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    If there can be the best franchises, then there can be the worst, and MLB is not immune to this truth.

    Baseball is at the core of Americana. For more than a century, Americans have trekked to MLB diamonds to celebrate the summer tradition. Some of those fans have enjoyed plenty of wins and championships over the decades. Others have not.

    This article is about the second group, the MLB teams that have supplied their supporters with mostly maladies in their not-so-illustrious years of what can technically be referred to as baseball.

    Winning seasons? Occasionally. World Series runs? Rarely. World Series victories? You’ve come to the wrong place. This is Major League Baseball’s worst of the worst.

    All records as of May 6, 2023.

    MLB’s Worst Franchises

    5: Texas Rangers

    World Series titles: 0

    World Series appearances: 2 (Losses in 2010 and 2011)

    All-time record: 4,671-5,159 (.475)

    Playoff appearances: 8

    All-time playoff record: 21-31 (.404)

    Notable players: Adrian Beltre, Ivan Rodrigeuz, Rafael Palmeiro

    MLB replaced the departed Washington Senators (who moved to become the Minnesota Twins) with an expansion franchise under the same name in 1961. Ten years later, the second iteration of the Senators left as well, heading for Arlington to convert to the Texas Rangers.

    While in the nation’s capital, this franchise did nothing, recording one above-.500 regular season and appearing in zero playoffs. It took a while for much to change in Texas. It wasn’t until 1996 that this franchise finally showed up for its initial postseason, the first of three playoffs Texas made between that year and 1999. The Rangers didn’t win a series in any of those attempts.

    In 2010, Texas beat the Rays and Yankees to reach its first World Series, though that season marked the start of the Giants’ run of three titles in five tries. The Rangers got back again in 2011 and came so close to getting over the hump, holding a 3-2 lead over the Cardinals after a Game 5 victory, but an extra-inning heartbreaker in Game 6 and a Game 7 letdown continued their championship-less life.

    Those were the only years in which this franchise has ever won a playoff series, and it has missed the postseason in more than 87 percent of its all-time seasons. The Rangers have provided their fans with decades of negativity, and I’m repaying them with recognition for their discretion.

    4: San Diego Padres

    World Series titles: 0

    World Series appearances: 2 (Losses in 1984 and 1998)

    All-time record: 3,970-4,585 (.464)

    Playoff appearances: 7

    All-time playoff record: 20-32 (.387)

    Notable players: Tony Gwynn, Dave Winfield, Trevor Hoffman

    With two World Series failures instead of one, the Padres barely find themselves clinging to this spot on the list rather than somewhere even worse. Still, this is among the worst MLB franchises.

    San Diego started in 1969 and had just one regular season above-.500 prior to 1984, the season it made its first playoff appearance in franchise history and reached its inaugural World Series to boot. That ended in a 4-1 series defeat to the Tigers, and the Padres spent the next 11 years without a postseason.

    The Padres played in their other World Series in 1998 after overcoming the Astros in the NLDS and the Braves in the NLCS. Unfortunately, they then met the buzzsaw that was the late-90s Yankees, and a dream of a championship was swiftly swept away.

    Back-to-back playoffs in 2005 and 2006 both issued immediate exits, but recent postseason appearances have been more fruitful. The Padres won a series in 2020, and they rode a wild card bid to the NLCS in 2022. This is noteworthy solely because of how abysmal San Diego has been virtually forever. The team has succeeded in less than 39 percent of its playoff contests and has the second-worst regular season win percentage of any active MLB franchise. The Padres are historical basement dwellers.

    3: Milwaukee Brewers

    World Series titles: 0

    World Series appearances: 1 (Loss in 1982)

    All-time record: 4,143-4,406 (.485)

    Playoff appearances: 8

    All-time playoff record: 21-28 (.429)

    Notable players: Robin Yount, Paul Molitor, Ryan Braun

    The Brewers didn’t start in Milwaukee, in the National League, or with an alcohol-inspired motif. In 1969, this franchise was founded in the Pacific Northwest as the Seattle Pilots. After one season, the team went bankrupt, Bud Selig picked it up with help from the courts, and he moved the ballclub to Wisconsin’s biggest city, returning the sport to Milwaukee after the Braves headed out for Atlanta three years prior. In 1998, the franchise moved again, but not locations. This time, it switched leagues, leaving the American League to join the National League’s Central Division.

    Baseball has remained in Milwaukee thanks to Selig, but the city has been tremendously let down since. This version of MLB in Milwaukee has played in the World Series just once – in 1982 when it blew a 3-2 series lead to the Cardinals to throw away the best chance it has had at a championship. Otherwise, the Brewers have topped their division five times, appeared in eight postseasons, and won three playoff series ever in 55 total seasons.

    Excluding the World Series trip and playoff showing in 1981, the greatest period in Brewers history is contemporary. Milwaukee has reached six playoffs since 2008, tripling the output from its past four decades of existence, and qualified for four in a row from 2018 through 2022, uncharted territory for this success-starved squad. But in all of those postseason entrants, the Brewers triumphed in just two series, and this has them associated among the worst MLB franchises. To be a Brewers fan is not a pleasant experience.

    2: Colorado Rockies

    World Series titles: 0

    World Series appearances: 1 (Loss in 2007)

    All-time record: 2,212-2,515 (.468)

    Playoff appearances: 5

    All-time playoff record: 10-13 (.435)

    Notable players: Todd Helton, Larry Walker, Troy Tulowitzki

    Major League Baseball expanded to the Denver market in 1993, and the Colorado Rockies helped boost the league’s total members to 28. It’s been a mostly miserable existence for the franchise since, appearing in just one World Series, playing in five playoffs, and losing a lot of baseball games over the past three decades.

