For front offices, which typically have proprietary systems but also tend to compare them to publicly available metrics, projections can be used, to varying degrees, as a factor in their decision making. For supporters, the measurement can be useful in managing hopes and expectations while assessing the legitimacy of their team’s chances.
For players, on the other hand, the odds of the playoffs can easily become an unwanted distraction.
It doesn’t matter if a team’s playoff odds are 99.9% like the Chicago White Sox, or 11.5% like the Toronto Blue Jays before Thursday’s 10-7 loss to the leaders of AL Central, there can be no variation in their commitment, effort or determination.
“I don’t know what our probability is in the playoffs or anything like that,” said Bo Bichette, whose RBI single preceded Marcus Semien’s second home run in a five-point rally in the sixth that took made things close, but not close enough. .
“For me it’s we come here, we prepare as hard as we can, play as hard as we can and that’s all we can control. It doesn’t matter what other people do (in the leaderboard). What they do is what they will do. We can’t control that. We come here and do our best to win the game. That’s all that worries me. “
The Blue Jays certainly did so in the final of a disappointing seven-game home game that chipped away at their playoff chances.
Hyun Jin Ryu failed to come out of fourth, giving up a solo shot to Cesar Hernandez in second, a two-run homerun to Luis Robert immediately followed by solo work from Jose Abreu in third and a two-run brace by Leury Garcia and Tim Anderson RBI singles in the fourth.
All of this quickly buried Semien’s home run in the first set which gave the Blue Jays a 1-0 lead. They walked away from there, getting an RBI Semien single in the fifth, and after an RBI double from Seby Zavala and Brad Hand’s Anderson in the sixth, put their five in the bottom half to make it a game.
But former Blue Jays reliever Ryan Tepera sorted things out in the seventh, Garrett Hook cut them off in the eighth and Craig Kimbrel locked things in the ninth.