Friday, May 20, 2016


As you might expect, the Minnesota Twins and the Atlanta Braves (who both started 0-9 and both completed the first quadrant of the 2016 season with 10-30 records) are very likely in for a long, long season.

We looked at the eleven other teams since 1901 to start the season with a 10-30 mark, and believe us when we say that the results are...ugly.

The average WPCT for these teams at the end of the season is .346.

Over 162 games, that translates to a 56-106 record.

The 1903 St. Louis Cardinals, the 1936 St. Louis Browns, and the 1987 and 1994 San Diego Padres all managed to lose less than 100 games. But those primordial Redbirds only played 137 games that season--and the 1994 Padres were spared due to Budzilla's Folly (aka the Players' Strike).

The most recent team to start the season 10-30, the 2013 Houston Astros, wound up at 51-111 for the full year. The 2006 Kansas City Royals came close to beating the 100-game barrier, but finished at 62-100.

Odds are great that both the Twins and the Braves are going to wind up north of 100 losses this season.

What team got off to the worst start? (Remember, we are talking 1901 to the present.) Why, the 1988 Baltimore Orioles, of course, who finished the first fourth of that year with a 6-34 mark...en route to a 54-107 season record.

Really bad teams do tend to get off to really bad starts--the 1928 Philadelphia Phillies and 1932 Boston Braves both began with 7-33 marks over their first 40 games, and their final records were virtually identical (43-109 and 43-111 respectively). The 1952 Pittsburgh Pirates went 8-32 at the outset, and wound up with a woeful 42-112 record at season's end. The 2003 Tigers were 9-31 in their first forty games, and cruised home to a 43-119 mark.

The only team close to the futility level of the 2016 Twins and Braves who went on go to the post-season? The 1914 "Miracle" Boston Braves, who began the year 12-27 but got hot in July and never looked back, pulling away for the NL pennant and going on to upset the heavily favored Philadelphia A's by sweeping them in the World Series.

Might we suggest that you don't hold your breath for this to happen with either of this year's slow-starting squads...