    The Rockies made the postseason in their third campaign and lost to the Braves, 3-1, in the NLDS. They didn’t get back for another 12 years, but they made it count when they did. Colorado swept the Phillies in the 2007 NLDS, then did the same to the Diamondbacks in the NLCS. Next, the Red Sox gave them a taste of their own medicine in the ultimate series, dishing a sweep back to Colorado to end what has remained by far the best season in the franchise’s history.

    Colorado has been to three playoffs since then – one disappointment in the NLWC in 2017 and two defeats in the NLDS, 3-1 to the Phillies in 2009 and 3-0 to the Brewers in 2018. The Rockies have mostly occupied the basement of the NL West, finishing in the bottom half of the division 19 times, which makes up more than 63 percent of their all-time completed seasons. So not only has Colorado seen something positive in the postseason really just the one time, but it has also produced a marvelous amount of regular-season sadness. The Rockies are one of the worst franchises MLB has to offer.

    1: Seattle Mariners

    World Series titles: 0

    World Series appearances: 0

    All-time record: 3,441-3,816 (.474)

    Playoff appearances: 5

    All-time playoff record: 16-22 (.421)

    Notable players: Ken Griffey Jr., Ichiro Suzuki, Edgar Martinez

    The Mariners are the worst franchise in MLB.

    None of the other 29 MLB franchises have failed to ever reach the World Series, let alone win one. Their crowning achievement is winning 116 games in the 2001 regular season and bowing out in the ALCS, 4-1. They’ve had 46 finished seasons to do something, anything, and they’ve done almost nothing at all.

    When Seattle made the playoffs in 2022, it was the team’s first appearance in the postseason since 2001, which was the longest active skid of its kind at the time. After the franchise was founded in 1977, it took 19 seasons until it played in the playoffs. The best period in Mariners history occurred from 1995 through 2001 to the tune of four playoff showings and three runs to the ALCS.

    Of this franchise’s 46 completed campaigns, it went below-.500 in 30 of them. That’s bad, and so is its overall win percentage of .474, but those stats aren’t as bad as a few other teams in Major League Baseball. However, even teams half the age of the Mariners have played in the World Series at some point at least once. It’s incredible for a franchise to be this futile for this long. That’s enough for the stink of the league’s worst franchise to stick with Seattle, at least until the Mariners figure out how to get beyond the ALCS.

    Dishonorable Mentions: Tampa Bay Rays, Washington Nationals, Los Angeles Angels

    The Rays are on the outside of the bottom five because of their relative youth, not because they’ve been juggernauts. Tampa Bay began play in 1998 and experienced 10 absolutely horrendous seasons to start off. Between 1998 and 2007, the Rays’ best regular season win total was 70. That’s part of why it was so shocking to see the team in the 2008 World Series, the first of two times the franchise came within four successes from supremacy. But in 2008 and 2020, Tampa Bay served as second fiddle, and it remains one of six MLB franchises operating today without a World Series victory.

    French Canada entered Major League Baseball via the Montreal Expos in 1969. While there, the franchise played in the playoffs once, won one series, and experienced 22 losing seasons. In 2005, the franchise crossed the border and transitioned into the Washington Nationals, bringing baseball back to D.C. after the Senators skipped town to become the Texas Rangers in 1971. The franchise has done much better in Washington than it did in Montreal, making the postseason in more than 27 percent of its completed seasons and achieving the only championship the franchise has claimed – the 2019 crown, which came through a dramatic turnaround in the World Series to erase a 3-2 series deficit to the Astros. That lone title is enough to keep this franchise away from the bottom five, but it’s not enough to help it escape a dishonorable mention. Outside of that season, this is not a winning outfit.

    The Angels also have a championship to their name. In 2002, Los Angeles also overcame a 3-2 series score in an all-California World Series against the Giants to reach the mountaintop. It was the franchise’s first and only appearance in the ultimate series since entering MLB in 1961. It has remained so now more than 20 years later, and 2002 represents one of only three playoffs in which the Angels have advanced at least one round out of the 10 postseason showings in their history. Currently, this franchise is tied with the Tigers for the longest active playoff drought in MLB. If not for 2002, the Angels would be chumming it up with the Mariners. Instead, they’re here in the dishonorable mentions, and the flashy ring that rests at their bedside makes drifting off to sleep a little bit easier than otherwise.

    MLB FAQs

    How do you play baseball survivor pool?

    In a MLB Survivor pool, players pick one MLB team every week that they think will win. Each team can only be picked one time per season. A player survives to the next week if their chosen team wins at least half of its games that week. Administrators can select how many incorrect picks (strikes) before a player is eliminated.

    What is a baseball survivor pool?

    In a MLB Survivor pool, players choose one pro team each week that they believe will win. They may only pick a team once per season. If their selected team wins 50% or more of its games for that week they survive until the next week. Pool commissioners may select how many 'strikes' (incorrect picks) before a player is eliminated.

    What is a 13-run baseball pool?

    A 13 Run Baseball pool is a simple but fun pool for Pro Baseball. Each member (maximum of 30) is assigned a professional team. The goal is to be the first member to have their team score every number of runs, from 0 to 13. In some pools the number of runs can be changed to be from 6 to 13.

    What are MLB props?

    Each game, MLB players have certain prop lines that are assigned to them. These can be for base hits, strikeouts, walks, and other stats. For example, Mike Trout could have a line of over 1.5 base hits for a game. If he has 2 base hits that game, his prop would go over.


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