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Introducing MLB's newest division

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This should be a tight race all the way to October.

Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports

My guess is this Reds season hasn't started quite like you hoped it would. As of today the Reds are 17-35, and find themselves 19 games back of the first place Chicago Cubs. It's only June 1, and everyone in the fanbase has given up hope of winning the division. So what does a baseball fan have to look forward to when their favorite team is out of it with four months to go? You could start to pay more attention to the farm system. You could turn your attention to next offseason's free agent class. Honestly, some of you will probably just stop paying attention until a few well known prospects get the call.

If you're the kind of person who reads Red Reporter, then my guess is you aren't going to stop watching baseball. So over the next four months, what do you have to get excited about? I spent the last twenty four hours reading the CBA, talking to my sources in the commissioners office, and brainstorming with some of the brightest baseball minds I know.

I had one simple question for all of them. Are there any rules on the books that would stop me from creating an imaginary baseball division? Unbelievably, their answer was no. We did it!

I present to you MLB's newest division (name TBD). When you woke up this morning you thought the Reds were 19 games out of first place. It turns out they're only 2.5 back.

W

L

PCT

GB

L10

STRK

Home

Road

San Diego

20

33

.377

-

2-8

L4

10-15

10-18

Cincinnati

17

35

.327

2.5

2-8

L1

12-15

5-20

Minnesota

15

36

.294

4

5-5

L2

8-15

7-21

Atlanta

15

36

.294

4

4-6

L1

5-22

10-14

As the attention of Reds' nation shifts to our newest rivals, let's lay some ground rules:

  • As of June 1, the four teams with the worst record in baseball will compete in this new division.
  • This is not a contest to see who can be the worst team. This is not a race to the #1 draft pick. Teams play to win. Fans root for wins (usually). At the end of the season, the team with the best win/loss record will be crowned champion.
  • While this does not guarantee the winning team a spot in the playoffs, it could earn them the #4 pick in next season's draft! Also, I'm willing to send a banner for display to the winning team hand made by my mother-in-law.
Without further ado, let's introduce the teams. Here's a little about how these teams got here and their best players up to this point (by wRC+ and ERA+).

San Diego Padres


How they got here: The Padres open June with a 2.5 game lead on the second place Reds. However, they're currently on a four game losing streak. Just yesterday they dropped a game to the Mariners 16-4. Amazingly, that wasn't the largest amount of runs given up by an MLB team on Tuesday.

The Padres start the month with eight straight home games against the Mariners, Rockies, and Braves. Currently they have the third worst wRC+ in all of baseball (76) and the eighth worst ERA (4.37). However, if you're looking for reasons for optimism, they check in at number eighteen by DRS (0).

Best Position Player: Melvin Upton Jr. (1 fWAR). Wait...that can't be right. Can it?

Best Starting Pitcher: Drew Pomeranz (156 ERA+)

Best Relief Pitcher: Ryan Buchter (506 ERA+ in 23.1 innings)

Cincinnati Reds


How they got here: I feel pretty comfortable assuming you're well aware of how they got to this point.

Best Position Player: Adam Duvall (1.4 fWAR)

Best Starting Pitcher: Dan Straily (121 ERA+)

Best Relief Pitcher

Minnesota Twins


How they got here: Last season the Twins were one of the biggest surprises in baseball. They finished the season with an 83-79 record and many fans were optimistic about 2016. However, they currently find themselves 15-36 and 13.5 games out of the AL Central. Minnesota got off to an 0-9 start to the season, and they've been trying to dig themselves out of that hole ever since. They currently have the fifth worst wRC+ in baseball (86), the third worst team ERA (5.01), and the third worst defense by DRS (-28).

Best Position Player: Joe Mauer (1.3 fWAR)

Best Starting Pitcher: Ervin Santana (101 ERA+)

Best Relief Pitcher: Fernando Abad (453 ERA+)

Atlanta Braves


How they got here: They traded everybody. Seriously, I'm not sure I could name ten Braves off the top of my head. I might be able to name five.

Best Position Player: Well...by fWAR it's someone named Chase d'Arnaud.

Best Starting Pitcher: Julio Teheran (142 ERA+)

Best Relief Pitcher: Arodys Vizcaino (240 ERA+)

Well there you have it. From now until the end of the season the race for the division title will be on. The competition will be fierce. The scrutiny will be intense. Fans will get a chance to see what these players are made of.

Oh yeah, and fans who root for one of these teams will have their fingers crossed that every starter isn't traded away by the deadline.

I'll update the standings most nights on Twitter (@ericdroseberry), and you'll get a full weekly recap on Red Reporter.

Also, WE NEED YOUR HELP. This division needs a name. Leave your suggestions in the comments section, and we'll put the best handful up for a vote.

Today, four franchises have been given new life. To the victor go the spoils!!!