In Chicago, they call this “The Nightmare Scenario.”
In Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Cleveland (and possibly even on the South Side of Chicago), however, it would be like rain in the desert, buffalo wings at vegan camp, or me making friends in high school.
In other words, something that’s just not gonna happen – even if there’s technically a chance.
If you can’t tell by the title, I’m talking about the two teeny, tiny, minuscule-but-technically-possible outcomes wherein the 2017 Chicago Cubs win just 65 games the whole season. Just writing that makes me shiver.
But don’t worry, it’s totally not going to happen … probably.
Today, Sam Miller of ESPN took a look at some of MLB’s potential alternative timelines based on thousands of simulations, and numbers 1,111 and 4,137 revealed that there exists at least two simulated seasons out of 5,000 in which the reigning World Series Champion Chicago Cubs win just 65 games.
The darkest timeline, indeed.
In timeline 1,111, the Chicago Cubs lose the division to the St. Louis Cardinals … who would also finish under .500. Yeah, that dimension is particularly weird. Five teams under .500 in the NL Central and the Cardinals take the division with a losing record. It’s not completely inconceivable, though: they managed to reach the postseason with an 83-78 record in 2006.
And a year earlier, the Padres squeaked in with an 82-80 record. So, you know, it’s been close to happening.
But if you think that scenario is unbelievable, wait until you get a load of No. 4,137. In that simulation, the Chicago Cubs once again win just 65 games, but the division goes to the … Cincinnati Reds.
Not only would the Reds take the division, they’d also lead the Cubs by twenty (20!) games. Given that most systems project the Reds to be the worst or second to worse team in the entire league, I’d say that’s pretty unlikely …. But still, it’s not impossible! You can read more about your nightmare coming true at ESPN.com.
Oh! And happy Tuesday!