Why your team won’t win the World Series: August 28th

Seattle Mariners Introduce Robinson Cano

By Casey Boguslaw

Back for a third week of World Series likelihood rankings! By this time next week we may have teams that are mathematically at zero chance. Ninety-six games again this week; every team won at least a game; one team did not lose any. That particular team has entered the last pod of my rankings, meaning I think they have a fairly good chance of winning it all. They played so well this week that it’s rather difficult to find an explanation of why one wouldn’t think they will win it all. I will do my best to provide one.

My third installment of these power rankings:

*The week reviewed is August 21-27.*


30. Cincinnati Reds (1-6 on the week; 0-3 vs Arizona, 1-0 vs Detroit, 0-3 vs Los Angeles Dodgers) – At least they won a game – a make-up game from a rain-out earlier in the season. Manager Bryan Price continues to tinker with a lineup that is confusing in its ineptitude. Brandon Phillips now seems to be the everyday clean-up hitter which he certainly doesn’t fit the profile of such. Jay Bruce – more of your prototypical clean-up man was 3/24 on the week. Tragic Number (amount of losses or wins by current leader until eliminated from the playoffs) = 16 (wildcard)

29. Miami Marlins (1-6; 0-3 vs Philadelphia, 1-3 vs Pittsburgh) – a big drop for Miami but that is what happens when you lose four in a row; three of which to the Phillies. The Marlins hit 5/41 (.122) with runners in scoring position on the week. They had four games this week with six or less hits. Tragic Number = 13 (division)

28. Philadelphia Phillies (3-4; 3-0 vs Miami, 0-4 vs New York Mets) – After a nice weekend the Mets took care of any happy feelings in Philly. The Phillies are climbing up the error leaderboard with seven in their last three games. Tragic Number = 12 (division)

27. Milwaukee Brewers (1-4; 1-2 vs Washington, 0-2 vs Cleveland) – Milwaukee is the only team in the league to only play five games this week; less opportunity for losses. Matt Garza allowed six base on balls in his start this week. Not to be out done, Jimmy Nelson upped him and allowed eight. Both were part of the 27 free passes that Brewers pitching allowed this week. Tragic Number = 16 (wildcard)

26. Atlanta Braves (1-5; 0-3 vs Chicago Cubs, 1-2 vs Colorado) – The Braves end of one of the bigger winter blockbusters, Shelby Miller, has lost ten straight decisions. He is the first Brave to do that since 1941. Miller is supposed to be the ace and stopper of this rotation, right? Tragic Number = 17 (division)

25. Colorado Rockies (2-4; 0-3 vs New York Mets, 2-1 vs Atlanta) – On Friday, the Rockies had five different relievers allow an earned run. Their 4.91 ERA from relievers is last in the majors. Tragic Number = 19 (division)

24. Oakland Athletics (2-4; 1-2 vs Tampa Bay, 1-2 vs Seattle) – The A’s have been faced with all sorts of bad luck this year, one of which being injuries. It was rather fitting that Oakland saw two starting pitchers in a row leave a game with an injury this week. Sean Doolittle, who was supposed to be the everyday closer but has missed most of the season due to guess what – injury, has had a rough comeback since returning from the DL. Tragic Number = 25 (wildcard)


23. Arizona Diamondbacks (3-4; 3-0 vs Cincinnati, 0-4 vs St. Louis) – The Diamondbacks were the talk of the league at this point last week. St. Louis came into their stadium for four games and left with all four victories. The Cards are doing it to everyone this season, but this was probably the second or third nail in the Dbacks’ coffin. Tragic Number = 28 (division)

22. Boston Red Sox (3-3; 1-2 vs Kansas City, 2-1 vs Chicago White Sox) – Pablo Sandoval, signed to be the RBI producer, is now batting second in the lineup. The Red Sox would rather have someone with a higher OBP than .307, which the Panda has this season, but they are trying to get him out of his season long slump (five game hitting streak since the move). Tragic Number = 29 (wildcard)

21. Seattle Mariners (3-4; 1-2 vs Chicago White Sox (home), 2-1 vs Oakland, 0-1 vs Chicago White Sox (road)) – The Mariners did have to face Chris Sale and Carlos Rodon (twice) this week but 62 strikeouts is high for a week, no matter who the other pitchers are. The ineptitude of the Mariners has just lead to the firing of long time GM, Jack Zduriencik. Tragic Number = 29 (wildcard)

20. San Diego Padres (3-3; 2-1 vs St. Louis, 1-2 vs Washington) – The Padres took a series from the Cardinals – the first team to do that in seven series. They then had a chance to fully knockout the Nationals but let them escape with a win. Tragic Number = 28 (division)

19. Detroit Tigers (1-6; 0-3 vs Texas, 0-1 vs Cincinnati, 1-2 vs Los Angeles Angels) – Alfredo Simon allowed eight earned runs in his start this week after pitching a one hitter last week…I wouldn’t start Justin Verlander in your fantasy league next week. Tragic Number = 31 (wildcard)

18. Chicago White Sox (4-3; 2-1 vs Seattle (road), 1-2 vs Boston, 1-0 vs Seattle (home)) – John Danks (7 ER this week) and Jeff Samardzija (5 ER) have to start 40% of the games. Even Tyler Flowers magic can’t save them. Tragic Number = 32 (wildcard)

