rainouts to make up.

ZiPS Playoff Drive Projections – NL Wast
Day Home Team Starter Road Team Road Starter Home Team Wins Road Team Wins
9/28 Dodgers Walker Buehler Padres Yu Darvish 53.3% 46.7%
9/28 Giants Logan Webb Diamondbacks Luke Weaver 74.8% 25.2%
9/29 Dodgers Max Scherzer Padres Ryan Weathers 61.4% 38.6%
9/29 Giants Alex Wood Diamondbacks Merrill Kelly 켈리 63.9% 36.1%
9/30 Dodgers Tony Gonsolin Padres Vince Velasquez 58.5% 41.5%
9/30 Giants Johnny Cueto Diamondbacks Madison Bumgarner 68.4% 31.6%
10/1 Dodgers Clayton Kershaw Brewers Eric Lauer 62.8% 37.2%
10/1 Giants Anthony DeSclafani Padres Joe Musgrove 56.3% 43.7%
10/2 Dodgers Julio Urías Brewers Corbin Burnes 49.7% 50.3%
10/2 Giants Kevin Gausman Padres Pierce Johnson 62.6% 37.4%
10/3 Dodgers Walker Buehler Brewers Freddy Peralta 57.8% 42.2%
10/3 Giants Logan Webb Padres Yu Darvish 59.8% 40.2%
10/4 Giants Alex Wood Dodgers Max Scherzer 52.7% 47.3%

ZiPS still projects the Dodgers as the better team, but with a two-game lead, the Giants win the division without needing a tiebreaker 87.3% of the time. That leaves an 8.8% projected chance of there needing to be yet another battle in the storied history of the two franchises, though the game sadly won’t be at the Polo Grounds, as history ought to demand. The final projection leaves San Francisco at 91.9% to take the division and Los Angeles at 8.1%.

AL East

Now we get to the brutal mêlée: five teams playing for two spots.

ZiPS Playoff Drive Projections – AL Wild Cards
Day Home Team Starter Road Team Road Starter Home Team Wins Road Team Wins
9/27 Mariners Chris Flexen Athletics Cole Irvin 50.1% 49.9%
9/28 Orioles Bruce Zimmermann Red Sox Chris Sale 37.5% 62.5%
9/28 Blue Jays Hyun Jin Ryu Yankees Jameson Taillon 56.1% 43.9%
9/28 Mariners Yusei Kikuchi Athletics Chris Bassitt 46.4% 53.6%
9/29 Orioles Zac Lowther Red Sox Nathan Eovaldi 31.6% 68.4%
9/29 Blue Jays José Berríos Yankees Gerrit Cole 51.9% 48.1%
9/29 Mariners Logan Gilbert Athletics Frankie Montas 45.0% 55.0%
9/30 Orioles Alexander Wells Red Sox Nick Pivetta 31.4% 68.6%
9/30 Blue Jays Robbie Ray Yankees Corey Kluber 56.9% 43.1%
10/1 Blue Jays Alek Manoah Orioles Chris Ellis 74.5% 25.5%
10/1 Nationals Erick Fedde Red Sox Eduardo Rodriguez 47.3% 52.7%
10/1 Yankees Néstor Cortes Jr. Rays Shane McClanahan 53.9% 46.1%
10/1 Mariners Tyler Anderson Angels Jose Suarez 45.2% 54.8%
10/1 Astros Zack Greinke Athletics Sean Manaea 57.0% 43.0%
10/2 Blue Jays Steven Matz Orioles John Means 62.7% 37.3%
10/2 Nationals Josh Rogers Red Sox Tanner Houck 38.8% 61.2%
10/2 Yankees Jordan Montgomery Rays Shane Baz 49.5% 50.5%
10/2 Mariners Marco Gonzales Angels Sam Selman 44.8% 55.2%
10/2 Astros Framber Valdez Athletics Paul Blackburn 64.7% 35.3%
10/3 Blue Jays Hyun Jin Ryu Orioles Bruce Zimmermann 66.0% 34.0%
10/3 Nationals Josiah Gray Red Sox Chris Sale 41.6% 58.4%
10/3 Yankees Jameson Taillon Rays Drew Rasmussen 42.8% 57.2%
10/3 Mariners Chris Flexen Angels Shohei Ohtani 45.1% 54.9%
10/3 Astros Jake Odorizzi Athletics Chris Bassitt 57.1% 42.9%

