The Padres Are On A Post-Season Pace

It's early, but it's true, and that's exciting

With 7.4-percent of the 2015 Major League Baseball season complete, I am confident in saying the Padres will make the playoffs. That’s not just my opinion. I mean, it is my opinion, but this is separate from that. No, no, THIS bold statement actually has math as backup (yes, I know this is a ridiculous thing to be writing 12 games in to a season, but I’m so excited about the prospects for this year I couldn’t help myself, so thank you for humoring me).

Since 1995, when MLB expanded its playoffs format to include eight teams, only 10 teams have won 90 games and not earned a post-season spot (the last, of course, being the 2010 San Diego Padres). Now, 90 wins is a lot, and it doesn’t happen very often.

At 7-5, the Padres are only two games over .500, which seems like an awful long way 18 games over .500 they need to be to hit that magical 90-win plateau. But, when you break it down incrementally, San Diego is actually ahead of schedule when it comes to reaching 90 wins.

Over the course of a 162-game season it’s tough to see the big picture. There’s a lot going on here. Plus, the math gets a little goosey when dividing in to 162, so let’s simplify it by using 160 games and holding the final two games out for a bit.

In our 160 game scenario, a team would have to go 44-36 in each half of the season … 22-18 in each quarter … or 11-9 in each eighth, which can be achieved by alternating 10-game sprints with a record of 6-4, then 5-5.

Think about that. If a team goes 5-5 on a 10-game road trip, that’s pretty good. If that team comes home and goes 6-4 on a 10-game home stand, it might not seem all that great, but it’s perfect for playoff positioning.

Now, take all that and add it up, at the end a team is 88-72 with two games to play. How your team fares in those two games will determine whether or not you get to buy playoff tickets.

So at 7-5 all the Padres have to do is go 4-4 over their next eight games and they’ll be right on target to make the post-season.

The problem for the Padres all these years has been really bad starts that create too big a mathematical hole to crawl out of. So far, it seems they’re managing to avoid blowing up the equation and putting themselves out of it before Memorial Day.

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