The 2013 MLB regular season is coming to a close, as countless teams prepare to take part in their final games. As we approach the end, the American League wild-card race is still up for grabs, and countless teams are fighting for position.
The question is, where does every team stand entering the playoff stretch?
30. Houston Astros (51-108)
The Houston Astros are currently 51-108, good for the worst record in all of Major League Baseball. As the season winds down, Houston has lost 12 consecutive games and is transferring the failure it experienced in the National League into the American League West.
Houston currently ranks 23rd in runs produced, 26th in batting average, 29th in on-base percentage and 23rd in slugging percentage. It gets worse on the mound, where Houston is dead last in ERA and WHIP, and ranks 28th in opponent batting average.
Plain and simple, the Astros are the worst team in baseball.
29. Miami Marlins (59-100)
The Astros are the worst team in MLB, but the Miami Marlins are at the bottom of the National League, at 58-100. Despite possessing two young phenom players, Jose Fernandez and Giancarlo Stanton, the Marlins have done nothing to surround said athletes with the proper support.
Miami is the worst hitting team in the league, ranking dead last in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage and runs produced. The pitching has been of a respectable quality, but of players with at least 300 at-bats, no Marlin is hitting better than .257.
At least Fernandez is 12-6 with a 2.19 ERA and 187 strikeouts.
28. Chicago White Sox (62-96)
The Chicago White Sox have been surprisingly bad in 2013, resting at 62-96 and remaining in danger of a 100-loss season. It's been so bad in Chicago that, despite posting a 2.97 ERA, Chris Sale is currently 11-13 after his most recent outing, a 7.2-inning shutout, ended in a no decision.
The source of Chicago's issues can be found in the batting lineup, where the White Sox rank 26th in slugging percentage, 27th in on-base percentage and 28th in runs scored. Despite the fact that Adam Dunn has 32 home runs, the White Sox rank 21st as a team in long balls.
It's been a season to forget in Chicago.
27. Minnesota Twins (66-92)
The Minnesota Twins are 29th in run differential at minus-159, settling in at a full 21 more runs than No. 28 Miami. That's a major reason Minnesota is 66-92, as it has been bad both at the plate and on the mound.
Minnesota ranks 28th in WHIP, 29th in ERA and 30th in both opponent batting average and quality starts. The Twins are also 25th in batting average, which is especially puzzling, considering catcher Joe Mauer played in 114 games and hit .324.
Minnesota has lacked a reliable pitching rotation since Johan Santana left, and it seems as if everything is falling apart. It's like a rebuilding stage without the building.
26. Chicago Cubs (66-93)
The Chicago Cubs have a rising star at first base in Anthony Rizzo and an all-around stud at shortstop with Starlin Castro. Both of those players have struggled in 2013, as Chicago lacks any form of support in the batting lineup to help create easier at-bats.
As a result, the Cubs rank 27th in runs scored, 28th in batting average and 28th in on-base percentage. The pitching staff is ninth in quality starts and seventh in opponent batting average, but has still managed to check in at No. 21 in ERA.
It has been yet another weird season in Chicago.
25. Seattle Mariners (69-89)
At this point, we don't even need to tell you how bad the Seattle Mariners have been. Seattle hasn't reached the playoffs since 2001 and has put together just two winning seasons since 2003.
2013 has been especially puzzling, as Seattle ranks 27th in ERA, 19th in quality starts and 24th in opponent batting average. With Felix Hernandez going 12-9 with a 2.99 ERA and Hisashi Iwakuma at 13-6 with an ERA of 2.76, the numbers just don't add up.
It's time for Seattle to begin to value depth.
24. Milwaukee Brewers (71-87)
The Milwaukee Brewers are closing the season out on a high note, going 6-4 during their most recent 10 games. Prior to this point, however, Milwaukee has been engulfed in a season of controversy and disappointment.
Milwaukee is 37-44 on its home field and 33-43 on the road, which displays the balance of this team's struggles. The pitching staff displayed signs of life with Kyle Lohse joining the squad, but nothing consistent ever came about.
2013 can't end soon enough for the organization that was betrayed by Ryan Braun.
