Ranking the most miserable fan bases in MLB

You have to have an unlimited sense of humor to support the Padres. Jake Roth/USA TODAY Sports

Which MLB fan bases have it the worst right now? It's a question that the Sports Misery Index tackled when it originally came out in September 2018. This update has factored in the unbelievable championship run of the Washington Nationals, who became the first team to win four road games in a World Series. The Nationals obviously plummeted, leaving several fan bases in their wake and feeling downtrodden.

The Index takes into account five factors: championships, playoff berths, playoff wins, heartbreaks and rival comparison, with recent events being weighted more than events that took place decades ago. We also have a misery bonus for teams that have gone 25-plus seasons without a championship, which is something the Nats truly don't have to worry about. You can read more on the categories in the cross-sport story, but we'll identify how each MLB team rates in each category.

1. San Diego Padres

MLB movement: Even

Total score: 26.51
All-sport rank: 3 (down 1)
Ranking by category: championships, 2 (tie); playoff berths, 2; playoff wins, 1; heartbreaks, 23; rival comparison, 2

Why they stayed the same: Because once again, the Padres finished in last place in the NL West. Despite an infusion of talent via the minors (Fernando Tatis Jr.) and free agency (Manny Machado), a late swoon put them in their familiar place in the cellar. The Padres missed the playoffs for the 13th year in a row and haven't won a playoff series since the 1998 NLCS. The waiting game continues despite their recent aggressiveness.

Moving forward: The Padres actually dropped in the overall standings due to a) their incremental improvement and b) the Dodgers not making the World Series for once. While they aren't quite ready to truly take on their Southern California NL West rivals, the Padres hope their building will bear a little more fruit this season.

2. Baltimore Orioles

MLB movement: Up 4

Total score: 22.23
All-sport rank: 8 (up 11)
Ranking by category: championships, 12; playoff berths, 11; playoff wins, 11; heartbreaks, 15; rival comparison, 1

Why they moved up: Losing a combined 223 games the past two seasons isn't great, nor is not winning (or going to) a World Series in 36 years. But no, the Orioles have rocketed up the misery standings because they are completely out of bragging rights. With the nearby Nationals not only winning their first postseason series but also a World Series title, Baltimore fans now have to hang their head in shame around all their rivals.

Moving forward: As surprising as it is, the Orioles actually made a seven-game improvement from 2018, going from 47 to 54 wins. This team is still years away from contending, though, and incremental progress pales in comparison to watching their hated enemies hoist the past two World Series trophies. There's the Yankees, too.

3. Cincinnati Reds

MLB movement: Down 1

Total score: 20.32
All-sport rank: 11 (down 2)
Ranking by category: championships, 10; playoff berths, 5; playoff wins, 2; heartbreaks, 16; rival comparison, 7

Why they moved down: The Reds didn't actually stink that bad last season. The Reds had more than 70 wins for the first time since 2014, finishing 75-87, and didn't have to deal with the cross-state rival Indians making the playoffs again. Does that make up for not winning a World Series since 1990, not prevailing in a playoff series since 1995 (the longest streak in baseball) or not making the postseason since 2013? No, but it certainly could be worse.

Moving forward: The improvement the Reds saw this season isn't necessarily empty or fleeting, as Cincinnati has accumulated young talent in its farm system and has recently become aggressive in bringing in veterans such as Trevor Bauer. Don't be surprised if the Reds move above .500 and even compete for a playoff berth.

4. Chicago White Sox

MLB movement: Down 1

Total score: 19.83
All-sport rank: 13 (down 2)
Ranking by category: championships, 18; playoff berths, 1; playoff wins, 8; heartbreaks, 29; rival comparison, 4

Why they moved down: Pretty much the same reason the Reds did -- the Pale Hose showed improvement with a developing young team, and their rivals didn't do as well as they have recently. While Chicago's 72-90 record this year wasn't remarkable, it was a 10-game uptick from a 100-loss 2018 season. The White Sox are starting to add veteran talent to their young corps and, for once, didn't have to deal with grief from Cubs fans, as the North Siders missed the playoffs for the first time in five years.

