Why Your Team Won’t Win the World Series: September 11th

Colorado Rockies v San Diego Padres

By Casey Boguslaw

Week 5 of my rankings – all apologies to fans of the Phillies and Braves, your team can no longer win the whole thing. For that reason, you will only be reading about the other 28 teams in these power rankings as I will go through the likelihood of each team winning the World Series. If you follow along, this article will eventually end up as just a list of two teams. Let’s get on with it – who has the least non-zero chance to win it all?

*The week reviewed was September 4-September 10; 96 games played this week*

28. Colorado Rockies (3-4 on the week; 1-2 vs San Francisco, 2-2 vs San Diego) – Jorge de la Rosa has figured out pitching in Coors (sort of) but compared to the rest of the staff he is an ace. He had a two start week and the Rockies won both. As for the other five games, the other starters were either giving up six earned or only pitching four innings. Only one loss from the bullpen is actually a good week for the very-near-dead Rockies. Tragic Number (amount of losses or wins by current leader until eliminated from playoffs) = 1 (division)

27. Oakland Athletics (2-4; 0-3 vs Seattle, 2-1 vs Houston) – Starting pitcher Aaron Brooks allowed 5+ earned runs in both starts this week as the A’s search for any healthy arm available. Marcus Semien’s three errors on the week added to his franchise-tying record for errors in a season (34). Tragic Number = 10 (wildcard)

26. Cincinnati Reds (3-4; 1-2 vs Milwaukee, 1-2 vs Pittsburgh, 1-0 vs St. Louis) – The Reds are at least playing playoff spoiler as they took some games away from the Pirates and Cardinals this week. Starting pitching is something the Reds are searching for as well – Keyvius Sampson went three innings Saturday and then followed it up with five earned on Wednesday. Tragic Number = 2 (wildcard)

25. Miami Marlins (4-2; 2-1 vs New York Mets, 2-1 vs Milwaukee) – If you’re sensing a theme, the teams down on this part of the rankings all need to find some solutions to the back end of their pitching rotation. Cosart (4.2 IP), Nicolino (5 ER), and Conley (4.1 IP) did not impress in their starts this week (even if the Marlins won two of those games). Tragic Number = 3 (division)

24. Milwaukee Brewers (4-3; 2-1 vs Cincinnati, 1-2 vs Miami, 1-0 vs Pittsburgh) – K Rod may be getting fatigued towards the end of the season. He blew his second save of the season Thursday night, but his teammates picked him up and got the W. This is another team in need of a rotation overhaul. They took the first step by benching Matt Garza for the remainder of the season. Tragic Number = 5 (wildcard)

23. Arizona Diamondbacks (2-4; 0-3 vs Chicago Cubs, 2-1 vs San Francisco) – Arizona has had an ok season, although maybe right about at their expectations. A big portion of the problem down the stretch is they have not seemed to be equal to the elite. The Cubs made the Dbacks look bad this past weekend including giving up 14 runs on Friday. Tragic Number = 10 (division)

22. Detroit Tigers (3-4; 1-2 vs Cleveland, 2-1 vs Tampa Bay, 0-1 at Cleveland) – Kyle Lobstein is attempting to enter the 2016 rotation but with two starts allowing six then five earned this week there will be less interest on whoever will be managing the Tigers in 2016. Tragic Number = 14 (wildcard)

21. San Diego Padres (2-5; 0-3 vs Los Angeles Dodgers, 2-2 vs Colorado) – The Padres have been mostly playing to their opponents but this week the Dodgers made them look like one of the weaker teams in the league. James Shields hasn’t had a quality start in over a month (8/7). Tragic Number = 9 (division)

20. Chicago White Sox (4-2; 3-0 vs Kansas City, 1-2 vs Cleveland) – A quick span of games made the White Sox look like they could make one last push but then they lose the series at home to the Indians. After 40 hits in the Royals series, the White Sox only managed 21 against Cleveland. It’s been that inconsistency that has bit the White Sox all year. Tragic Number = 18 (wildcard)

19. Boston Red Sox (5-1; 3-0 vs Philadelphia, 2-1 vs Toronto) – The Red Sox were clearly waiting until September to make their run. The starting pitching has somehow figured it out and the offense is consistently getting double digit runs. The big issue – the bullpen; the team still has not found a closer since Uehara went down. Candidates attempts this week: Jean Machi – 3 ER Friday, Ogando – 4 ER and the L on Tuesday, Craig Breslow 3 ER on Wednesday. Tragic Number = 17 (wildcard)

18. Seattle Mariners (5-2; 3-0 vs Oakland, 2-2 vs Texas) – Another team that is having a nice September that is far too little and far too late. Edgar Olmos (not sure of his relation to actor Edward James) did not have a great second start of his career – six hits led to five runs and he couldn’t get out of the second inning. Tragic Number = 17 (wildcard)

17. Tampa Bay Rays (2-4; 1-2 vs New York Yankees, 1-2 vs Detroit) – Chris Archer has been the only consistent starter from Opening Day but even he allowed four earned this week in a loss. The rest of the rotation has been inconsistent and Kevin Cash has not allowed them to get deep into games – may be time to start experimenting. Tragic Number = 19 (wildcard)

16. Baltimore Orioles (3-3; 1-2 vs Toronto, 2-1 vs New York Yankees) – Tough schedule this week that the Orioles survived, but after last week, it matters little. Six errors on the week for a usually sure-handed team did not help matters. Tragic Number = 18 (wildcard)

