Why your team won’t win the World Series: September 5th

Miami Marlins v Atlanta Braves

By Casey Boguslaw

Week 4 of my offering at an MLB power rankings! The good news is no matter which team you are a fan of they still have a mathematical probability of winning the whole thing. For some teams, that probability is very, very low. Regardless of that probability, I am here to tell you why your team won’t win the World Series.

*The week reviewed was August 28-September 3; 94 games played this week*


30. Atlanta Braves (0-7 on the week; 0-3 vs New York Yankees, 0-3 vs Miami, 0-1 vs Washington) – Our one and only winless team and it comes after losing two at the end of the last week. We can start with the offense that only mustered 45 hits over the seven games or who went 9/47 with runners in scoring position (.191). But we must also talk about the pitching – three starters had a 7+ ER outing this week, three different starters. The bullpen didn’t want to be left out as they also had a reliever give up eight in an outing. Tragic Number (amount of losses or wins by current leader until eliminated from the playoffs) = 9 (division)

29. Cincinnati Reds (3-3; 1-2 vs Milwaukee, 2-1 vs Chicago Cubs) – Before Thursday’s win and “only” scoring seven runs, in the last 18 games the Reds had only won four; but in each game they scored double-digit runs. Maybe spread them out a little bit, boys? Tragic Number = 11 (wildcard)

28. Miami Marlins (4-2; 1-2 vs Washington, 3-0 vs Atlanta) – The Marlins hit eight homeruns in their six games and still haven’t hit 100 for the season. They remain 29th in the league (the Braves only have 83!). 27 of the 99 are from Giancarlo Stanton who has been out since June; his return could be this weekend. Tragic Number = 10 (division)

27. Philadelphia Phillies (3-3; 2-1 vs San Diego, 1-2 vs New York Mets) – The Phillies recent stretch of “success” has put what was once a surety in question – the number one pick. The Braves (really piling on at this point) are last in almost every offensive category, but they are pushing the Phillies for last in the standings. Tragic Number = 8 (division)

26. Colorado Rockies (4-4; 1-2 vs Pittsburgh, 2-2 vs Arizona, 1-0 vs San Francisco) – Three relievers picked up the loss this week, but we spent time last week going over the bullpen. The Rockies went the first four games of the week with one error apiece – not bad. They then they committed four errors in a single game during the doubleheader nightcap with Arizona. Oh yeah, one of the bullpen’s losses was in that game as well. Tragic Number = 10 (division)

25. Oakland Athletics (3-3; 2-1 vs Arizona, 1-2 vs Los Angeles Angels) – The Oakland A’s have the least saves in the league (22). Current closer Drew Pomeranz has as many blown saves as he does saves converted (3). The back-end of the bullpen will need to be sured up by Billy Beane this offseason. Tragic Number = 17 (wildcard)

24. Milwaukee Brewers (5-1; 2-1 vs Cincinnati, 3-0 vs Pittsburgh) – It’s bizarre to see that no team in the bottom pod had a losing record this week (spare the Braves). Milwaukee had one of the best weeks of their season, but amazingly ageless wonder Francisco Rodriguez blew his first save of the season. Had he converted, it would have been a perfect week. Tragic Number = 13 (wildcard)


23. Arizona Diamondbacks (3-4; 1-2 vs Oakland, 2-2 vs Colorado) – In each game this week, a reliever allowed an earned run. Furthermore, the bullpen took all four losses on the week including fairly consistent closer Brad Ziegler. That’s the last nail in the coffin. Tragic Number = 19 (division)

22. Detroit Tigers (1-5; 0-3 vs Toronto, 1-2 vs Kansas City) – The Tigers easily had the league’s toughest schedule this week and they played like it. Victor Martinez went 3/22 with zero RBI this week…three more years on that contract. Tragic Number = 21 (wildcard)

21. San Diego Padres (3-4; 1-2 vs Philadelphia, 1-2 vs Texas, 1-0 vs Los Angeles Dodgers) – The Padres inexplicably went 1-5 vs Philadelphia this year. It was a very ugly bullpen week (sensing a trend?). Odrisamer Despaigne has allowed multiple earned runs four appearances in a row. Tragic Number = 19 (division)

20. Chicago White Sox (2-4; 1-2 vs Seattle, 1-2 vs Minnesota) – The White Sox had an error in each game this week and if there was a good way to track it, I would believe they had a TOOTBLAN (thrown out on the bases like a nincompoop) each game as well. This is the story for the White Sox this year; expect my eulogy on their 2015 campaign soon. Tragic Number = 23 (wildcard)

19. Boston Red Sox (3-3; 2-1 vs New York Mets, 1-2 vs New York Yankees) – Boston spent the week against the New York teams; both of which who look to be playoff bound. After Sandoval’s five game hitting streak as the number two hitter, he went 2/24 this week. Hanley Ramirez didn’t see the field. Tragic Number = 21 (wildcard)

18. Seattle Mariners (4-2; 2-1 vs Chicago White Sox, 2-1 vs Houston) – Multiple errors in three games this week were costly. Brad Miller handed the win to the White Sox on Sunday. Tragic Number = 22 (wildcard)


17. Baltimore Orioles (1-5; 0-3 vs Texas, 1-2 vs Tampa Bay) – The Orioles managed to escape with one win this week behind Chris Davis’ heroics. The win wasn’t due to anything starter Kevin Gausman did. His 2.1 innings pitched was possibly the third worst start this week for the Orioles. Chen gave up five earned and Tillman gave up seven in the two starts before the win Wednesday. Tragic Number = 24 (wildcard)