Moving forward: Will 2020 be the year the White Sox break a playoff drought that's lasted since 2008 and make the playoffs for the 10th time in the World Series era? Signs likely point to no, but it's not as absurd a concept as it usually is. If they can get similar to slightly better improvement, the White Sox will be in the playoff hunt.

5. Seattle Mariners

MLB movement: Down 1

Total score: 19.74
All-sport rank: 14 (down 1)
Ranking by category: championships, 6; playoff berths, 3; playoff wins, 5; heartbreaks, 27; rival comparison, 12

Why they moved down: It certainly wasn't due to the on-field product, as the Mariners parted ways with most of their veterans to embark on a long rebuilding process. Seattle virtually has the same misery score that it did this time last year, as the Mariners missed the playoffs for the 18th straight season, the longest streak in the four major North American sports leagues. If it weren't for the Orioles, the Mariners would be in worse position. Either way, it's not fun to be an M's fan.

Moving forward: Unlike the Reds and White Sox above, the Mariners are in the very early stages of a rebuild. Therefore, it's much more likely that Seattle rises in the misery list than falls in the next couple of years. M's fans might be best served watching ESPN Classic replays of Game 5 of the 1995 ALDS against the Yankees for a while.

6. Milwaukee Brewers

MLB movement: Down 1

Total score: 18.98
All-sport rank: 16 (down 1)
Ranking by category: championships, 4; playoff berths, 16; playoff wins, 13; heartbreaks, 7; rival comparison, 8

Why they moved down: The Brewers made the playoffs back-to-back years for the second time in franchise history, so they were bound to fall. But considering that fact, they shouldn't be in the top 25 at all, right? Well, Milwaukee blew a 3-0 lead in the wild-card game with the Nationals, culminated by Josh Hader blowing a save after Trent Grisham made a disastrous error in right field in the bottom of the eighth. The Nats went on to win the World Series; the Brewers saw their heartbreak score spike.

Moving forward: Two playoff seasons in a row, two brutal beats to end promising campaigns. Brewers fans know the rarity of these situations, as Milwaukee has never made three consecutive playoff appearances. So while they have NL MVP Christian Yelich, the Brew Crew has to wonder if they've already squandered their opportunity for greatness.

7. Texas Rangers

MLB movement: Even

Total score: 18.51
All-sport rank: 17 (up 4)
Ranking by category: championships, 5; playoff berths, 17; playoff wins, 16; heartbreaks, 4; rival comparison, 10

Why they stayed the same: The Rangers moved up in the overall standings, but it could have been worse, as the rival Astros fell one game short of winning the World Series. That would have just piled on the misery to a résumé that's already full of angst -- back-to-back World Series losses earlier this decade, a couple gut-punch losses to the Blue Jays in the middle of the decade and three consecutive losing seasons at the moment.

Moving forward: The Rangers played well for a while this season, thanks to a breakout year by Joey Gallo, giving them some hope going into next season. But the main thing to be excited about (besides Corey Kluber) is a new stadium with a retractable roof. So even if Texas struggles again this season, as least its fans won't be adding oppressive heat to their frustration.

8. Los Angeles Angels

MLB movement: Up 5

Total score: 17.23
All-sport rank: 22 (up 10)
Ranking by category: championships, 20; playoff berths, 7; playoff wins, 10; heartbreaks, 19; rival comparison, 5

Why they moved up: Even though the rival Dodgers made the playoffs again, Angels angst is based way more on what has been a lost decade. The Angels were one of the best teams in baseball in the 2000s, capped by a championship in 2002, but the 2010s were brutal. The Angels have missed the playoffs the last five seasons and nine out of the last 10. Not only has L.A. not won a playoff series since 2009, the Angels haven't even won a playoff game. So yeah, the move-up was inevitable.

Moving forward: While getting to watch Mike Trout is pretty awesome, the fact that the Angels are ruining his prime by being an also-ran makes the Trout era pretty unfulfilling. Perhaps hiring Joe Maddon, the guy who won a World Series with the Cubs, and signing Anthony Rendon will be what breaks the Halos out of their funk.

