Two years ago, to help track the Major League Baseball standings in a way that told us more than the actual standings, I wrote a monthly column on Baseball Prospectus' Playoff Odds Report.

I promised to go back and look at the playoff odds once a month to see what we've learned. Here's July 2017's version. But we're making a bit of a change, for those keeping score at home: We're switching to the postseason projections on (courtesy of FanGraphs), now and moving forward. We'll still keep an eye on the BP Odds, but's are handier, more consistently updated and, not for nothing, tied to a platform we already use. You can't go wrong with either one. But we'll be using this moving forward.

We'll be back in a month for the final September edition.

Teams that are in better shape than they look in the standings

St. Louis Cardinals. After their eight-game win streak earlier this month, the Cards briefly popped into a tie for first place with the Cubs. That lasted just one day, and now they're 3 1/2 games behind the Cubs and a game behind the Brewers, down in third place. But gives them a 29.4 percent chance to make the playoffs, ahead of Milwaukee. They have better odds of winning the second Wild Card spot (20.0 percent) than they do the NL Central (9.3 percent) despite being a game closer to the Cubs than they are the Diamondbacks.

Miami Marlins. The Marlins have rode a terrific August -- they're 11-7, thanks in large part to Giancarlo Stanton going nuts -- and haven't had a losing month since May. They still only have 6.7 percent odds to make the playoffs, but admit it, that's a lot better than you thought they had.

Teams that are in worse shape than they look in the standings

Milwaukee Brewers. The Brewers are a game ahead of the Cardinals but behind them in every other measure. In fact, they have worse playoff odds than the Rangers, a team that traded away Yu Darvish at the deadline and a team you sort of forgot was still trying to win games.

Colorado Rockies. The Rockies are holding the first Wild Card spot right now, but sees them as more likely to lose their playoff standing than the Diamondbacks, their division rival right behind them. They're at 76.2 percent, which is nice, but still lower than, say, the Yankees.

Teams under 5 percent

Once we hit July, I usually classify "under 5 percent" as being "toast:" If you've got 1-in-20 odds of making the playoffs, I'm considering you out, even if the top few teams still have some glimmer of hope.

Baltimore: 2.8 percent
Toronto: 2.2 percent
Pittsburgh: 1.5 percent

Atlanta: 0.0 percent
Chicago White Sox: 0.0 percent
Cincinnati: 0.0 percent
Detroit: 0.0 percent

NY Mets: 0.0 percent
Oakland: 0.0 percent
Philadelphia: 0.0 percent
San Diego: 0.0 percent
San Francisco: 0.0 percent


For the purposes of this monthly exercise, we'll say that a "sure thing" is 90 percent or more.

Houston: 100 percent
LA Dodgers: 100 percent
Washington: 100 percent
Cleveland: 99.2 percent

Boston: 96 percent
Chicago Cubs: 92.8 percent

The crazy AL Wild Card race

No one has any idea of who will escape this scrum. We're all cheering for a six-way tie. Here's where non-division leaders stand, odds-wise, of getting into that Wild Card Game:

NY Yankees: 69.6 percent
Minnesota: 28 percent
LA Angels: 27 percent
Kansas City: 21.4 percent
Seattle: 16.8 percent
Texas: 14.2 percent
Tampa Bay: 7.6 percent
Baltimore: 2.7 percent
Toronto: 2.1 percent

If the season ended today (playoff probability version)

American League

Wild Card Game: Minnesota at N.Y. Yankees

ALDS: Wild Card winner at Houston; Boston at Cleveland

National League

Wild Card Game: Colorado at Arizona

NLDS: Wild Card winner at L.A. Dodgers; Chicago Cubs at Washington

If the season ended today (actual standings)

American League

Wild Card Game: Minnesota at N.Y. Yankees

ALDS: Wild Card winner at Houston; Cleveland at Boston

National League

Wild Card Game: Arizona at Colorado

NLDS: Wild Card winner at L.A. Dodgers; Chicago Cubs at Washington

We'll be back next month with the final installment.

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