Detroit Tigers' division rival might be the worst MLB team in modern history

The AL Central is going to have a very deep cellar this year
Mar 31, 2024; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Detroit Tigers right fielder Matt Vierling (8) scores against
Mar 31, 2024; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Detroit Tigers right fielder Matt Vierling (8) scores against / Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Tigers fans know a thing or two about being really bad. During the rebuild, the team lost 114 games in 2019 for one of the worst seasons in MLB history. And that's not even as bad as they were in the past. In 2003, the Tigers narrowly avoided posting the worst season ever when they lost 119 games.

That fate is still owned by the 1962 Mets, who went 40-120 for a .250 winning percentage for the worst team in the modern era, defined as 1901 through now. Still, the Tigers can lay claim to the dubious honor of being the worst American League team in the modern era.

They were hide-your-face-at-the-game bad and bury-your-Tigers-hat-deep-in-the-back-of-your-closet bad. But those teams might just have a little company from elsewhere in the Midwest by the time the 2024 season is over.

Chicago White Sox are on pace to be one of the worst teams ever

The White Sox are awful. Chicago is on pace to be the worst team in MLB history. Through the first 16 games of their season, they've won just two. That's a .125 winning percentage. That's the equivalent of going 20-142. That's really bad.

Still, it's hard to be that bad all season long. FanGraphs' Dan Szymborski pointed out there's a 3.5% chance they'll lose at least 120.

That still gives them a 96.5% chance they won't lose 120. The Fangraphs' projected standings only have them losing 101. So maybe things could be worse on the South Side if they play closer to expectations.

If you're wondering: The White Sox have lost 100-plus games five times in franchise history, the most recent time being 101 last season. They lost 102 in 1932 and 106 in 1970, so there's still a good chance this team could be the worst in franchise history.

As of Tuesday morning, the Sox have posted a -53 run differential. That's 17 runs worse than the next-worst team (Miami at -36).

The White Sox are batting .196 with a .568 OPS. They're dead last in home runs in MLB, with four fewer than the next-closest team.

They're slightly better on the mound to their credit, ranking 25th in ERA (4.78) and WHIP (1.44).

Things may not be getting any better for them any time soon either. Their farm system isn't exactly something to look forward to either, as it ranks 20th in MLB Pipeline's rankings and they have just two players in the top 100 (though to their credit shortstop Colson Montgomery ranks ninth.)

It wasn't long ago fans and analysts spoke of the championship window the White Sox were seemingly opening. With a ton of talent, they were supposed to be the class of the American League Central.

Now instead, the Royals are on the upswing, the Guardians remain a contender, and with a plethora of young talent the Tigers are definitely in the conversation if they can find a way to score some more runs in the near future.

It's a tough time to be a Sox fan, indeed.

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