The 2015 MLB Season is about to enter its final two months, which means a heating up playoff race, serving us as a reminder to check upon the teams that haven’t made it in a very long time. Some of them, like the Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros, have a shot at rectifying that. Others, like the Miami Marlins and San Diego Padres, are going to be adding another year to their postseason drought.
Chicago Cubs – 6 Seasons
Will they make it back this season? Possibly. It’s going to be through the Wild Card, though, because they’re 11.5 games behind the Cardinals in the NL Central.
And the last six seasons? Bad. In 2009 the Cubs finished with an 83-79 record. That was the last time they were above .500, or won more than 75 games. But over the last four years there’s clear improvement in wins, talent and performance, and even if they miss the playoffs this time, it should be close. They haven’t won a playoff series since 2003, but just like the fact that they haven’t been too successful in picking up World Series titles for over a centruy, that specific year isn’t too fondly remembered.
Chicago White Sox – 6 Seasons
Will they make it back this season? Nope. They are 45-50, 12.5 games behind the lead in the AL Central, and behind too many teams in the hunt for a wild card spot.
And the last six seasons? Up and down most of the time. They have had two 80-win seasons during the drought (including 88 in 2010), but also the club’s worst season since 1970 when they won just 63 games in 2013. In short, nothing to brag about.
San Diego Padres – 8 Seasons
Will they make it back this season? Nope. They’re 46-52, which means 9.5 games behind the NL West lead and 7.5 games behind in the Wild Card race.
So what’s been going on? Losing, but not awful losing. They’ve won 76, 76 and 77 games over the last three seasons. That’s not getting them anywhere, but it could be more embarrassing. They did have a 90-win season in 2010 and won 89 games in 2007. They haven’t won a playoff series since 1998, when they lost the World Series to the Yankees (swept).
New York Mets – 8 Seasons
Making it this year? Not looking all that bad. They are three games behind in the NL East and 3.5 games behind in the Wild Card race.
And the past eight years? They were painfully close in 2007 and 2008, but since then it’s been mediocrity and worse, never getting past 79 wins.
Houston Astros – 9 Seasons
Will they actually make it in 2015? Possibly. Right now they’re one of the two AL teams that play in the Wild Card game, but they’re neck and neck with the Angels for the AL West crown.
And since 2005? Terrible. Basically decided to start from scratch, which meant three seasons of winning a total of 162 games (2011-2013) but last season was the beginning of some upward movement. The Astros switched leagues in 2013, leaving the NL central for the AL West. Their last playoff appearance (2005) got them to the World Series.
Miami Marlins – 11 Seasons
Will they make it this season? No. At 41-57, they’re no where near something that resembles a playoff berth.
And since 2003? The Marlins have been around since 1993. The two times they’ve made the playoffs it resulted in winning the World Series. In 2012 the team changed its name to the Miami Marlins after being Florida for all these years. A new stadium, new uniform, expensive franchise. But things fell apart quickly, and the star studded team sold for scraps. They’ve won 208 games in the 2012-2014 period.
Seattle Mariners – 13 Seasons
Making it this year? Nope. A hugely disappointing 45-53. Not in the division race, and not for a wild card berth.
So what’s been going on? In 2001, the Mariners won 116 games, but lost in the ALCS to the New York Yankees. They followed that up with two 93-win seasons that didn’t get them into the playoffs. In the last 11 seasons, they’ve finished above .500 only three times.
Toronto Blue Jays – 20 Seasons
This year? They’re 6.5 games behind the slightly fragile Yankees, and five games behind in the Wild Card standings. Tough, unlikely, but possible.
So what’s been going on? In 1992 and 1993, the Blue Jays won the world series. Since then, they haven’t had a single 90-win season, and have been hovering between “good, but not enough” to “pretty bad” without any clear signs of getting close to finally making that next step towards consistent success that eventually gets them somewhere.