16. San Francisco Giants (1-6; 1-2 vs St. Louis, 0-3 vs Los Angeles Dodgers, 0-1 vs Colorado) – The only thing worse than getting swept by your rivals is getting beat by Colorado. This team does not have the starting pitching strength that has been a staple of the last half decade. Ryan Vogelsong pitched seven innings in two starts this week – combined! Tragic Number = 23 (division)

15. Washington Nationals (4-3; 2-1 vs Miami, 1-2 vs St. Louis, 1-0 vs Atlanta) – Believe it or not, the Nationals are playing better but it’s not showing in the most important statistic – Ws and Ls. The sweep was possible over St. Louis, which obviously would have been a statement. Instead Matt Williams lets his bullpen blow two games in a row without their big in-season acquisition Jonathan Papelbon entering either game. Tragic Number = 24 (division)

14. Tampa Bay Rays (3-3; 1-2 vs Kansas City, 2-1 vs Baltimore) – The Rays are 13th in the American League in most strikeouts and they added to that total this week with 52 Ks in six games. The Rays are in last place in the AL in runs as well. Tragic Number = 26 (wildcard)

13. Cleveland Indians (4-2; 3-0 vs Los Angeles Angels, 1-2 vs Toronto) – I was ready to jump on the “Indians to the playoffs” bandwagon after the Indians swept the Angels, took the first from Toronto, and then forced the second game to extra innings. They ended up losing in extras and then went out meekly in the rubber match. So close, yet so far. Tragic Number = 25 (wildcard)


12. Los Angeles Angels (2-4; 0-3 vs Cleveland, 2-1 vs Oakland) – After being swept by Cleveland by a score of 20-6, they lost the opener 11-5 to the A’s. The bullpen held the fort up enough to escape with two wins on the week to keep the faintest of hopes possible. Tragic Number = 27 (wildcard)

11. Minnesota Twins (4-2; 2-1 vs Houston, 2-1 vs Chicago White Sox) – The Twins 42 hits were the second least in the majors this week. Their 11/54 (.204) week with RISP was highlighted by Saturday’s 1/14 in a 4-1 loss to the Astros. Tragic Number = 29 (wildcard)


10. New York Yankees (5-1; 3-0 vs Atlanta, 2-1 vs Boston) – The Yankees had a breather in the schedule this week so take their record with a grain of salt. Alex Rodriguez returned to the starting lineup but Mark Teixeira was placed on the 15 day DL (a rarity to happen in September). Tragic Number = 36 (wildcard)

9. Texas Rangers (5-1; 3-0 vs Baltimore, 2-1 vs San Diego) – The Rangers weren’t clutch this week (7/46 with RISP) but came away with wins against non-terrible teams. The pitching is really beginning to become a strength, which few saw coming. Tragic Number = 32 (wildcard)


8. Chicago Cubs (2-4; 1-2 vs Los Angeles Dodgers, 1-2 vs Cincinnati – Strikeouts are always an easy go-to for me, but not this week. The losses to the awful Reds can be blamed mostly on fielding. Starlin Castro somehow managed to sustain three errors in the loss Monday. Kris Bryant’s error on Wednesday allowed Joey Votto to come up and win the ballgame. Tragic Number = 37 (wildcard)

7. New York Mets (3-3; 1-2 vs Boston, 2-1 vs Philadelphia) – The bloom may be coming off the rose a little or maybe this is just Mets-dom. Scott Boras has appeared out of nowhere demanding an innings limit for his client, Matt Harvey.  With Jonathan Niese completely falling apart, Steven Matz can’t get here soon enough – a lot of pressure on a rookie. Tragic Number = 35 (division)


6. Houston Astros (2-4; 1-2 vs Minnesota, 1-2 vs Seattle) – A weaker schedule this week was not taken advantage of and now Houston only finds themselves two games above Texas. A lot can be blamed on a collapsing bullpen, including Pat Neshek who took two L’s in the last two games. Tragic Number = 33 (wildcard)

5. Pittsburgh Pirates (2-4; 2-1 vs Colorado, 0-3 vs Milwaukee) – Yikes, four losses in a row to Colorado and Milwaukee. The Cole/Locke/Liriano trio could not achieve one quality start in the series in Milwaukee – too many brats. Tragic Number = 41 (wildcard)

4. Los Angeles Dodgers  (5-2; 2-1 vs Chicago Cubs, 3-0 vs San Francisco, 0-1 vs San Diego) – Despite getting no hit this week (AGAIN) the Dodgers still had a great week. However, the bullpen came up craps again on Thursday. Chances are Greinke and Kershaw are going to be looked at to go nine in the playoffs yet again. Tragic Number = 36 (wildcard)

3. Toronto Blue Jays (5-1; 3-0 vs Detroit, 2-1 vs Cleveland) – Rookie closer Roberto Osuna blew only his second save on Tuesday – the Blue Jays still won. It’s been done before, but a rookie closer in the playoffs does not allow the fans to breathe very easily. Tragic Number = 37 (wildcard)

2. St. Louis Cardinals (4-2; 2-1 vs San Francisco, 2-1 vs Washington) – Jhonny Peralta grounded into three double plays Saturday, which is just impressive. The Cardinals still won, of course. They just win series, which makes it very hard for me not to move them to number one. Tragic Number = 47 (wildcard)

1. Kansas City Royals (4-2; 2-1 vs Tampa Bay, 2-1 vs Detroit) – The Royals don’t lose series either, so that and inertia leave them here for another week. Jonny Cueto continues to struggle in his regal garb. Who pitches Game 1?

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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