Why your team won’t win the World Series: 23rd August

WYTWWTW

By Casey Boguslaw

Back for a second week of these power rankings – I have ranked the teams on their likelihood of winning the World Series (lowest to highest), again mostly based on how they played the previous week. There were 96 games this week, compared to 91 last week and all teams played at least six games except for three. No team went undefeated and only one team (whom you will be hearing about first) went all week without a win. Every team except for the winless won as many games as the Mets, but that doesn’t put the Mets towards the bottom of the rankings because I take into account where the team is at in the overall standings as well by splitting the teams into pods amongst teams in other similar standing. The list ends in the team I think that, based on how they are currently performing, has the most likely chance of winning it all. BUT, I will still tell you why they won’t. Here they are – week 2 of my rankings.

*The week reviewed was August 14-20.*

PROBABLY BETTER IF YOU LOSE AT THIS POINT

30. Cincinnati Reds (0-6 on the week; 0-3 vs Los Angeles Dodgers, 0-3 vs Kansas City, 0-1 vs Arizona) – The Reds dropped a few rankings this week due to a winless week albeit against a difficult schedule. The team traded their ace at the deadline, so a pitching drop was to be expected but it’s the offense that continues to baffle. A lineup shuffle by Bryan Price in the middle of the week has started to see the numbers improve – after a 1/26 stretch with runners in scoring position, they went 3/7 on Thursday…but still lost. Tragic Number (amount of losses or wins by current leader until eliminated from playoffs) = 27 (wildcard)

29. Colorado Rockies (2-4; 1-2 vs San Diego, 1-2 vs Washington) – I hounded on Jose Reyes last week and he has been now shuffled away from the leadoff spot in some games (not sure the #2 spot is the correct spot either). The bullpen had a blowup week – in four out of five games this week at least two different relievers allowed an earned run; the only game they didn’t was when the starter pitched a complete game. Tragic Number = 26 (division)

28. Philadelphia Phillies (1-5; 0-3 vs Milwaukee, 1-1 vs Toronto, 0-1 vs Miami) – Phillies get a slight bump for destroying the Blue Jays in their one win for the week. Even in that game they had two errors – two of the seven they had this week. Tragic Number = 25 (division)

27. Milwaukee Brewers (4-2; 3-0 vs Philadelphia, 1-2 vs Miami) – A “good” week but it was against two teams in the lower fifth of these rankings. The Brewers were able to sweep the Phillies with only 22 hits in the three game series. In their series vs Miami, they left 30 men on base in the three games. Like I said, schedule made this week look better. Tragic Number = 25 (wildcard)

26. Atlanta Braves (2-5; 2-1 vs Arizona, 0-3 vs San Diego, 0-1 vs Chicago) – Braves end this week the same way they ended the last week – on a losing streak. Shelby Miller will try to start the new week the same way as the last one started – with a Stop. Tragic Number = 31 (division)

BETTER *LUCK* NEXT YEAR

25. Miami Marlins (4-3; 1-2 vs St. Louis, 2-1 vs Milwaukee, 1-0 vs Philadelphia) – The Marlins managed to win the series against Milwaukee despite six errors in the three games. The Marlins have already had very poor injury luck this year and no baseball fan is happy about Jose Fernandez returning to the disabled list. Tragic Number = 28 (division)

24. San Diego Padres (5-1; 2-1 vs Colorado, 3-0 vs Atlanta) – This week was a big jump for San Diego with some of the disappointing players finally putting together some good numbers far too late to matter. Five errors in the Colorado series but still got away with a win. Tragic Number = 34 (division)

23. Oakland Athletics (2-4; 0-4 vs Baltimore, 2-0 vs Los Angeles Dodgers) – I eulogized the A’s here – which put a large focus on a very subpar bullpen. They only added to the disappointment this week with 10 earned runs allowed by the bullpen Monday and three more allowed Wednesday. Tragic Number = 31 (wildcard)

22. Boston Red Sox (5-2; 2-1 vs Seattle, 2-1 vs Cleveland, 1-0 vs Kansas City) – It was a good week on the field for Boston but sad news off the field with John Farrell’s health. The Red Sox 99 hits this week were league-high but defense and bullpen didn’t perform as well. Tragic Number = 34 (wildcard)

