CLOSE

SportsPulse: USA TODAY Sports’ Steve Gardner breaks down which teams are on fire and which teams are underperforming.
USA TODAY Sports

Much as Major League Baseball likes to tout its parity, a substantial number of teams entered the season with what seemed like virtually no shot at reaching the playoffs.

Now we have confirmation.

As the season approaches its fourth week, nine clubs have less than a 2% chance to play in October, according to Fangraphs’ playoff projections.

Even in the era of tanking – or, building for the future, if you prefer – that is a staggering number, nearly a third of all major league teams. By comparison, at a similar stage last season, there were five clubs in that statistically hopeless predicament.

Now, projections certainly have plenty of margin for error, as the Minnesota Twins will be quick to point out. FanGraphs gave them a 5.2% chance of getting to the postseason after their 11-11 start last year, and the upstart Twins earned a wild-card berth after losing 103 games the previous season.

And yes, the Milwaukee Brewers…