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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Loser Scores 2017

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.

The 2017 results:

Team               W   L Games Under  Streak  Loser Score
Pittsburgh        75  87          12       2          280
Colorado          87  75         -12       1          200
San Diego         71  91          20       7          186
Cincinnati        68  94          26       4          162
Miami             77  85           8       8          160
Seattle           78  84           6       1          146
Milwaukee         86  76         -10       1          133
Philadelphia      66  96          30       5          133
Minnesota         85  77          -8       1          132
Chicago WS        67  95          28       5          111
Atlanta           72  90          18       4           85
Arizona           93  69         -24       1           70
Oakland           75  87          12       3           68
New York Mets     70  92          22       1           59
Tampa Bay         80  82           2       4           48
Baltimore         75  87          12       1           42
Detroit           64  98          34       1           37
San Francisco     64  98          34       1           35
LAA of Anaheim    80  82           2       2           19
Toronto           76  86          10       1           11
Texas             78  84           6       1            7
Kansas City       80  82           2       1            3
New York Yankees  91  71         -20      25            0
St. Louis         83  79          -4      10            0
LA Dodgers       104  58         -46       7            0
Washington        97  65         -32       6            0
Cleveland        102  60         -42       5            0
Chicago Cubs      92  70         -22       3            0
Houston (WS)     101  61         -40       3            0
Boston            93  69         -24       2            0

The top 2 are the same as a year ago. However, there was quite a bit of shuffling in the rest of the top 10 thanks to the unexpectedly good seasons from Milwaukee and Minnesota and less-than stellar seasons from Cincinnati and Philadelphia.

Some other items of note:

  • Houston was sixth a year ago with a Loser Score of 154. By winning the World Series the Astros dropped to zero. It is not the largest such decrease - the 1914 Miracle Braves, 1969 Mets and the 2015 Royals, among others, top them - but it does make the top 10 among teams that went to zero by virtue of a World Series win. Had they not won the WS they would have been at 67.
  • The Yankees posted their 23rd consecutive season with a Loser Score of zero. Since winning their first pennant in 1921 (and hitting zero the first time) the Yankees have had only 17 seasons with non-zero Loser Scores.
  • The Pirates remain atop the list for the 11th consecutive season. They came very close to dropping off two years ago but two consecutive below-.500 seasons have kept them on top while other teams (the Royals and Rockies) have seen some success. It is now fairly likely that even if the Pirates have a winning season in 2018 that they will stay on top for at least one more year.
  • The Blue Jays finally made it to zero in 2016 after not having made it there since 1993 despite five different single-digit seasons in that span, They took a step back in 2017.
  • Detroit had made it all the way back to zero in 2014 after not having been there since 1988. A losing season in 2015 followed by a winning season in 2016 put them at 2, but the 64-98 disaster dropped them to 37.
  • San Diego and Colorado remain the only franchises that have never been at zero. The Rockies were as low as 9 back in 1997 but they jumped back over 100 in 2004 and have been over 100 every year since then except for 2010. The Padres had their low-water mark at 25 in 2007; they haven’t been higher than their current 186 since 1983, the year before their first division title. They got back to 50 in 2010 but seven consecutive losing seasons have pushed them back up the chart.
  • If I had to guess which team was likely to push the Pirates off the top I’d pick the Reds; I can’t see them having a random good season any time soon.

     

    Mike Emeigh Posted: December 12, 2017 at 10:41 PM | 6 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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