What Are The Odds?

Checking in on Chicago's chances of playoff baseball

No matter the side of town, it has been a tumultuous season for Chicago baseball.

The Cubs' sure-thing back-to-back divisional winner crumbled under the weight of constant injuries. The South Siders have topped expectations again and swung big-time trades, but their aging bats have struggled to put together much winning baseball.

Still, the playoffs are not out of reach for either team, according to the math nerds at Baseball Prospectus, who've calculated every team's playoff odds throughout the regular season.

Here's a non-surprise: The Cubs and the Sox have a similar prognosis. (Hat tip: Mouthpiece Sports blog.)

The Cubs have a roughly 30 percent chance of making the playoffs, according to the BP metric, a percentage that fell rapidly after the Cardinals rallied from the Cubs' brief dalliance with first place in the NL Central and reclaimed a two-game lead in the division. With time slipping away, the Cubs' chances are disproportionately affected with every swap in the standings.

The White Sox, meanwhile, have an even chance throughout the bad AL Central. The Tigers, at 49 percent, are favored to win the division and make the playoffs, while the White Sox and Twins are split  at 26 percent to 23 percent, respectively. Common sense would call the AL Central an open division, and so do the numbers.

So there you have it. Neither team is in particularly favorable shape. This time last year the Cubs looked far more untouchable. But each team has a real shot at improving their odds and winning their divisions, meaning this year's baseball stretch is going to be awfully interesting whether you like math or not.

Eamonn Brennan is a Chicago-based writer, editor and blogger. You can also read him at Yahoo! Sports, Mouthpiece Sports Blog, and Inside The Hall, or at his personal site, eamonnbrennan.com. Follow him on Twitter.

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