9. Pittsburgh Pirates

MLB movement: Down 1

Total score: 16.88
All-sport rank: 25 (down 1)
Ranking by category: championships, 7; playoff berths, 10; playoff wins, 7; heartbreaks, 12; rival comparison, 16

Why they moved down: It was a typically disappointing Pirates season, as Pittsburgh fell apart after the All-Star break to miss the playoffs for the fourth straight year and was below .500 for the 23rd time in the past 27 seasons. But even though the season stunk (and the Austin Meadows and Tyler Glasnow for Chris Archer trade got worse), at least the Pirates' rivals didn't accomplish that much either. That's enough to fall in misery, albeit slightly.

Moving forward: Except for a three-year stretch from 2013 to '15, Pirates baseball has been a study in frustration since Barry Bonds left after the 1992 season. That doesn't seem to be changing anytime soon, especially in an NL Central that's become much tougher to navigate the last couple of years. At least PNC Park is pretty nice.

10. Miami Marlins

MLB movement: Up 2

Total score: 16.2
All-sport rank: 28 (up 3)
Ranking by category: championships, 22; playoff berths, 4; playoff wins, 9; heartbreaks, 30; rival comparison, 11

Why they moved up: Because they're dealing with another massive rebuild, and, quite frankly, it's getting old. The Marlins had the worst record in the National League by far and do not seem close to competing for the postseason. They've only made the postseason twice in franchise history, and the fact that they won the World Series in both of those appearances is the only reason they aren't in the top 25. But now the Marlins are at 16 years and counting since their last title.

Moving forward: Seeing former Marlins win MVPs (cough, Christian Yelich) and succeed all over the majors leaves a bad taste, especially since Miami is near rock bottom for the umpteenth time. Add that to the upward trend of the rival Rays and Braves and it's safe to say that the misery in Miami isn't going to be reversed anytime soon.

11. Toronto Blue Jays

MLB movement: Down 1

Total score: 15.7
All-sport rank: 29 (down 2)
Ranking by category: championships, 15 (tie); playoff berths, 12; playoff wins, 21; heartbreaks, 28; rival comparison, 3

Why they moved down: The Blue Jays mostly moved down because other teams (Angels and Marlins) shot past them, because this season wasn't a good one in Toronto. The Blue Jays lost more than 90 games for the first time since 2004 and are now three years removed from their last playoff appearance. The minirun from 2015-16 is long past over, as the Blue Jays find themselves nearly starting from scratch.

Moving forward: The baseball should be pretty bad for a few more years, but the Blue Jays have young players with some pretty outstanding bloodlines. They have two sons of Hall of Famers in Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (Vladimir Guerrero) and Cavan Biggio (Craig Biggio) along with Bo Bichette, the offspring of longtime Rockies star Dante Bichette. That will help Blue Jays fans cope with the pains of rebuilding.

12. New York Mets

MLB movement: Down 1

Total score: 15.63
All-sport rank: 31 (down 1)
Ranking by category: championships, 9; playoff berths, 13; playoff wins, 20; heartbreaks, 9; rival comparison, 13

Why they moved down: The Mets spent their third straight season out of the postseason, but at least they didn't have to deal with the Yankees and Braves making long playoff runs. New York also got a bit of a shot in the arm from its play the final two months, as it went from well below .500 to being a factor in the wild-card race before falling short. If the Mets could keep their starting pitchers healthy for an entire season, they might have a stew going.

Moving forward: Can the Mets carry over their late momentum and make a real run at the playoffs in 2020? The answer to that question, as always with this team, depends on health, because there's talent to contend in the rotation (Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Marcus Stroman, etc.), and Pete Alonso has the power-hitting ability that can carry teams for weeks at a time.

13. Colorado Rockies

MLB movement: Up 5

Total score: 15.13
All-sport rank: 32 (up 9)
Ranking by category: championships, 13; playoff berths, 15; playoff wins, 12; heartbreaks, 18; rival comparison, 9

Why they moved up: After making back-to-back playoff appearances for the first time in franchise history (and winning a series in 2018), the Rockies plummeted this past season, as they were in the NL West cellar much of the season before barely getting fourth place. The pitching staff imploding and reverting back to historical form was the main culprit, as the young starters who starred in 2018 couldn't get anybody out in 2019. And the Rockies still have never won a division title.

