The clubs most in need to win a ring

Every World Series title is special, obviously.

But some are more meaningful than others, given what certain franchises have gone through to get to the top.

Think of five of the last six World Series. In 2015, the Royals won the title for the first time since 1985. In 2016, the Cubs accomplished what they had not in 108 years. In 2017, the Astros won their first championship in history, the same with the Nationals in 2019. Last season, the Dodgers ended a drought that began in 1988.

That is why we have determined the Playoff Urgency Index. When you factor in factors like past hurts, impending free agents, payroll and prospect potential, we can rate the teams on a scale – 10 being the most desperate and one being the calmest.

Note: We are including the teams that continue with possibilities, which are 12 so far.

1. Brewers
: 12, or how old Craig Counsell was when the Brewers last reached the World Series

We surpassed the scale of 10 to make that observation of Counsell and go further. Not only have they never won the title, but their future looks a bit complicated.

Christian Yelich’s salary will almost double next year (from $ 14 million to $ 26). Add in the $ 18 million owed to Lorenzo Cain and the $ 11 million to Jackie Bradley Jr. That’s a lot of money for a prairie that didn’t perform up to scratch. Josh Hader is increasing his refereeing value.

Lastly, as this team hasn’t picked high in the draft since 2017, their farms rank 25th by MLB Pipeline.

2. Braves
10, or the number of times in a row the Braves have conquered the division and have not won the NL pennant

It’s something that has haunted Atlanta forever. Yes, they won the title in 1995, but that was a fleeting moment amid 14 division titles in a row.

Fortunately for them, Venezuelan Ronald Acuña Jr. (currently out due to injury) will remain with the team for a long time. Same with Ozzie Albies and Austin Riley.

3. Astros
10, or the times Dusty Baker has gone to the playoffs without winning the title

Yes, it’s only been four years since the Astros won the World Series. But his name was tainted by the signing theft scandal.

This is the opportunity to shut our mouths. The Astros already lost George Springer in free agency last year and the Puerto Rican could be the next to go. Zack Greinke and the injured Justin Verlander will be free agents. Plus, the Astros’ farms are 29th in baseball, according to MLB Pipeline.

4. White Sox
8, or the age of Cuban Luis Robert when the team won its last title

Although the AL Central champions have plenty of young talent, they also rely heavily on 34-year-old Lance Lynn and Cubans José Abreu, 34, and Yasmani Grandal, 32. Chicago farms are the latest in baseball and they haven’t won a postseason series since 2005. Oh, and their manager is 77 years old.

8, or the World Series games they have lost in two trips to the Fall Classic (2008 and 2020)

When it comes to contracts and young talent, the Rays are in a good long-term position because, well, they always seem to be. In addition, the Rays have the sixth best farm in baseball, according to MLB Pipeline.

But like any team that plays a small market – even one as consistent as Tampa Bay – it must seize every opportunity it gets in October.

6. Yankees
6, or how many times New York has come out empty-handed in the postseason since its last World Series

Honestly, we’re already tired of hearing the tragedy that the Yankees went a decade without even being able to advance to a World Series. No one is going to feel bad for them, they have 29 consecutive seasons with a positive record!

But yeah, when you play in the Bronx there is always pressure.

7. Cardinals
Urgency: 6,
or the postseason series the Cardinals have lost since 2011

The Cardinals wiped out everything in their path to clinching a Wild Card, thanks to an impressive September. But remember they were the favorites to win the division before the start of the season.

Among his most important pieces are a 39-year-old catcher (Puerto Rican Yadier Molina), a 40-year-old pitcher (Adam Wainwright), a 34-year-old starter (Paul Goldschmidt) and a 30-year-old third baseman (Nolan Arenado). Not to mention, this could be Jon Lester’s last campaign.

8. Tiles
5, or the years that have passed since Toronto won a game in the postseason

The Dominican Vladimir Guerrero Jr., the Mexican Alejandro Kirk, Bo Bichette and Alek Manoah are 23 years old or less. Hyun Jin Ryu, George Springer, Teóscar Hernández, and Lourdes Gurriel from Cuba have also been under control for several years. Plus, the Azulejos have the budget to keep building.

9. Giants
4, or the number of titles Buster Posey is chasing

The Giants have the oldest group of position players in the game and the fifth-oldest pitching staff. But with this being the first postseason qualification in the Farhan Zaidi era and the fact that the club is expected to go for several heavyweight names in the offseason, not to mention three recent titles, San Francisco is not quite as urged.

10. Dodgers
: 3, or the number of titles won by Albert Pujols and Max Scherzer

The Dodgers want to show they are a dynasty and just as capable with a 162-game season. As for Scherzer, Clayton Kershaw and Mookie Betts, it’s about continuing to grace their Hall of Fame careers.

11. Red Sox
2, or the number of World Series won by Boston in the last decade

Much has changed in this team since 2018, mainly with Betts. But there are still several pieces in the club that celebrated that championship (Puerto Rican manager Alex Cora, Xander Bogaerts, JD Martínez, Nathan Eovaldi, Venezuelan Eduardo Rodríguez, Matt Barnes and others).

Also, not many expect the Red Sox to be able to compete for the World Series, so it wouldn’t be a tragedy if they don’t win.

12. Sailors
0, or the number of times the Mariners have qualified for the postseason between 2002 and 2020

It might seem curious that a team trying to end the longest active non-postseason slump in professional sports in America has such a low level of urgency. But let’s be clear, nobody expected this from the Mariners heading into the playoffs. They have done a great job playing without pressure

If the Mariners advance, it will be the most shocking story in baseball. And if they are then immediately eliminated, nothing happens. It would be the start of something bigger for Seattle.