23. San Francisco Giants (72-85)
The San Francisco Giants have been the biggest disappointment of the 2013 MLB regular season, and it isn't even close. Say what you will about teams with bigger pay rolls who may have fallen apart, but the Giants went from World Series champions to well below .500.
Shockingly, the Giants' struggles have been a result of the collapse of the pitching staff. Matt Cain is 8-10 with a 4.00 ERA, Tim Lincecum is 10-14 with a 4.44 ERA and Ryan Vogelsong is 6-3 with a 5.90 ERA for San Francisco.
When three of a team's biggest stars simultaneously self-destruct, failure is imminent.
22. Philadelphia Phillies (72-86)
The Philadelphia Phillies have posted an atrocious run differential of minus-125, which makes one wonder how they're not worse than 72-86. Your answer is in the fact that Philadelphia has done what many this low on the list haven't: protect its home field.
The Phillies are 43-38 at Citizens Bank Park, but have gone just 29-48 away from home. Despite ranking ninth in quality starts, Philadelphia still finished 26th in ERA and WHIP and 27th in opponent batting average.
Cliff Lee has reminded everyone that he's still one of the best with marks of 14-7 on a 2.93 ERA, but the support just hasn't been there.
21. Toronto Blue Jays (72-86)
The Toronto Blue Jays entered the 2013 MLB regular season as a trendy pick to win the American League East. With big-name additions such as R.A. Dickey, Mark Buehrle, Jose Reyes and Melky Cabrera, the Jays seemed destined for the postseason.
That hasn't been the case, as Toronto has translated a stellar roster into a 72-86 record. Edwin Encarnacion is having a magnificent season, but injuries have struck key players, and Toronto just hasn't been able to string together consistent victories.
Maybe next year.
20. Colorado Rockies (72-87)
The Colorado Rockies are above other teams with similar records due to the fact that they've gone 45-36 at home. Unfortunately, anyone who's willing to do the math will see that the Rockies are also 27-51 on the road.
Colorado continues to hit the ball well, ranking third in batting average, fourth in slugging percentage and eighth in runs scored. The Rockies also stayed true to form by ranking 28th in ERA and quality starts and 29th in WHIP and opponent batting average.
Until the Rockies can win away from home, they'll always be known as the team who benefits more from the altitude than the ability.
19. San Diego Padres (73-84)
The San Diego Padres are 43-36 at home, proving that the advantage at Petco Park still exists. The Padres are also 30-48 away from home and have one of the most dismal hitting teams in all of professional baseball.
The Padres are currently 24th in batting average, 26th in on-base percentage, 28th in slugging percentage and 29th in runs scored. For perspective, the team leaders in RBI are Jedd Gyorko and Will Venable at 53.
Sadly, we shouldn't be surprised.
18. New York Mets (73-85)
The New York Mets are currently 73-85 with a record of 32-45 at home and 41-40 on the road. The Mets have been quite underwhelming at home, but the fact that the Mets have been proverbial road warriors is beyond encouraging.
Matt Harvey's health will determine how far this team goes in the future, but the key for New York is developing its hitters. In 2013, the Mets rank 21st in runs, 24th in on-base percentage, 27th in batting average and 29th in slugging percentage.
The Mets may have promise along the pitching staff, but until the batting lineup receives a dramatic upgrade, New York will continue to struggle.
17. Arizona Diamondbacks (80-77)
The Arizona Diamondbacks are one win away from clinching a season with a record of .500, at worst. To reach that point, Arizona has gone 44-34 at home and 36-43 on the road en route to an 80-77 overall record.
The Diamondbacks have been led by young stars, with Paul Goldschmidt hitting 36 home runs and 124 RBI on .304 hitting, and Patrick Corbin going 14-7 with a 3.28 ERA. Arizona ranks eighth in batting average and ninth in on-base percentage.
It's been a good season, just not good enough.
16. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (78-80)
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim started slowly, falling all the way to 55-71 and thus being eliminated from postseason contention. Since then, the Angels have gone 23-9 and reminded everyone of the upside that's present and undeniable.
Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo have led the turnaround and propelled the Angels to rankings of fifth in on-base percentage and sixth in runs, batting average and slugging percentage. The pitching staff was banged up and inconsistent, but let's not pretend we haven't heard this story before.
