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As Jonah Heim squeezed the final strike of the 2023 postseason and Josh Sborz spiked his mitt on the mound to celebrate the Texas Rangers’ first World Series title, a thought crossed my mind: How will this change the franchise rankings?See, the Wild-Card Era (1995 to present) franchise rankings are not a creation of my fallible mind. They are borne from a tested, trusted, completely objective, never-been-questioned, all-math, no-bias formula borrowed from football writer Bob Sturm and tweaked to fit baseball’s postseason structure.Winning the World Series (WS): 9 pointsLosing in the World Series (WSL): 6 pointsLosing in the Championship Series (CS): 3 pointsLosing in Division Series (DS): 2 pointsLosing in Wild Card (WC): 1 pointAs of last year, the scoring system also incentivizes division titles (+1 point) and penalizes prolonged losing cycles, docking teams (-1 point) each time they lose at least 90 games in consecutive seasons.Tally the point totals for the past 29 seasons, from 1995 to 2023, and the result is the franchise rankings as listed below — along with each team’s point totals from the past decade, and average points per season. Tiebreakers are World Series wins, then World Series losses, then Championship Series appearances, then Division Series appearances, then division titles.League American NationalDivision Central East WestLoadingTry changing or resetting your filters to see more.The Pirates’ 76-86 season in 2023 didn’t dig their hole deeper, but it didn’t get them out of it, either. Since winning the 1979 World Series, they have reached the postseason six times — three-year runs from 1990-92 and 2013-15. The team is hoping its next core will author another such run. After signing Ke’Bryan Hayes, Bryan Reynolds and Mitch Keller to extensions, the Pirates need continued progression from young big leaguers — Oneil Cruz, Jack Suwinki, Henry Davis — and top prospects Paul Skenes, Jared Jones and Termarr Johnson.Total playoff years: 13DS, 14WC, 15WCConsecutive 90-loss seasons8Last decade: 1 point (MLB rank: t-26th)Average: -.14 points per seasonThe Royals bottomed out at 106 losses last season, tying the 2005 Royals for most losses in franchise history, and fell to 29th in this year’s franchise ranking as they were vaulted by the Orioles. After seven consecutive losing seasons, the Royals clearly are trying to turn a corner now. This winter, they guaranteed Bobby Witt Jr. $288.7 million, filled out their bench and pitching staff with free agents, and unveiled plans for a proposed downtown Kansas City ballpark. This fall marks a decade since the Royals ended their 29-year playoff drought and reached the World Series — then won it a year later. It remains the case that no team has made the playoffs fewer times in the Wild-Card Era than the Royals.Total playoff years: 14WSL, 15WSConsecutive 90-loss seasons9Last decade: 14 points (MLB rank: t-10th)Average: .24 points per seasonWith the Detroit Lions defeating the Los Angeles Rams in January for their first playoff win since 1992, the Reds now own the longest active streak of not advancing in the playoffs among the four major US men’s sports leagues. Cincinnati swept the Dodgers in the 1995 NLDS, then were swept by the Braves in the NLCS, and they haven’t advanced in any of their four playoff seasons since. The current Reds core has a chance to remove themselves from that trivia answer. The lineup has several potential stars and only one projected starter over the age of 28.Total playoff years: 95CS, 10DS, 12DS, 13WC, 20WCConsecutive 90-loss seasons3Last decade: -2 points (MLB rank: 30th)The Orioles jumped two spots in this ranking by winning 101 games and the AL East last year, even if their playoff run fizzled fast. Adley Rutschman was AL Rookie of the Year runner-up in 2022, Gunnar Henderson won the award in 2023, and now top prospect Jackson Holliday is one of the favorites to win in 2024. The Orioles still have the best farm system in baseball, according to The Athletic’s Keith Law, even after trading top-100 prospect Joey Ortiz and former top-100 prospect DL Hall to Milwaukee for former Cy Young Award winner Corbin Burnes.Total playoff years: 96CS, 97CS, 12DS, 14CS, 16WC, 23DSConsecutive 90-loss seasons8Last decade: 7 points (MLB rank: t-19th)The Blue