Moving forward: With the Dodgers still loaded, it's doubtful that the Rockies will break that division-title drought this upcoming season. But Colorado still has plenty of hitters who flat rake (Nolan Arenado, Charlie Blackmon, Trevor Story). The pitching moving from awful to even mediocre could make the Rockies contenders again.

14. Philadelphia Phillies

MLB movement: Up 6

Total score: 14.34
All-sport rank: 33 (up 17)
Ranking by category: championships, 19; playoff berths, 6; playoff wins, 14; heartbreaks, 22; rival comparison, 15

Why they moved up: Signing Bryce Harper was supposed to put the Phillies, who have slowly built themselves up with homegrown talent, on a path toward being a playoff team. But Harper struggled a bit, and Philly was hit with a rash of injuries and fell way short of the postseason, missing it for an eighth straight year. Worse yet, the team Harper left for Philadelphia -- the rival Nationals -- happened to win the World Series. 2019 was an all-angle gut punch.

Moving forward: The first Harper season was a bust, as the Phillies still haven't had a winning season since 2011. But perhaps a little more health luck and a more relaxed Harper can be the spark to get the Phillies not only above .500 but closer to the dominant level they enjoyed in the late 2000s and early 2010s.

15. Cleveland Indians

MLB movement: Up 1

Total score: 14.05
All-sport rank: 37 (up 1)
Ranking by category: championships, 1; playoff berths, 21; playoff wins, 18; heartbreaks, 2; rival comparison, 22

Why they moved up: The Indians not only fell short of winning their fourth consecutive AL Central title, but they also missed the playoffs entirely after falling out of the race in the final week. Cleveland couldn't quite dig itself out of an early-season hole and now finds itself at a crossroads, as the Indians have slowly declined since losing to the Cubs in a seven-game heartbreaker in the 2016 World Series. The World Series title drought of 71 years could be lasting quite a bit longer.

Moving forward: While the Indians still have talent and have been consistently good at developing their prospects, they're going to have a hard time keeping stars such as Francisco Lindor around for the long haul. Cleveland has already dealt Trevor Bauer and Corey Kluber and might be forced to make other tough decisions this upcoming season.

16. Arizona Diamondbacks

MLB movement: Up 1

Total score: 13.18
All-sport rank: 39 (even)
Ranking by category: championships, 21; playoff berths, 14; playoff wins, 15; heartbreaks, 25; rival comparison, 6

Why they moved up: It's more about other teams moving down (A's, Twins, Rays) than anything bad the Diamondbacks did, as Arizona was surprisingly competitive last season despite being in sales mode. The D-backs parted ways with All-Star first baseman Paul Goldschmidt last offseason, then dealt ace Zack Greinke at the trade deadline. Despite these moves, Arizona remained in the wild-card hunt well into September and finished above .500.

Moving forward: Unlike a lot of teams going through the rebuilding process, the Diamondbacks have gone out of their way not to completely reach bottom. They might not even come close to falling toward the back of the league, as they unearthed a star in Ketel Marte who can serve as their foundation as they bring in reinforcements like Madison Bumgarner.

17. Detroit Tigers

MLB movement: Up 2

Total score: 12.56
All-sport rank: 43 (up 4)
Ranking by category: championships, 2 (tie); playoff berths, 9; playoff wins, 19; heartbreaks, 21; rival comparison, 21

Why they moved up: The Tigers' rebuild is in the extremely awful, painful stage, as they couldn't even manage to get 50 wins this past season. Detroit's 47-114 record evoked memories of the 2003 Tigers, one of the worst teams in baseball history. As for these Tigers, they have missed the playoffs five years in a row and haven't won a postseason series in six years. Miguel Cabrera is about all that remains from their playoff days, and he's a shell of his former self.

