ARE THE ROYALS
THE WORST TEAM IN MAJOR LEAGUE HISTORY? Kansas City is on its way to becoming
the first nonexpansion team since the 1952-54 Pirates to lose 100 games for
three straight years, and a simple projection of the Royals' 10-31 record
through Sunday (.244 winning percentage) puts them on track to finish 40-122,
two losses worse than the 1962 Mets' post-1900 standard for futility. But the
Pythagenport formula ( Baseball Prospectus's refined version of Bill James's
Pythagorean formula), which projects a team's record based on its ratio of runs
scored to runs allowed, reveals that Kansas City is not quite as bad as its
record: Despite ranking last in the majors in runs scored (154) and runs
allowed (251), K.C.'s winning percentage should be about .280. If the Royals
play .280 ball for the rest of the season, they'll finish with 118 losses,
which wouldn't even match the 2003 Tigers' AL record of 119.
? More from Tom
Verducci and Baseball Prospectus at SI.com/baseball.