The three AL East teams are the clear favorites, though the Mariners and Athletics still have a lot of scenarios remaining without a strong whiff of implausibility. There’s too much to describe, so here are the overall final projections:

ZiPS Playoff Drive Projections – AL Wild Card Standings
Team Wild Card 1 Wild Card 2 Playoffs
Boston 38.4% 41.7% 80.2%
New York 44.5% 30.2% 74.7%
Toronto 16.6% 24.7% 41.3%
Seattle 0.5% 2.8% 3.3%
Oakland 0.0% 0.6% 0.6%

This was a bit complicated due to, as my colleague Jay Jaffe likes to talk about, Team Entropy. With five teams very close to each other, a tiebreaker is required in the projections 28.1% of the time, and this could even be more than just a three-team deadlock; ZiPS projects a four-team dance 2.9% of the time and all five teams finishing within a game of each other about once in every 670 simulations. I followed MLB rules for tiebreakers and made up my own for the five-team scenarios by hybridizing the two- and three-team tiebreakers. Suffice to say, this was a rather obnoxious bit of modeling that took up most of my weekend! As this post will be updated, I’ll add those games as need be; if I listed every permutation, the playoffs would be starting before you finished reading.

Just to make following the complexities of this race a little easier, I projected how a team’s playoff probabilities change with a forced result in each of the 24 games.

ZiPS Playoff Drive Projections – Changes in Playoff Projections
Scenario BOS NYA TOR SEA OAK
Boston Beats Washington on Friday 8.9% -2.8% -4.9% -1.0% -0.3%
Boston Beats Washington on Sunday 8.1% -2.6% -4.3% -0.9% -0.2%
Boston Beats Baltimore on Tuesday 7.4% -2.3% -4.0% -0.9% -0.3%
Boston Beats Washington on Saturday 7.3% -2.4% -3.9% -0.8% -0.3%
Baltimore Beats Toronto on Friday 7.1% 7.4% -16.1% 1.4% 0.2%
Boston Beats Baltimore on Thursday 6.8% -2.1% -3.5% -0.9% -0.3%
Baltimore Beats Toronto on Sunday 6.6% 6.7% -14.7% 1.2% 0.2%
Baltimore Beats Toronto on Saturday 6.4% 6.3% -14.1% 1.2% 0.2%
Boston Beats Baltimore on Wednesday 6.4% -2.1% -3.3% -0.7% -0.3%
Tampa Bay Beats New York on Friday 3.5% -9.7% 5.3% 0.8% 0.1%
New York Beats Toronto on Tuesday 3.5% 15.7% -19.5% 0.4% 0.0%
Tampa Bay Beats New York on Saturday 3.3% -8.8% 4.8% 0.7% 0.1%
New York Beats Toronto on Thursday 3.1% 15.7% -19.1% 0.3% 0.0%
New York Beats Toronto on Wednesday 2.8% 15.0% -18.1% 0.3% 0.0%
Tampa Bay Beats New York on Sunday 2.7% -7.2% 3.9% 0.5% 0.1%
Los Angeles Beats Seattle on Sunday 1.0% 0.5% 0.7% -2.2% 0.0%
Los Angeles Beats Seattle on Friday 1.0% 0.5% 0.7% -2.2% 0.0%
Los Angeles Beats Seattle on Saturday 1.0% 0.5% 0.7% -2.2% 0.0%
Oakland Beats Seattle on Monday 0.9% 0.5% 0.6% -2.4% 0.4%
Oakland Beats Seattle on Wednesday 0.7% 0.4% 0.6% -2.2% 0.5%
Oakland Beats Seattle on Tuesday 0.6% 0.4% 0.6% -2.1% 0.5%
Houston Beats Oakland on Sunday 0.2% 0.1% 0.1% 0.0% -0.5%
Houston Beats Oakland on Friday 0.2% 0.1% 0.1% 0.0% -0.5%
Houston Beats Oakland on Saturday 0.2% 0.1% 0.1% 0.0% -0.5%
Oakland Beats Houston on Friday -0.2% -0.1% -0.1% 0.0% 0.5%
Oakland Beats Houston on Sunday -0.3% -0.2% -0.2% 0.0% 0.7%
Oakland Beats Houston on Saturday -0.3% -0.1% -0.2% 0.0% 0.7%
Seattle Beats Oakland on Monday -0.8% -0.6% -0.7% 2.6% -0.5%
Seattle Beats Oakland on Wednesday -0.9% -0.7% -0.6% 2.8% -0.5%
Seattle Beats Oakland on Tuesday -1.0% -0.5% -0.8% 2.8% -0.5%
Seattle Beats Los Angeles on Sunday -1.1% -0.6% -0.8% 2.6% 0.0%
Seattle Beats Los Angeles on Saturday -1.3% -0.8% -0.8% 2.9% 0.0%
Seattle Beats Los Angeles on Friday -1.3% -0.8% -0.9% 3.0% 0.0%
Toronto Beats New York on Tuesday -2.0% -12.2% 14.4% -0.2% -0.1%
Toronto Beats New York on Thursday -2.1% -12.1% 14.4% -0.1% -0.1%
Toronto Beats New York on Wednesday -2.4% -13.8% 16.4% -0.2% -0.1%
Toronto Beats Baltimore on Friday -2.4% -2.4% 5.2% -0.4% -0.1%
New York Beats Tampa Bay on Friday -2.9% 8.7% -5.0% -0.6% -0.1%
New York Beats Tampa Bay on Saturday -2.9% 8.9% -5.2% -0.7% -0.1%
New York Beats Tampa Bay on Sunday -3.2% 9.4% -5.4% -0.6% -0.2%
Toronto Beats Baltimore on Sunday -3.3% -3.3% 7.3% -0.5% -0.2%
Toronto Beats Baltimore on Saturday -3.4% -3.8% 8.0% -0.6% -0.2%
Washington Beats Boston on Friday -9.9% 3.2% 5.3% 1.2% 0.3%
Washington Beats Boston on Sunday -11.2% 3.5% 5.9% 1.4% 0.4%
Washington Beats Boston on Saturday -11.8% 3.7% 6.5% 1.3% 0.4%
Baltimore Beats Boston On Tuesday -12.1% 3.7% 6.6% 1.4% 0.4%
Baltimore Beats Boston on Wednesday -14.1% 4.3% 7.6% 1.8% 0.4%
Baltimore Beats Boston on Thursday -14.2% 4.2% 7.6% 1.9% 0.5%