Moving forward: Tigers fans are hoping that 2019 was the absolute bottom in this rebuilding process, but their 2006-14 run of success seems like eons ago. It's going to be a while until Detroit is competitive again as it props up its farm system, so don't be surprised if the Tigers continue to shoot up this list in the next few seasons.

18. Oakland Athletics

MLB movement: Down 4

Total score: 12.0
All-sport rank: 48 (down 14)
Ranking by category: championships, 17; playoff berths, 25; playoff wins, 4; heartbreaks, 5; rival comparison, 17

Why they moved down: The A's slugged themselves to a wild-card berth for the second consecutive season and made the playoffs for a fifth time since 2012. While they were knocked out in that round for the second straight year, this time by the Rays, there's no organization that's better at extracting success out of odd parts and improvisation than Oakland, which has been to the playoffs 10 times since Billy Beane was hired as GM in 2000.

Moving forward: The Beane approach has allowed the A's to remake themselves several times and have regular-season success, but that strategy hasn't produced results in the playoffs, as Oakland has lost six series in a row dating to 2006 and hasn't advanced to the World Series since 1989. Does it have one more run left in it before the next retool?

19. Tampa Bay Rays

MLB movement: Down 10

Total score: 11.58
All-sport rank: 49 (tie) (down 24)
Ranking by category: championships, 14; playoff berths, 19; playoff wins, 17; heartbreaks, 14; rival comparison, 14

Why they moved down: Not only did the Rays make the playoffs for the first time in six seasons, they beat the A's in the wild-card round and took the AL champion Astros to the limit in the ALDS. Tampa Bay followed up its second-half success in 2018 with a 96-win 2019. The Rays' ability to scout and cultivate young talent has served them well over the past dozen years, as they have made the playoffs five times since changing their name from the Devil Rays to the Rays in 2008.

Moving forward: The Rays have exciting young players who are starting to surge in Austin Meadows and Tyler Glasnow, and there's a good chance that 2018 AL Cy Young winner Blake Snell will bounce back next season. The infrastructure for another playoff run is there, even if the fan support is lacking much of the time.

20. Minnesota Twins

MLB movement: Down 5

Total score: 11.24
All-sport rank: 51 (down 16)
Ranking by category: championships, 11; playoff berths, 20; playoff wins, 3; heartbreaks, 17; rival comparison, 18

Why they moved down: Getting to cheer an exciting lineup nicknamed the "Bomba Squad" is reason enough for a misery reduction, as the Twins became the first team to slam more than 300 home runs in a season. Minnesota's power surge was the fuel for a 101-win season, only the second time the Twins exceeded the 100-win mark since moving to the Twin Cities in 1961. They leapt to a big lead in the AL Central and rolled to their first division title since 2010.

Moving forward: The Twins did a lot of great things this season behind home-run hitters such as Nelson Cruz, Max Kepler and Miguel Sano, but they weren't able to break their postseason losing streak. The sweep to the Yankees gives them 16 straight losses in playoff games dating to the 2004 ALDS. Just winning a playoff game, much less a series, is the next step.

21. Atlanta Braves

MLB movement: Up 1

Total score: 8.67
All-sport rank: 61 (up 2)
Ranking by category: championships, 8; playoff berths, 26; playoff wins, 6; heartbreaks, 8; rival comparison, 19

Why they moved up: While winning the NL East for the second straight year was pretty nice, nothing that happened in the postseason could be described that way. First off, the Braves laid an egg in Game 5 in the NLDS, giving up 10 first-inning runs to the Cardinals to seal their 10th consecutive playoff series loss dating to 2001. Not only that, but the team they beat out for the NL East title, the Nationals, went on a crazy run to a World Series title.

Moving forward: While the Game 5 no-show left a bad taste in Braves fans' mouths, the consecutive division titles show that the Baby Braves have staying power. Ronald Acuna Jr. is a perennial MVP candidate, but he's hardly the only star on the roster. Expect more October baseball and, possibly, a breakthrough against that postseason win drought.