15. San Francisco Giants (3-3; 2-1 vs Colorado, 1-2 vs Arizona) – The Giants showed last week they couldn’t beat the Dodgers. This week they show that they can’t take care of the bottom of the division either. Hey, next year’s even! Tragic Number = 15 (division)

14. Washington Nationals (3-3; 3-0 vs Atlanta, 0-3 vs New York Mets) – What can I say that hasn’t already been said? This team had 100 wins in the bag preseason. It will be a long offseason in our nation’s capital. Tragic Number = 16 (division)

13. Los Angeles Angels (3-3; 2-1 vs Texas, 1-2 vs Los Angeles Dodgers) – Andrew Heaney was supposed to be the big score from the Howie Kendrick deal but the Dodgers knocked five runs in off their old prospect. Tragic Number = 21 (wildcard)

12. Cleveland Indians (5-2; 2-1 at Detroit, 2-1 vs Chicago White Sox, 1-0 vs Detroit) – The two losses this week can be blamed on off-starts. Danny Salazar allowed six earned on Saturday in what has been an inconsistent season. Carlos Carrasco returned from the DL on Monday but could not get out of the third inning. Cleveland is creeping but they need to be perfect to stay alive. Tragic Number = 20 (wildcard)

11. Minnesota Twins (3-3; 1-2 vs Houston, 2-1 vs Kansas City) – The Twins had good starting pitching this week but the offense and bullpen could only provide a week of alternating wins and losses. The offense only had 45 hits and went 9/40 with runners in scoring position on the week. Tragic Number = 23 (wildcard)

10. New York Yankees (3-3; 2-1 vs Tampa, 1-2 vs Baltimore) – The Yankees lost the last two of the week as their bullpen couldn’t pull through. It wasn’t the big names, but those losses are costly in a tight division battle. Tragic Number = 30 (wildcard) *current wildcard

9. Texas Rangers (3-4; 1-2 vs Los Angeles Angels, 2-2 vs Seattle) – 34 hits in seven games is shockingly low. In the last two against Seattle they only had five hits while the starters allowed five earned in both games. Tragic Number = 25 (wildcard) *current wildcard

8. Houston Astros (3-3; 2-1 vs Minnesota, 1-2 vs Oakland) – The ten game road trip started like most road trips for the Astros this year – with two losses. Houston managed to bail out Colin McHugh’s five earned on Wednesday to at least salvage the finale. Tragic Number = 27 (wildcard) *current division leader

7. Chicago Cubs (5-1; 3-0 vs Arizona, 2-1 vs Seattle) – I was ready to move the Cubs even higher but they at least have entered the discussion. I thought the biggest liabilities for the Cubs were their inability to close against St. Louis and their bullpen, in general. Wednesday was a perfect opportunity to prove something and they let it get away. They remain here for now. Tragic Number = 34 (wildcard) *current wildcard

6. New York Mets (5-2; 1-2 vs Miami, 3-0 vs Washington, 1-0 vs Atlanta) – Yes, it was impressive what they did to Washington but at this point we can’t really even be sure how good Washington is. Alas, you play who is on your schedule and the Mets took care of business in the latter half of the week. Tyler Clippard’s struggles have to have Manager Collins worried. Tragic Number = 31 (division) *current division leader

5. Kansas City Royals (1-5; 0-3 vs Chicago White Sox, 1-2 vs Minnesota) – After two weeks of being on top, the Royals come tumbling down. I said last week that all that the Royals do are win series and then they lose two series to mediocre-at-best teams. The starters may be coasting to the finish line as the Royals had four straight starters allow 4+ earned runs this week. Why is Joba Chamberlain an option here? Tragic Number = 35 (wildcard) *current division leader

4. St. Louis Cardinals (2-5; 1-2 vs Pittsburgh, 1-2 vs Chicago Cubs, 0-1 vs Cincinnati) – I also said the Cardinals don’t lose series last week and then they lose both to their division rivals. Lance Lynn and Michael Wacha, the number one and two of the rotation, allowed six runs apiece to the Cubs this week. The bullpen allowed runs in every game this week except Wednesday. Tragic Number = 40 (wildcard) *current division leader

3. Pittsburgh Pirates (4-2; 2-1 vs St. Louis, 2-1 vs Cincinnati, 0-1 vs Milwaukee) – Pittsburgh’s struggles against Milwaukee are certainly bizarre and they need to reverse their fortunes this weekend. AJ Burnett returned from the bullpen and Clint Hurdle has to decide if he will be a part of the playoff rotation. Tragic Number = 36 (wildcard) *current wildcard

2. Toronto Blue Jays (3-3; 2-1 vs Baltimore, 1-2 vs Boston) – Drew Hutchison allowed six runs in both starts this week and one of them was even at home! That accounted for two of the three Blue Jays losses this week, may be time to move him to the bullpen. Tragic Number = 31 (wildcard) *current division leader

1. Los Angeles Dodgers (5-1; 3-0 vs San Diego, 2-1 vs Los Angeles Angels) – The Dodgers almost had a perfect week but were held back by a spot start. A 14/69 (.202) week with runners in scoring position is something to focus on improving this week. Not a bad spot to be after a week where Kershaw and Greinke only had one start.

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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