The Los Angeles Dodgers closed out the 2012 season in a similar manner and ended up winning AL West in 2013.
15. Baltimore Orioles (82-76)
The Baltimore Orioles were an 81-70 team that was primed and ready to make a push for the MLB postseason. Unfortunately, the Orioles lost six games in a row and are no longer in contention for the playoffs.
Baltimore finished the season as one of the best hitting teams in baseball, ranking third in slugging percentage and fifth in batting average. Chris Davis has a league-high 52 home runs and 136 RBI, while Adam Jones quietly has 32 home runs and 106 RBI.
Unfortunately, it wasn't to be in 2013, as Baltimore suffered late-season injuries and missed out on the opportunity to reach the playoffs.
14. New York Yankees (82-76)
The New York Yankees have overachieved in 2013, and while they may not be in contention for the World Series, have reason to be encouraged. Despite playing a majority of the season without Derek Jeter or Alex Rodriguez, the Yankees have topped 80 wins.
The most impressive aspect of New York's success is that they've won games while being statistically average across the board. The Yankees ranked no better than 16th in any major hitting or pitching category and overcame the worst season of CC Sabathia's career.
It's been a strange year in New York, but a record above .500 is something to build upon.
13. Washington Nationals (84-75)
The Washington Nationals are currently 84-75 with a record of 47-34 at home and 37-41 on the road. Just as the Nationals began to storm back and become a postseason contender, however, the Nationals fell victim to a losing streak.
The Nationals continue to pitch well, with Jordan Zimmerman posting a National League-best 19 wins on an ERA of 3.25. With Gio Gonzalez and Stephen Strasburg both pitching well, Washington managed to overcome an oddly slow start.
It isn't the ideal result, but Washington flashed its potential.
12. Kansas City Royals (83-74)
The Kansas City Royals have secured their first winning season since 2003, when Angel Berroa won Rookie of the Year. To do so, the Royals have been very balanced, going 44-37 at home and 39-37 on the road.
The key for the Royals has been contact hitting, ranking ninth in batting average, and pitching, placing fifth in ERA and quality starts. Eric Hosmer has led the way with a .304 batting average, and both Ervin Santana and James Shields posted excellent first seasons with Kansas City.
A postseason berth may have been the goal, but topping .500 is a major step in the right direction for the Royals.
11. Texas Rangers (87-71)
The Texas Rangers are in danger of missing the MLB playoffs for the first time since 2009. At 87-71, the Rangers are one game behind the Cleveland Indians and two behind the Tampa Bay Rays in the wild-card hunt.
Texas has posted excellent team statistics, but the major flaw is with its ranking of 25th in quality starts. Yu Darvish is a Cy Young award candidate, and Derek Holland has been very good, but three players with at least 12 starts have an ERA of 4.56 or worse.
The Rangers aren't eliminated yet, but they need some help to make the playoffs in 2013.
10. Cleveland Indians (88-70)
The Cleveland Indians are in control of their own destiny at 88-70, owning a one-game lead over the Rangers in the wild-card race. In the midst of a five-game winning streak, the Indians certainly have reason for confidence.
The Indians have used a balanced attack offensively to create runs, with star second baseman Jason Kipnis leading the charge with 17 home runs and 81 RBI. The true story of the season for Cleveland, however, has been the career turnarounds for players such as Ubaldo Jimenez and Justin Masterson.
If the Indians can close out, watch out—this team is managed by two-time World Series champion Terry Francona.
9. Tampa Bay Rays (89-69)
The Tampa Bay Rays own the edge in the first wild-card spot at 89-69, going 51-30 at home and 38-39 on the road. Tampa has won five straight and is one of the most balanced teams in baseball with a reliable batting lineup and pitching staff.
David Price and Matt Moore have led the pitchers to ranks of No. 3 in opponent batting average and No. 4 in WHIP. Evan Longoria and James Loney have helped the Rays reach No. 4 in on-base percentage, which is the story of this team's success.
Tampa Bay doesn't play sexy baseball, but it grinds out wins against the best in the league.