22. Kansas City Royals

MLB movement: Up 1

Total score: 3.95
All-sport rank: 71 (up 12)
Ranking by category: championships, 27; playoff berths, 8; playoff wins, 22; heartbreaks, 20; rival comparison, 20

Why they moved up: There's very little left from the Royals' World Series championships as far as remaining players (Alex Gordon and Danny Duffy are about the extent of it, and Gordon is a free agent) and overall team effectiveness. Not only did Kansas City miss the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season, but it also lost more than 100 games for the second straight season. The 2014-15 run was great, but that success is officially over.

Moving forward: The memories of 2015 still give comfort to Royals fans, but they are going to fade with every successive losing season. Kansas City fans are used to long rebuilding and restoration processes; they just hope that this one won't turn into a nearly three-decade playoff drought like the Royals had from 1986 to 2013.

23. Los Angeles Dodgers

MLB movement: Up 1

Total score: -2.17
All-sport rank: 89 (up 4)
Ranking by category: championships, 15 (tie); playoff berths, 29; playoff wins, 24; heartbreaks, 1; rival comparison, 27

Why they moved up: After having their hearts broken in two consecutive World Series, one of which they lost in a Game 7, the Dodgers couldn't get there this season, as they were upset by (guess who?) the Nationals. But losing in the NLDS didn't diminish the heartbreak, as the Dodgers had to see Howie Kendrick (who used to play in Los Angeles, by the way) hit a 10th-inning, game-winning grand slam after Clayton Kershaw gave up back-to-back solo homers that tied it in the eighth.

Moving forward: It seems like the Dodgers have gone all-in on being the 2.0 version of the 1990s-early 2000s Braves, as seven consecutive division titles haven't yet resulted in a World Series championship. But maybe the 2020s will get the Dodgers that first title since Kirk Gibson was limping around the bases. There's still plenty of talent.

24. Chicago Cubs

MLB movement: Up 2

Total score: -3.95
All-sport rank: 93 (up 2)
Ranking by category: championships, 25; playoff berths, 22; playoff wins, 26; heartbreaks, 10; rival comparison, 25

Why they moved up: It's been a slow decline since the magical 2016 World Series title, as the Cubs have gone from losing in the NLCS to the wild card to missing the playoffs entirely. The way they missed the postseason this past season was especially annoying, as they faltered down the stretch and allowed a Christian Yelich-less Brewers team to bolt by them for the second wild card. That helped contribute to Joe Maddon's departure as manager.

Moving forward: Maddon's dismissal, and subsequent hire by the Angels, sent a message: It's time to move past 2016. While a lot of Cubs fans would rather not do that (can you blame them, considering what the previous 108 years were like?), it's not all bad, as Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant provide the foundation for a solid lineup.

25. St. Louis Cardinals

MLB movement: Even

Total score: -8.05
All-sport rank: 103 (down 9)
Ranking by category: championships, 24; playoff berths, 28; playoff wins, 28; heartbreaks, 13; rival comparison, 26

Why they stayed the same: Besides the obvious shuffling around them (Cubs up, Nationals down), the Cardinals remain low in misery because they got back to their comfortable place in the playoffs. The Cardinals excelled in the second half of the season to win their first division title since 2015 and made their first postseason appearance since that season. They blitzed the Braves in Game 5 of the NLDS and even got lucky in their loss to the Nationals, as they weren't heartbroken like the Nats' other victims.

Moving forward: The Cardinals are usually in the discussion for playoff contention, as they haven't had a losing season since 2007. Expect that trend to continue into the next decade, and with star players such as Paul Goldschmidt and Marcell Ozuna, there's a good chance the Cardinals accomplish much more.

26. San Francisco Giants

MLB movement: Up 3

Total score: -8.14
All-sport rank: 104 (up 9)
Ranking by category: championships, 29; playoff berths, 18; playoff wins, 27; heartbreaks, 26; rival comparison, 24

Why they moved up: It's now been three years since the Giants made the playoffs and five since they won their last World Series. While that World Series win (and the two before it in 2010 and 2012) is relatively recent, that era of Giants baseball is now gone forever. One of the last remnants of it, manager Bruce Bochy, retired after this past season, a season that saw the Giants make a heartfelt, if not ill-advised, attempt at one more run.