17. Cleveland Indians (4-2; 2-1 vs New York Yankees, 0-1 vs Chicago Cubs, 2-0 vs Milwaukee) – The Indians defense was a major reason for the lack of success in the first half. They have turned it around to rank eleventh now in least errors but didn’t help that this week – six errors in the six games. Tragic Number = 32 (wildcard)


16. Washington Nationals (4-2; 2-1 vs Milwaukee, 2-1 vs San Diego) – Two series wins this week against bottom half teams. Unfortunately they needed to do more because they still lost a couple of games in the division. Tragic Number = 30 (division)

15. Tampa Bay Rays (3-3; 2-1 vs Oakland, 1-2 vs Minnesota) – The Rays had seven errors this week including two errors in the Twins series that is one of the many teams in front of them in the wildcard race. Tragic Number = 34 (wildcard)

14. Minnesota Twins (5-1; 3-0 vs Baltimore, 2-1 vs Tampa Bay) – The Twins are another team who need to win every game. After a five game winning streak it was a gut punch to lose the winning streak on a passed ball, which was the case Thursday. Tragic Number = 36 (wildcard)


13. Los Angeles Angels (2-4; 0-3 vs Toronto, 2-1 vs Detroit) – The Angels postseason hopes may have been eliminated by the Blue Jays. The Angels allowed 36 runs in the three game series, many of which were given up by a struggling bullpen. Tragic Number = 36 (wildcard)

12. Baltimore Orioles (1-6; 0-3 vs Minnesota, 1-3 vs Kansas City) – If losing six of seven wasn’t bad enough, the Orioles also may have lost Adam Jones after he ran into the wall Thursday. Tragic Number = 34 (wildcard)

11. San Francisco Giants (3-3; 1-2 vs Pittsburgh, 2-1 vs Chicago Cubs) – The easiest way to catch up in the wildcard race is to play the teams in front of you. The Giants got that chance this week and only went .500. They may have to start focusing on catching the Dodgers. Tragic Number = 34 (division)


10. Texas Rangers (4-2; 3-0 vs Detroit, 1-2 vs Toronto) – I covered the Rangers this week and their unlikely place amongst the playoff-seat holders. They then lost two in a row against the Blue Jays mostly due to bullpen implosions. They bounced back to recover a game but their lack of success at home (29-32) continues to be a head-scratcher. Tragic Number = 37 (wildcard) *current wildcard

9. New York Yankees (2-4; 1-2 vs Cleveland, 1-2 vs Houston) – The Yankees averaged double-digit strikeouts this week (68) and the lineup is struggling. The early season success of the older players on the team is waning – Alex Rodriguez went 1/15 on the week and after returning from an injury, Mark Teixeira went 0/3. Tragic Number = 41 (wildcard) *current wildcard

8. Chicago Cubs (5-2; 3-0 vs Atlanta, 1-0 vs Cleveland, 1-2 vs San Francisco) – The Cubs are starting to get some bumps and bruises forcing Joe Maddon to be creative with his lineup. Kyle Schwarber batting leadoff and Kris Bryant in right field were two of the more bizarre moves. Thursday was a “Sunday lineup” as Dan Haren faced off with Madison Bumgarner – the Cubs struck out 16 times. Tragic Number = 42 (wildcard) *current wildcard


7. New York Mets (7-0; 3-0 vs Colorado, 4-0 vs Philadelphia) – The Mets team is reversing their formula for winning. Jon Niese’s two starts this week had him allowing seven earned and then five. Jake deGrom allowed six and Noah Syndergaard allowed five. Matt Harvey was skipped. Doesn’t matter – 100 hits from a resurgent offense helped sweep the week. However, they won’t face the Rockies or Phillies in October. Tragic Number = 30 (division) *current division leader

6. Los Angeles Dodgers (3-3; 0-3 vs Houston, 3-0 vs Cincinnati) – The Chase Utley experiment is not working (4/21 on the week with an error) and now the Dodgers are probably just hoping for Howie Kendrick back. After Jim Johnson allowed a run on Wednesday, he got the save opportunity on Thursday. Bold move – even if it paid off. Tragic Number = 39 (division) *current division leader

5. Houston Astros (5-1; 3-0 vs Los Angeles Dodgers, 2-1 vs New York Yankees) – It was a good bounceback by Houston after a weak week as they are back in World Series hopeful conversation. Carlos Gomez is the only Astro not bouncing back. He is now down to sixth in the batting lineup. Tragic Number = 41 (wildcard) *current division leader

4. Toronto Blue Jays (5-1; 3-0 vs Los Angeles Angels, 2-1 vs Texas) – Bullpen is the Achilles heel after the offense came back to life. Two rough outings against Texas in the last two games. Tragic Number = 42 (wildcard) *current division leader

3. St. Louis Cardinals (5-2; 1-2 vs San Diego, 4-0 vs Arizona) – Seven errors this week, a rough bullpen stretch including closer Trevor Rosenthal looking more and more hittable, and a 17/73 week (.233) with RISP…doesn’t matter 5-2 week for Cardinals Devil Magic. Tragic Number = 50 (wildcard) *current division leader

2. Pittsburgh Pirates (5-2; 2-1 vs San Franciso, 3-1 vs Miami) – Andrew McCutchen had his first error of the season on Friday, incredible for a center fielder. He then waited all the way until Tuesday to have his second. Tragic Number = 46 (wildcard) *current wildcard

1. Kansas City Royals (5-2; 2-1 vs Boston, 3-1 vs Baltimore) – Johnny Cueto has somehow became the weak link on this team as he was responsible for both losses on the week. The other 24 Royals still keep the team on top of the rankings.

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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