I personally would be pretty surprised if the Phillies missed the playoffs, so I don't think it's unreasonable. Their pitching is still great and their hitting is unlikely to stay this anemic all year. They won 102 games last year. For them to go from that to missing the playoffs wouldn't be unheard of, but definitely an upset. On the other hand, would I be surprised if the Nats missed the playoffs? Not particularly--though I think they have a pretty good shot with the current wildcard structure. The percentages sound about right to me.
I agree, Philly is unlikely to miss the playoffs. I guess I just take issue with the weighting of previous years records... For Philly to be at 71% under .500 and the Nats at 46% at what, .750, just seems a bit much. Yeah, basic logic indicates Philly is likely to make it, but I think my point is I would rather have all the teams a lot closer at percentages than weighting it so much that Philly is several games back and yet 25% more likely to make the playoffs. Have all the teams closer together than that, this early into the season, instead of weighting so much based on last year. It doesn't even make sense in some areas... Texas has a 90+% chance, great. But LA has a 40% chance, in the same division, despite being dead last in the division and 5 games back. Yet Seattle has a 9% chance, second in the division, and 1.5 games ahead of LA.
In most cases, ESPN is dead on with what I'd agree with, so it mostly works out. But I just take issue weighting the Nats down so much based on last year, and Philly ahead so much, when we are first and they are last place. It's only 12 games in, but I'd just rather everyone in the NL East be closer to 50% still than giving Philly a 25% advantage over the Nats when Philly is dead last. It's even worse when you consider the AL West and LA's 40%, which is almost entirely wild card since Texas is a near lock. Like I say, logically, there's not a ton to disagree with, but this shows just how much weight they are giving last year, which I'm not sure I agree with. I'd rather everyone be bunched together still, than a team dead last still a near lock to make the playoffs.