Does Major League Baseball Have a Losing Problem?

Baseball has a problem. There is a clear divide between the top tier and the bottom tier. In the 2018 season, there are more teams on pace for 100 or more losses than there has ever been in the Modern Era of Baseball.

So far this season, as of May 18, there are seven teams that are on pace to lose at least 100 games this year. These teams include the Baltimore Orioles, Kansas City Royals, Miami Marlins, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Texas Rangers, and San Diego Padres.

Team Wins Losses On Pace For
Chicago White Sox 11 29 117
Baltimore Orioles 13 30 113
Kansas City Royals 13 30 113
Cincinnati Reds 15 29 107
Miami Marlins 16 27 102
Texas Rangers 17 28 101
San Diego Padres 17 28 101

This is more than double what has been the most 100+ loss teams in a single season. Since 1900 there have been a total of 9 seasons with three teams amassing at least 100 losses. Major League Baseball has not seen a season with three teams with 100+ losses since 2002. The other seasons, since 1900 that have seen three teams amass 100+ losses are 1908, 1912, 1954, 1961, 1962, 1964, 1965, and 1985.

The decade of the 1960’s had the highest percentage of teams with 100 or more losses. This is how the 1960’s looked for baseball.

Year Number of Teams with 100+ Losses
1960 0
1961 3
1962 3
1963 2
1964 3
1965 3
1966 1
1967 1
1968 0
1969 2

In contrast, the 1990’s were a decade with the least number of teams with 100 or more losses.

Year Number of Teams with 100+ Losses
1990 0
1991 1
1992 0
1993 2
1994 0*
1995 0
1996 1
1997 0
1998 1
1999 0

*1994 the season was shortened by the strike and only there were only 115 games played this season.

After doing the research for this, I have realized that if everything stays like they are this season there will be more teams this season to lose more than 100 games than there was in the entire 1990’s. Also from 2010-2017 there has been already seven teams to lose at least 100 games. These teams include the following teams.

Year Team Number of Losses
2010 Seattle Mariners 101
2010 Pittsburg Pirates 105
2011 Houston Astros 106
2012 Houston Astros 107
2012 Chicago Cubs 101
2013 Houston Astros 111
2016 Minnesota Twins 103

Something needs to be done to make these teams use their revenue sharing money to try to put a better product on the field. It is not fair for the fans, especially the ones of these teams that are putting a sub-par product on the field. These fans are paying for games at full price with the team putting out a half price product. If you want the game of baseball to thrive for a long time, it will be critical for all teams to be competitive. If the game can get back to the way it was in the 1990’s, I think a lot of fans will start to come back to the game.

I  will reopen this theory later in the season, most likely closer to the All Star Break to see if these teams are still on pace for at least 100 loses, and to see if there are any teams that have either left this list, or if there were teams that added to the list.

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