Rangers' playoff odds still a toss-up, even after being swept by Reds
By West Jones
Texas Rangers owner Ray Davis and General Manager Chris Young want desperately for the organization to get back to the playoffs. Bruce Bochy, his staff, and the team want to get back to the playoffs. And Texas Rangers' fans, oh do we long for the club to get back to the playoffs. But is that a goal that is attainable in 2023?
According to Fangraphs, the odds of the Rangers making the postseason in 2023 is right at a toss-up. With so many games still to be played, the odds can vary from day to day and from week to week for sure. Before the season started, the site had the percentage chance of the Rangers making the playoffs at 37.7%. That number was further broken down into 12.7% chance of winning the division and 25% chance of obtaining a wild card berth.
Fast forward to today, and Fangraphs playoff odds have gone up since that preseason prediction, even though they have gone down some amid this three-game losing streak. The current playoff predictor has the Rangers' chance of winning the AL West at 21.1% (15.6% chance of receiving a first-round bye), 27.5% chance of getting a wild card berth for a total percentage chance of making the playoffs this year at 48.6%. This number was as high as 56.1% a few days ago, so obviously these numbers are fluid and can move up and down with hot and cold streaks.
Another fun prediction that Fangraphs does is assign a percentage chance for each organization to win the World Series. This number is even more of a coin flip, as first a team must make the playoffs after the long 162 game regular season, and then make it through the gauntlet of the playoffs to get to the ultimate prize. Before the season Fangraphs had the Rangers at a 2.0% chance of winning the World Series and now they are currently sitting at 2.9%. So, they are saying there's a chance!
To see how far the Rangers have come over the last two seasons, let's look at the preseason predictions from both 2022 and 2021. Heading into last season Fangraphs had the chance of the Rangers making the playoffs at 7.9% and the chance of winning the World Series at 0.1%. Last year was much better baseball wise (not so much win total wise) from the year before but looking back those prediction numbers seem a bit high.
Going into the bottom of the Rangers' rebuild of 2021, the playoff outlook was bleak at best. Before the 2021 season, the chance of the Rangers making the playoffs was 0.6% with a 0.0% chance of winning the World Series. Those were warranted; not very good odds for a not very good team.
Sure, the Texas Rangers have taken us on a Six Flags roller coaster ride already this young season. There are sure to be many more ups and downs along the way. But to basically be a toss-up to make the playoffs a month into the season is odds that we should be excited about. If the Rangers can play meaningful baseball in September and give themselves a chance to make the playoffs at the end, this season should be deemed a success.
Making the playoffs is still the goal. The front office has done a masterful job at putting a club together that can make it happen sooner rather than later. Perhaps this year is the year that the Rangers get over the hump and find themselves back in the playoffs. The current Fangraphs odds say that they have just as good a chance as not for that to happen. That is news to embrace and celebrate.