BAD WEEK FOR PLAYOFF “HOPEFULS”

21. Seattle Mariners (2-4; 1-2 vs Boston, 1-2 vs Texas) – The Mariners strength is supposedly their pitching – Mike Montgomery with 9 earned, Felix Hernandez with 10 earned, and Vidal Nuno with 4 earned begged to differ in a three game stretch. What made matters worse was in each of those games at least three relievers allowed an earned run. Tragic Number = 35 (wildcard)

20. Chicago White Sox (2-5; 1-2 vs Chicago Cubs, 1-3 vs Los Angeles Angels) – The White Sox managed to not get swept in either series this week by taking the getaway day in each. They hit 11/59 (.186) with runners in scoring position over the week – each out hurting more than the previous. Tragic Number = 37 (wildcard)

19. Arizona Diamondbacks (3-4; 1-2 vs Atlanta, 1-2 vs Pittsburgh, 1-0 vs Cincinnati) – Heartbreaking week as two of the four losses were in extra innings. Playoff spots are fading out of sight. Tragic Number = 35 (division)

18. Cleveland Indians (3-4; 1-2 vs Minnesota, 1-2 vs Boston, 1-0 vs New York Yankees) – Carlos Santana is one of the bigger disappointments to the Indians season; Santana went 5 for 27 this week. Reigning Cy Young winner Corey Kluber with a rare blemish; 6 earned on Wednesday. Tragic Number = 36 (wildcard)

THE 39 CLUB

17. Minnesota Twins (3-4; 2-1 vs Cleveland, 0-3 vs New York Yankees, 1-0 vs Baltimore) – The sweep at the hands of the Yankees was a killer but a nice bounce-back on Thursday will need to be built on in a very difficult Baltimore series this weekend. Untouchable closer Glen Perkins allowing earned runs on two outings this week is something to keep an eye on. Tragic Number = 39 (wildcard)

16. Washington Nationals (2-4; 0-3 vs San Francisco, 2-1 vs Colorado) – The Nationals experienced below .500 this week. The thin air of Coors Field helped the offense in the first two games of the series but a four-hit, 0-3 with runners in scoring position game on Thursday prevented a much-needed sweep. Tragic Number = 39 (division)

15. Tampa Bay Rays (2-5; 0-3 vs Texas, 2-2 vs Houston) – Manager Kevin Cash learned from the school of Joe Maddon and likes to use his best reliever for the situation. This week the bullpen backfired on him with most-often-used-closer Brad Boxberger taking a loss and a blown save, and now Jake McGee is expected to miss the rest of the year. Tragic Number = 39 (wildcard)

14. Detroit Tigers (4-2; 1-2 vs Houston, 2-0 vs Chicago Cubs, 1-0 vs Texas) – The Tigers had an offensive explosion at Wrigley Field after a subpar series against Houston despite the return of Miguel Cabrera. Ian Kinsler has three errors in the last two games. Tragic Number = 39 (wildcard)

THE TIME FOR WINNING IS NOW

13. Los Angeles Angels (3-4; 0-3 vs Kansas City, 3-1 vs Chicago White Sox) – The Angels had a streak of five games this week with an error. They also continue a horrible trend of not hitting with runners in scoring position – 5/39 this week (.128). Tragic Number = 43 (wildcard) *current wildcard

12. Texas Rangers (5-2; 3-0 vs Tampa Bay, 2-1 vs Seattle, 0-1 vs Detroit) – A solid week was stymied by Alfredo Simon on Thursday, of all people. Adrian Beltre had a better week than last but Prince Fielder may be cooling off (6/28 this week). Tragic Number = 41 (wildcard)

11. San Francisco Giants (4-3; 3-0 vs Washington, 1-2 vs St. Louis, 0-1 vs Pittsburgh) – The current starting rotation just hasn’t been going deep in games and is taxing the bullpen. A bigger problem is Hunter Pence once again returning to the disabled list. Tragic Number = 40 (wildcard)