Moving forward: The Giants' anticipated rebuild was delayed for a year, as San Francisco unexpectedly showed some midsummer spunk and was in the wild-card race for a while. The Giants made a last-ditch effort to send Bochy out on a high note, but now that he's gone, expect the Giants to get youthful, especially with ace pitcher Madison Bumgarner departed as a free agent.

27. Houston Astros

MLB movement: Even

Total score: -11.59
All-sport rank: 109 (down 4)
Ranking by category: championships, 26; playoff berths, 24; playoff wins, 30; heartbreaks, 6; rival comparison, 30

Why they stayed the same: Because they couldn't finish off the Nats. The Astros somehow lost to the Nationals in the World Series despite going 3-0 on the road. While making it to the World Series twice in three years, and winning it in 2017, doesn't elicit much sympathy from other fan bases, Houston fans will look at the 2019 World Series as a missed opportunity.

Moving forward: Are the Astros becoming the Patriots of baseball? Houston has been innovative in compiling arguably the most talented roster in baseball, but its alleged tendency to flaunt conventions has opened itself up to criticism from other teams. If the Astros can avoid drama (the celebration fiasco after the ALCS sullied their postseason run), there's no reason this team shouldn't be a contender for years to come.

28. Washington Nationals

MLB movement: Down 7

Total score: -11.63
All-sport rank: 110 (down 50)
Ranking by category: championships, 28; playoff berths, 27; playoff wins, 23; heartbreaks, 11; rival comparison, 28

Why they moved down: There are storybook World Series runs, and there's what the Nationals did in October. They had never won a playoff series prior to this season, lost their star player in free agency and started the season 19-31. The Nats then rallied to get in the playoffs, won the wild-card with a three-run eighth, won the NLDS on a 10th-inning grand slam in Game 5, swept the NLCS, then became the first franchise to win four road games in the World Series. It's a script that Hollywood would consider implausible, yet it happened.

Moving forward: How do the Nationals follow up what they did this past season? Honestly, it might not matter, as Washington is playing with house money. It also helps to have pitchers such as Max Scherzer and one of the league's most promising stars in Juan Soto on your side.

29. New York Yankees

MLB movement: Down 1

Total score: -11.92
All-sport rank: 111 (up 1)
Ranking by category: championships, 23; playoff berths, 30; playoff wins, 29; heartbreaks, 3; rival comparison, 29

Why they moved down: As hard as it is to believe, the Yankees won the AL East for the first time since 2012, as the latest version of the Bronx Bombers slammed its way to 103 wins. New York's surge continued into the playoffs, with a sweep of the Twins in the ALDS, before the Yankees fell victim to a Jose Altuve walk-off homer in Game 6 of the ALCS. So although the Yankees' World Series title drought is now at 10 years, the Yanks had arguably their best season since that 2009 title.

Moving forward: The lineup is capable of leading the Yankees to championship No. 28, but for them to get past the Astros (who have eliminated them three times since 2015), the Yanks need to boost their starting pitching. That being said, they took a big step in that direction by signing Gerrit Cole in free agency.

30. Boston Red Sox

MLB movement: Even

Total score: -12.18
All-sport rank: 112 (tie) (up 3)
Ranking by category: championships, 30; playoff berths, 23; playoff wins, 25; heartbreaks, 24; rival comparison, 23

Why they stayed the same: Because Red Sox fans have more baked-in celebration than fans of any other team in baseball, even if they don't show it much of the time. While the Red Sox's title defense was doomed from the start, as they dug a hole they never came close to getting out of, they still have that 2018 title (plus titles in 2013, 2007 and the epic 2004 one in which the Curse of the Bambino was torched) to fall back on. No one feels bad for Red Sox fans anymore.

Moving forward: The Red Sox have the offense to bounce back quickly from last year's lackluster performance; the pitching staff was the main reason Boston couldn't build any momentum. The Red Sox have a new GM, as they parted with Dave Dombrowski in the offseason, so Brian O'Halloran will be on the lookout for arms.