FanGraphs' playoff odds predict Phillies to live in Braves' shadow... again

Can the Phillies overcome the odds for a third consecutive season?

FanGraphs' playoff odds project the Philadelphia Phillies to finish second to the the Atlanta Braves again in 2024
FanGraphs' playoff odds project the Philadelphia Phillies to finish second to the the Atlanta Braves again in 2024 / Matthew Grimes Jr./Atlanta Braves/GettyImages
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Just a day after Philadelphia Phillies fans were disappointed by Baseball Prospectus' PECOTA projections for the 2024 season, FanGraphs released its playoff odds for the upcoming campaign, and the news isn't much better.

How does FanGraphs come up with its projections?

In a nutshell, after using player projections and depth charts to determine expected team offense and defense, FanGraphs runs 20,000 simulations of the full 162-game schedule. That's the easy explanation. For a more in-depth look at the workings of the odds, you can check out the description on FanGraphs.

So, how do the Phillies fare in this year's initial run of the playoff odds?

According to FanGraphs' Ben Clemens, the NL East is basically already settled. It's not exactly an encouraging thing to hear before spring training has even started.

"No one else is realistically playing for first in the NL East," Clemens writes. "That’s not because the Phillies are awful; we think they’re more likely than not to make the playoffs thanks to a top 10 offense. But they’re just not the equal of Atlanta, at least in the regular season."

What do the playoff odds say about the Phillies' chances this season?

Similar to the PECOTA projections, FanGraphs's ever-changing projections give the Phillies an 85-ish-win season in 2024, finishing second to the Braves, again.

Here's a look at the full NL East standings with the chances of winning the division, at the time of writing.

Team

Wins

Losses

Win Div.%

Braves

98.4

63.6

89.5%

Phillies

84.7

77.3

6.4%

Marlins

81.1

80.9

2.2%

Mets

80.6

81.4

2.0%

Nationals

65.5

96.5

0.0%

Even though they're only being given a 6.4 percent chance to win the division, the Phillies are being given a 55.4 percent chance of making the playoffs this year. That means that out of 20,000 simulations, they make the playoffs 11,080 times.

While that doesn't seem great, they have the third-best odds to make the playoffs from the National League, behind the Braves (98.9 percent) and the Los Angeles Dodgers (94.0).

As for winning the World Series, the Phillies are 10th with a 2.7 percent chance. They sit behind the Braves (25.7), Dodgers (15.9), Astros (10.8), Yankees (7.6), Rays (4.2), Twins (4.1), Mariners (4.0), Orioles (3.6), and Cardinals (2.8).

How accurate are the playoff odds?

Don't forget that we're still a long way from actual meaningful baseball games, and the odds will fluctuate throughout spring training with injuries, trades, and player signings. Players and teams underperform and outperform their projections all the time, so nothing is set in stone.

Let's look back at last year's playoff odds before Opening Day.

After spring training in 2023, the Phillies were projected to finish third in the NL East with an 85-77 record and were given a 50 percent chance at making the playoffs. While the first-place Braves easily eclipsed their projected 93 wins, the Mets were picked to finish second in the division with close to 90 wins.

We all know how that turned out.

The Phillies got healthy and bashed their way through the league over the last couple of months to an eventual 90-win season. And then they went on to eliminate the perennial favorite Braves in the NLDS for a second straight year. All the while, the Mets fell off a cliff and finished with a hilarious 75 wins.

So, Phillies fans, don't worry. The players will have a lot to say about the outcome of the season when they get on the field.

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