Jays are one of a few teams toward the bottom of this list that would fare better if this exercise included the entire 1990s instead of starting in 1995. Toronto won back-to-back World Series titles in 1992 and 1993, but didn’t return to the playoffs for another 21 years. Though the Blue Jays have been a playoff team five times in the past nine seasons, including 2023, they’ve been swept in the Wild-Card Series in their last three tries. Even after failing to land a premier free agent this offseason, the Blue Jays have the bats, gloves and arms to be a division winner in 2024 — but so do three other teams in the AL East.Total playoff years: 15CS, 16CS, 20WC, 22WC, 23WCConsecutive 90-loss seasons 0Last decade: 10 points (MLB rank: 15th)The Rockies stayed in the same spot in the franchise rankings but were deducted a point for having back-to-back 90-loss seasons. They chased 94 losses in 2022 with 103 in 2023 — their first triple-digit loss total in franchise history. Todd Helton is a Hall of Famer, bringing back memories of the Rockies’ magical run to the 2007 World Series. The other bit of good news is that Nolan Jones could be a certified star in Colorado. But this doesn’t look like it’ll be the Rockies’ year to win their first division title. FanGraphs has their current playoff odds at 0.1 percent; their odds of winning the NL West, however, are 0.0 percent.Total playoff years: 95DS, 07WSL, 09DS, 17WC, 18DSConsecutive 90-loss seasons3Last decade: 1 point (MLB rank: t-26th)The Brewers won their division last season yet still have the same points total. What gives? Well, time for a mea culpa. In auditing and updating the franchise rankings spreadsheet last month, I discovered an error. From 2001 to 2004, the Brewers lost 94, 106, 94 and 94 games, respectively, so they should have been deducted three points. I had only deducted one. To Brewers fans: I regret the error, just as the Brewers surely regret that era. As The Athletic’s Tyler Kepner wrote recently, Milwaukee has not finished last in their division since 2004. The Brewers have never won a World Series and have only one pennant (1982), but they’re reliably solid in a small market. They are now without Corbin Burnes, but they still have plenty of talent on the roster, plus Law’s No. 2 farm system.Total playoff years: 08DS, 11CS, 18CS, 19WC, 20WC, 21DS, 23WCConsecutive 90-loss seasons3Last decade: 11 points (MLB rank: 14th)The Mariners had the pieces to be a playoff team again last season, having already exorcized demons in 2023 to end a two-decade postseason drought. But after getting hot in the second half Seattle stumbled in September and was eliminated from the playoffs with one game left in the season. On paper, they have one of the league’s best pitching staffs for 2024. The lineup still features Julio Rodríguez, Cal Raleigh and J.P. Crawford, but it has been overhauled with the additions of a new Mitch (Garver), an old Mitch (Haniger), Luke Raley and Jorge Polanco in hopes of getting more runs and fewer whiffs.Total playoff years: 95CS, 97DS, 00CS, 01CS, 22DSConsecutive 90-loss seasons2Last decade: 2 points (MLB rank: t-25th)Never let it be said that this franchise-ranking formula doesn’t punish teams that subject their fans to prolonged down cycles (see also: Brewers blurb). The Nats/Expos lost five points for consecutive 90-loss seasons in the 1990s and 2000s, which they more than made up for with five playoff seasons (and a World Series title) in the 2010s. But their current rebuild has cost them another two points. There were some positive signs last year, like Lane Thomas’ 20-20 season, CJ Abrams’ second half and the law firm of (Josiah) Gray and (MacKenzie) Gore figuring some things out. Next, we await the arrival of top prospects Dylan Crews, James Wood and Brady House.Total playoff years: 12DS, 14DS, 16DS, 17DS, 19WSConsecutive 90-loss seasons7Last decade: 16 points (MLB rank: 8th)I ended last year’s blurb this way: Unless Luis Arraez bats .400, offense will likely be an issue again in 2023. He flirted with .400 until July! Offense was indeed an issue, one the Marlins addressed by adding Josh Bell and Jake Burger at the trade deadline. Losing Cy Young Award winner Sandy…

#MLB #WildCard #Era #Franchise #Rankings #Rangers #break #top #Cubs #fall

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