The Detroit Tigers are 25-26 and haven’t broken the .500 mark so far this season. And they are just one game behind their section leaders.
The Chicago Cubs have the worst record in the National League, but are just four and a half games away from a playoff berth.
As ‘Memorial Day’ approaches across the United States, some of the worst teams in the major leagues can still dream of participating in the Fall Classic. In fact, FanGraphs reports that only five Major League Baseball clubs have less than a 5% chance of making the playoffs: Kansas City Royals, Oakland Athletics, Washington Nationals, Cincinnati Reds and North Rockies, Colorado. And even the Reds are just four games short of first place in the National League Central.
As of May 29 of last year, no fewer than 11 teams had less than a 5% chance of advancing to the postseason playoffs.
Several factors explain the current situation.
First, the ugliest teams are very, very ugly, The Athletics are 10-45 and obviously can threaten the modern 120-loss record set by the New York Mets in 1962. The Royals, currently at 16-38, are also in very bad shape.
This means that other teams that could be involved in the playoff race will share more wins with each other. The Seattle Mariners, for example, would be in big trouble if they weren’t 7-0 so far this season against the A’s.
Also, mediocre clubs are all gathered in the same sections. The Minnesota Twins lead the American Central Division at 27-26, and that means even the Tigers, who aren’t playing for . 500, are still in the game. The Cleveland Guardians (23-29) are seven and a half games away from the last goodbye given to the teams called up by the American, but just three and a half games away from leading their group. And even the Chicago White Sox are only six games behind the Twins, despite being 11 games short of respectability (. 500).
The same scenario occurs in the Central Division of the National, where five and a half games separate the leaders, the Milwaukee Brewers (28-25), from the last ones, the Cubs.
Although obviously an excellent record is needed to hope to win the pass offered to the third team called up by the American, the parity is very real at Nacional. Currently, the holder of the third bye offered to a team drafted from the Nationals is the San Francisco Giants (27-26), and nine teams are four and a half games behind each other.
return of the week
The Philadelphia Phillies wiped out a 5-0 sixth-inning deficit against the Arizona Diamondbacks last Wednesday. Trea Turner tied the game with a two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth and Alec Bohm’s single at 10It is gave the Phillies a 6-5 victory. The probability of the Diamondbacks winning the game in the ninth inning was 98.6%, according to the Baseball Savant.