5 MLB Teams Whose Seasons Are Already Over
Baseball is a game that moves slowly and deliberately throughout the season. I mean, when you have 162 games to play, there really isn’t any other way to move. When you’re in the top spot, it affords you the ability to relax and tweak your style should any serious threats emerge. If you’re in the cellar(s), as these guys are, you’re more inclined to chalk the whole season up to experience and move on, as these guys are. The only problem there is that the season doesn’t seem to end for another 17 or so months, so fans of these teams better just like days out at the ballpark. Be glad you’re not with these guys, and, if you are…sorry.
5. Kansas City Royals
I’m pretty sure that the Royals just made the list out of force of habit. These perennial basement dwellers are back up to their old tricks, somehow snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Despite coming in 8th in runs in the league and 7th in batting average, they’re clocking in at 30-38 creeping up on the break. Granted they’re only 7 games behind the division-leading Indians, but the inconsistencies with Royal pitching are more deep-seated than a manager (or even a season of transactions) would be able to salvage. Their winningest pitcher is Bruce Chen, clocking in at…4. Their ERA leader is holding steady with 4.40.
They’re not dwelling in the bottom of their division, but that’s only thanks to the next team on this list…
4. Minnesota Twins
Sitting even further back in the AL Central with a record of 27-39 are the lowly Twins. While the discrepancy in the rankings between them and the Royals is just a matter of games, the Twins seem to have a slightly better handle on their pitching, but at the expense of offense. 27th in slugging pct and 26th in runs scored will put hardships on any rotation, especially one that has struggled to shine, even in one of the weaker divisions in the sport. They’ve given up 63 homeruns while chalking up only 38, with Michael Cuddyer leading the team with a meager 9.
Further, they seem to have had trouble keeping their starters healthy, which has precluded the team from finding their groove on both sides of the plate. A big change could reverse the fortune of this team, but there’s nothing on the horizon to suggest a big change is looming, sadly.
3. San Diego Padres
San Diego teams (both of them) are stuck in the unenviable position of being situated in one of the most geographically enviable cities in the US. The move to PETCO Park did wonders for fan interest, and even found them a modicum of success, but their success has waned in recent years. Comfortably situated in the cellar of the NL West, the Padres are working with some truly abysmal team stats, clocking in at 30th in runs, 29th in batting average, 29th in OBP, and 30th in slugging.
Their pitching game is creeping up on “solid,” with Aaron Harang having chalked up 7 wins thus far and Dustin Moseley leading the team with a 3.16 ERA. However, when your batting leader is hitting .278, and your HR leader has an underwhelming 8 dingers when you’re nearing the 4th of July, a rotation of Tom Seaver, Nolan Ryan, Curt Schilling, Dwight Gooden, and Roger Clemens might not even be able to save you.
2. Chicago Cubs
Those lovable Cubbies have proven how lovable they really are by comfortably setting up shop on the wrong end of the NL Central with a 27-40 record. Their power game isn’t as strong as their contact game, which means that while they might be outhitting their opponents (slightly) 613-611, they’re being outscored 340-269. I think the team should institute a mandatory push-up regimen or something.
Of course, we’re talking about the Cubs here, so don’t worry: they’ll be loved and championed no matter what, which takes the pressure off, but not really in a good way. I would compel the fans to light a fire under their team, but they’d rather just eat a hot dog and enjoy a great day for baseball, so the cellar could suit these guys just fine.
1. Houston Astros
They recently have fallen to a 1-8 stretch. In ESPN’s Power Rankings, the ‘Stros haven’t peaked higher than 27, but seem to be more comfortable in the cellar at 30. Granted, Hunter Pence is killing it with .321, 9 HR’s, 50 RBI, and 90 hits. Unfortunately, the league rules only allow the Astros to have Pence bat once in the lineup, so the effect on his team is limited, despite his beyond-solid stats.
They’re only being slightly outhit, but as we saw with the Cubs, they just can’t turn those hits into runs, as they’ve been outscored 273-350. Consequently, Houston has the worst record in baseball, so it’s safe to say that their season is over, barring some mid-season rule change that makes losses more desirable than wins. Better start petitioning the commissioner for that now, Astros fans.