This chart is sortable, so you can reshuffle it for each of the five teams! Obviously, these will change on a daily basis based on the actual results.

Just for fun, here are the games ranked by the average absolute change in playoff projections for all five teams — to put it simply, the games that have the most impact on who makes the playoffs and who doesn’t:

ZiPS Playoff Drive Projections – Game Leverage
Game Leverage
Toronto vs. New York on Wednesday 0.35
Toronto vs. New York on Tuesday 0.34
Toronto vs. New York on Thursday 0.34
Toronto vs. Baltimore on Saturday 0.22
Toronto vs. Baltimore on Sunday 0.22
Toronto vs. Baltimore on Friday 0.21
Baltimore vs. Boston on Thursday 0.21
Baltimore vs. Boston on Wednesday 0.21
Baltimore vs. Boston On Tuesday 0.19
Washington vs. Boston on Sunday 0.19
Washington vs. Boston on Saturday 0.19
Washington vs. Boston on Friday 0.19
New York vs. Tampa Bay on Friday 0.18
New York vs. Tampa Bay on Saturday 0.18
New York vs. Tampa Bay on Sunday 0.17
Seattle vs. Los Angeles on Friday 0.05
Seattle vs. Los Angeles on Saturday 0.05
Seattle vs. Oakland on Tuesday 0.05
Seattle vs. Oakland on Wednesday 0.05
Seattle vs. Oakland on Monday 0.05
Seatle vs. Los Angeles on Sunday 0.05
Houston vs. Oakland on Saturday 0.01
Houston vs. Oakland on Sunday 0.01
Houston vs. Oakland on Friday 0.01

As for the popcorn, you’re on your own!





Dan Szymborski is a senior writer for FanGraphs and the developer of the ZiPS projection system. He was a writer for ESPN.com from 2010-2018, a regular guest on a number of radio shows and podcasts, and a voting BBWAA member. He also maintains a terrible Twitter account at @DSzymborski.

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kylerkelton
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kylerkelton

As a Braves fan I’m anxious but confident. The good news is that you control your own destiny and you’re playing in your ballpark. Sweep and it’s over with no drama. Win two out of three and it’s basically over. But as we know, sometimes things are not that easy.