10. Baltimore Orioles (5-2; 4-0 vs Oakland, 1-1 vs New York Mets, 0-1 vs Minnesota) – A very solid week was soiled by a 15-burger against Minnesota on Thursday; starter Miguel Gonzalez should blame it on the rain. Tragic Number = 42 (wildcard)

“WILD”CARDS

9. New York Mets (1-4; 0-3 vs Pittsburgh, 1-1 vs Baltimore) – Big, big, big, big problems from the Mets bullpen as the relievers counted for all four losses from the week. The Mets offense didn’t help matters with at least nine strikeouts every game (56 in five games). Tragic Number = 47 (division) *current division leader

8. Chicago Cubs (3-3; 2-1 vs Chicago White Sox, 0-2 vs Detroit, 1-0 vs Atlanta) – Jake Arrieta is the true ace and Stopper for a team that is having troubles with their starting pitching. Jon Lester’s seven earned run start was probably an aberration but Kyle Hendricks and Jason Hammel allowing five apiece may not be. Tragic Number = 47 (wildcard) *current wildcard

7. New York Yankees (5-2; 2-1 vs Toronto, 3-0 vs Minnesota, 0-1 vs Cleveland) – The Yankees proved they still belong in contention discussions by putting the Blue Jays below them again and then sweeping a feisty Twins team. It was the pitching against Toronto and then the hitting against Minnesota before struggling against seldom-used Josh Tomlin on Thursday. Tragic Number = 48 (wildcard) *current division leader

6. Houston Astros (4-3; 2-1 vs Detroit, 2-2 vs Tampa Bay) – Carlos Gomez is 13/69 (.188) since becoming an Astro including a 2/22 week. The other big newcomer, Scott Kazmir, allowed six earned in his one start this week. Dog days of summer in the warm Texas heat? Tragic Number = 45 (wildcard) *current division leader

ROYAL FLUSH

5. Toronto Blue Jays (2-3; 1-2 vs New York Yankees, 1-1 vs Philadelphia) – A big drop for my top team last week. That will happen after losing the division lead and then just simply losing anything to the Phillies. It’s somewhat mind-boggling that this lineup can be held to 31 hits over five games, but that’s what happened this week. The bullpen was also a little shaky this week after me touting them last time. Tragic Number = 46 (wildcard) *current wildcard

4. Los Angeles Dodgers (3-2; 3-0 vs Cincinnati, 0-2 vs Oakland) – Everything was going smoothly against Cincinnati but then some of the blemishes made their appearance in a short series sweep at the hands of the lowly Athletics. The bullpen once again looked horrible and the Dodgers went 1/11 with RISP in the two games. Add Yasiel Puig to the injured list plus the trading for Chase Utley leads me to believe Howie Kendrick is more hurt than once believed. Tragic Number = 45 (division) *current division leader

3. St. Louis Cardinals (4-2; 2-1 vs Miami, 2-1 vs San Francisco) – The Cardinals 43 hits was the lowest for any team that had six games this week, spare for Cincinnati. They also hit 6/35 with RISP yet still won both of their series this week – Cardinals Devil Magic indeed. Tragic Number = 55 (wildcard) *current division leader

2. Pittsburgh Pirates (6-1; 3-0 vs New York Mets, 2-1 vs Arizona, 1-0 vs San Francisco) – That’s right, I’m saying the Pirates look like they have a better chance of winning the World Series than division leader St. Louis…based on how they played this week. The only issues I can point out this week is Garrett Cole was less than ace-like with four earned in his one start on the week and Francisco Liriano was also below his usual quality the next day. Tragic Number = 51 (wildcard) *current wildcard

1. Kansas City Royals (5-1; 3-0 vs Los Angeles Angels, 2-0 vs Cincinnati, 0-1 vs Boston) – The offense couldn’t figure out Wade Miley on Thursday which prevented any team from going perfect this week. The Royals probably are leaving more runners on base than they would like (52 over the six games) but they will be my most likely team to win the World Series for this week.

Casey Boguslaw is a featured writer for Call to the Bullpen. You can find him on Twitter @CaseyBoguslaw, or join in the conversation @CTBPod, in the comment section below or on our Facebook page.

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