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Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Loser Scores 2015

The World Series is over, and that means it’s time for my annual foray into the World of the Losers.

The fine print:

Bill James came up with Loser Scores after the 2010 season, in an effort to measure how the Pirates’ string of losing seasons compared to other lengthy stretches of bad baseball. I’ve updated the totals every year since then.

You compute Loser Scores in this fashion:

1. A team that has a losing season adds to its Loser Score the total of games under .500, plus the number of consecutive seasons that the team has been under .500.
2. A team that has a .500 or better season takes its previous Loser Score and multiplies it by (1-number of consecutive non-losing seasons/10) - so .9 for the first .500+ season, .8 for the second, and so on - rounds that to the nearest whole number, and then subtracts the number of games over .500.
3. A Loser Score cannot go below zero.
4. Winning the World Series is an automatic reset to zero.

Updated Loser Scores through 2015:

Team			2014	W	L	Diff	Streak	2015
Pittsburgh		420	98	64	34	3	260
Colorado		187	68	94	-26	5	218
Houston			233	86	76	10	1	200
Seattle			155	76	86	-10	1	166
Milwaukee		114	68	94	-26	1	141
Miami			108	71	91	-20	6	134
Cubs			182	97	65	32	1	132
San Diego		108	74	88	-14	5	127
Minnesota		128	83	79	4	1	111
Cincinnati		67	64	98	-34	2	103
Baltimore		148	81	81	0	4	89
Arizona			71	79	83	-4	2	77
Philadelphia		35	63	99	-36	3	74
White Sox		55	76	86	-10	3	68
Mets			87	90	72	18	1	60
Washington		83	83	79	4	4	46
Atlanta			5	67	95	-28	2	35
Boston			21	78	84	-6	2	29
Cleveland		42	81	80	1	3	28
Oakland			0	68	94	-26	1	27
Detroit			0	74	87	-13	1	14
Tampa Bay		9	80	82	-2	2	13
Texas			29	88	74	14	1	12
Toronto			31	93	69	24	2	1
Kansas City		333	95	67	28	3	0
Yankees			0	87	75	12	23	0
St. Louis		0	100	62	38	8	0
Dodgers			0	92	70	22	5	0
Angels			0	85	77	8	2	0
San Francisco		0	84	78	6	2	0

For the ninth consecutive year, the Pirates remain on top of the list. But their Loser Score of 260 is

  • the lowest it has been since 2003, and
  • the lowest to top the list since 2001, when the Tigers regained the dubious leadership in this category after losing it to the Phillies for a year.
  • Other than the five-year stretch between 1997 and 2001, when the Mariners were awakening from their doldrums and the Tigers and Pirates were just starting a descent into theirs, a Loser Score of 260 has never led MLB - until 2015.

    The nine-year stretch for the Pirates is the longest single-team stretch since the Mariners had a 13-year run from 1984 through 1996 (with a tie with the Indians in 1993). If the Pirates keep winning next year and the Rockies keep losing, there will be a new leader in 2016.

    As I noted in one of the discussion threads, the Royals’ drop from 333 to zero on winning the World Series is the third-largest drop ever, behind the 1914 Miracle Braves (531) and the 1969 Mets (371). Some other items of note from this year’s list:

     

  • The Yankees have a 23-year run of .500 or better records. The Cardinals have 8, the Marlins have a 6-year run of losing records. No other team has a streak in either direction that exceeds 5 years. That number (3) ties 2013 for the lowest number of teams with more than a 5-year streak in either direction in the last 15 years. Not since 1997 have there been fewer than 3 teams with streaks of more than 5 years.
  • The Yankees have been at zero 81 times in their 113 years of existence (I don’t count 1901-1902, following SABR’s Gary Gillette). That is easily both the highest number and the highest percentage of zeroes for any team. The Giants are second, the Cardinals are third, the Dodgers are fourth, and the Red Sox are fifth. I doubt any of those are a surprise.
  • The Padres (47 years and counting) and the Rockies (23) have never been at zero. The Mariners and Rays have been at zero once, the Senators/Rangers twice. The worst record for any of the “Original 16” belongs to the Senators/Twins (16/115) with the Phillies (23/133) and Browns/Orioles (20/115) next.
  • The Cubs extended their string of non-zero seasons to 69, with their last zero coming in 1946. The Pirates and Brewers have the second-longest non-zero streaks of teams which have had at least one zero; both had their last zero in 1992.

  • The WS win by the Royals dropped them to zero for the first time since 1989. The Tigers, who went to zero in 2014 for the first time since 1988, fell back above zero.
  • Toronto hasn’t been at zero since 1993. Since then, they’ve been in single digits 5 times without going to zero, including 2015, when all it would have taken was one more strong season. Between 2008 and 2011 the Blue Jays were at 5, 18, 8, and 6.

  • Mike Emeigh Posted: November 03, 2015 at 09:46 PM | 12 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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