8. Cincinnati Reds (90-69)
With the season winding down, the Cincinnati Reds trail the Pittsburgh Pirates by just one game in the race for the NL wild-card race. Just as the Reds were able to gain ground, however, they went on a two-game losing streak.
Even still, Cincinnati is in the playoffs again and is quietly putting together one of the best seasons in the major leagues. The Reds are the best in MLB in both opponent batting average and WHIP and rank fourth in quality starts and ERA.
With Aroldis Chapman dominating as a closer and Joey Votto leading a potent lineup, the Reds are World Series contenders.
7. Pittsburgh Pirates (91-68)
The Pittsburgh Pirates have been the feel-good story of the 2013 MLB regular season. The Pirates have clinched their first postseason berth since 1992, when Barry Bonds won league MVP and Jim Leyland picked up Manager of the Year.
The Pirates have done all of this by turning some of the most inconsistent pitchers in baseball into a top five pitching staff. For perspective, Francisco Liriano has 16 wins with a 3.02 ERA and A.J. Burnett has a 3.39 ERA.
Pittsburgh may be in the midst of an inspiring turnaround, but don't think for a second that this team is anything less than a contender.
6. Los Angeles Dodgers (91-66)
The Los Angeles Dodgers were once a 30-42 club with no sight of the postseason and more criticism than praise. Now, the Dodgers have gone 61-24 during their past 85 games and become one of the best teams in baseball.
The Dodgers have gone 46-32 record at home and 45-34 on the road, using their starting pitching to take over games. Clayton Kershaw has led the charge with a 15-9 record with a 1.88 ERA and 224 strikeouts, making his case for his second career Cy Young award.
Regardless of what the Dodgers' final record is, they're one of the best teams in baseball.
5. Detroit Tigers (93-66)
The Detroit Tigers are 93-66 with an elite pitching staff and an explosive batting lineup. They're moving in on securing the AL Central title and have a record of 51-30 at home and 42-36 on the road.
The Tigers are first in MLB in batting average and on-base percentage and second in runs and slugging percentage. The Tigers also top the league in quality starts and rank in the Top 10 in WHIP and ERA.
Good luck slowing down Miguel Cabrera, Max Scherzer and company.
4. Oakland Athletics (94-65)
The Oakland Athletics are continuing to defy the odds, winning the AL West title with a relatively star-less roster. Oakland has gone 52-29 at home, 42-36 on the road and have used nothing less than extraordinary balance in reaching this plateau.
The Athletics are third in WHIP, fifth in opponent batting average and seventh in both ERA and quality starts. Oakland is also fourth in runs scored, fifth in slugging percentage and eighth in on-base percentage.
It's never spectacular, but Oakland always finds a way.
3. St. Louis Cardinals (94-65)
The St. Louis Cardinals are currently 94-65 and in possession of the lead in the NL Central. St. Louis has gone 51-27 at home and 43-38 on the road, experiencing success at every venue they've played at.
The Cardinals' offense is ranked No. 3 in runs scored and on-base percentage, also placing fourth in batting average. The Cardinals are also sixth in ERA and ninth in WHIP, with Adam Wainwright back to his Cy Young award-contending self.
Should we expect anything less from the Cards?
2. Atlanta Braves (93-65)
The Atlanta Braves have won the NL East for the first time since 2005. The Braves are 93-64 with a 53-24 record at home and a 40-41 road record.
It's been a throwback performance for the Braves, who rank No. 1 in ERA, second in quality starts and WHIP and fourth in opponent batting average. Kris Medlen has had another strong season, Julio Teheran has been a revelation and Mike Minor has been dominant.
One way or another, the Braves have pitched their way to the postseason.
1. Boston Red Sox (96-63)
In 2012, Bobby Valentine led the Boston Red Sox to a record of 69-93. One year later, the Red Sox are 96-63 and dominating MLB with some of the same players who have helped lead the team to two World Series titles since 2004.
The Red Sox have been sensational with the bats, ranking No. 1 in runs scored and slugging percentage. Boston is also No. 2 in batting average and on-base percentage and ranks No. 3 in quality starts and eighth in opponent batting average.
The Bo Sox are back, ladies and gentlemen, and John Farrell has them looking like a World Series title contender.
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