The analysis of the postseason picture for the Washington Nationals

There is no team that has mathematically clinched a playoff spot including the Los Angeles Dodgers who are an absolute lock statistically, and the Atlanta Braves have put themselves in an enviable spot that all they need to do is go 20-20 to win 92 games. The Nationals, in order to win 92 games, would need to go 27-15 which is a tall order given the remaining schedule. If the Braves go 22-18 they would win 94 games, and the Nationals would have to go 29-13 which would seem improbable — but possible if they sweep five more series and play one game over .500 in the rest or sweep the remaining seven games against the Braves.

It would seem the Nationals have proven once this season that almost anything is possible, but at some point the odds become more difficult with any loss by the Nationals and wins by those in the NL East and in the Wild Card chase. The Nats still have the two best teams in the AL Central to face in interleague plus the three best teams in the NL Central, and seven more games against the Braves. If the Nats win all seven games against the Braves, we could be talking about a miracle. It is possible but improbable.

Here are the remaining teams the Nationals face this season with the number of games played next to the team name:

  1. Brewer 3
  2. Pirates 4
  3. Cubs 3
  4. Orioles 2
  5. Marlins 6
  6. Mets 3
  7. Braves 7
  8. Twins 3
  9. Cardinals 3
  10. Phillies 5
  11. Indians 3

What seems reasonable in three game series? Can you expect to win every game against the bad teams like the Orioles and Marlins or the mediocre teams like the Pirates? Fangraphs computers today believe the Nationals have a 86.5% chance of making the postseason.

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