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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Loser Scores 2014

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 2014:

Team     2013 W     L     Games Under     Loser Score     2014 W     L     Games Under     Loser Score     Diff
PIT          94    68          -26            543             88    74         -14             420         -123
KCR          86    76          -10            436             89    73         -16             333         -103
HOU          51   111           60            205             70    92          22             233           28
CHC          63    99           36            175             73    89          16             196           21
COL          74    88           14            153             66    96          30             187           34
SEA          71    91           20            185             87    75         -12             155          -30
BAL          85    77           -8            254             96    66         -30             148         -106
MIN          66    96           30            102             70    92          22             128           26
MIL          74    88           14            129             82    80          -2             114          -15
SDP          76    86           10             96             77    85           8             108           12
MIA          62   100           38             95             77    85           8             108           13
NYM          74    88           14             77             79    83           4              87           10
WAS          86    76          -10            161             96    66         -30              83          -78
ARI          81    81            0             42             64    98          34              77           35
CIN          90    72          -18             56             76    86          10              67           11
CHW          66    96           30             31             73    89          16              49           18
CLE          92    70          -22             63             85    77          -8              42          -21
PHI          73    89           16             17             73    89          16              35           18
TOR          74    88           14             39             83    79          -4              31           -8
TEX          91    72          -19              0             67    95          28              29           29
BOS          97    65          -32              0             71    91          20              21           21
TBR          92    71          -21              0             77    85           8               9            9
ATL          96    66          -30              0             79    83           4               5            5
SFG          76    86           10             11             88    74         -14               0          -11
DET          93    69          -24              7             90    72         -18               0           -7
LAA          78    84            6              7             98    64         -34               0           -7
LAD          92    70          -22              0             94    68         -26               0            0
NYY          85    77           -8              0             84    78          -6               0            0
OAK          96    66          -30              0             88    74         -14               0            0
STL          97    65          -32              0             90    72         -18               0            0

The Pirates are still working off the kinks of 1992-2012, so even their second consecutive non-losing season takes them only down to 420. The Astros’ recent run of futility still has them only third-worst.

The Rangers got to zero for the first time in franchise history in 2012. The Rays got there in 2013 for the first time. Both backslid in 2014.

The Tigers, on the other hand, finally got back to zero for the first time since 1988. It took six straight seasons of .500 or better for Detroit to wipe out 314 Loser Score points, which is where they were in 2008. After 2005 the Tigers were at 465; they’ve been at least .500 in every season since then except for 2008.

The Yankees have been at zero since 1995. I expect that streak to end in the next year or two.

As I pointed out earlier, had the Royals won the World Series they’d have gone from 436 to zero, which would have been the second largest deficit wipeout in history, trailing only the 1914 Miracle Braves (531) and moving ahead of the 1969 Mets.

The Padres have never been at zero, the only franchise not to touch it; their best Loser Score in their history is 25, which they reached after the 2007 season. The Cubs haven’t been at zero since 1946; that run of 68 straight above-zero years is the longest run of above-zero scores in MLB history; beating the 65-year run with which the Browns/Orioles franchise started their history.

Mike Emeigh Posted: October 30, 2014 at 11:32 PM | 8 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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