Must-click link: The best non-playoff teams of all time

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The Platoon Advantage — run by Friends-of-HBT The Common Man and Bill — has a great, beefy post today running down the top 40 non-playoff teams of all time. If one were the type of person who does such things, yes, this is the kind of post one might wish to print out to take with one to the john or something. Please, though, don’t tell us about it, OK? This isn’t a Bill Simmons’ column, after all. We’re not animals.

Wherever you read it, however, it’s a great, under-covered topic.  Sure, a lot of us can rattle off the 1993 Giants or — thanks to that fantastic book — the 1908 Pirates and Giants, but the vast majority of the teams profiled here are ones about which you don’t know jack. The upshot: you’ll be a better baseball fan for having taken the time to read this bad boy. And you’ll enjoy yourself too.

Albert Pujols hit his 597th career home run

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Angels DH Albert Pujols smacked his 597th career home run, a two-run shot in the top of the first inning during Wednesday night’s 5-2 loss to the Rays. The blast was off of Erasmo Ramirez and marked No. 6 on the season for the future Hall of Famer.

Pujols finished 1-for-3 with the homer and a walk. After Wednesday’s game, he’s hitting a lackluster .244/.296/.378 with 34 RBI and 14 runs scored in 186 trips to the plate.

Pujols currently ranks ninth on baseball’s all-time leaderboard and is three shy of joining the 600-homer club. He’s currently 13 home runs away from tying Sammy Sosa for eighth all-time.

Chris Sale’s streak of starts with at least 10 strikeouts ends

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Red Sox starter Chris Sale entered Wednesday’s outing against the Rangers with at least 10 strikeouts in eight consecutive starts, tying a record he already shared with Pedro Martinez. He failed do break the record, racking up only six strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings. Fortunately, the Red Sox scored seven runs in the bottom of the seventh to put him in line for the win. Sale gave up four runs (three earned) on six hits and a walk.

After Wednesday’s outing, Sale is sitting on a 2.34 ERA with a 101/14 K/BB ratio in 73 innings. So far, so good for the Red Sox, who acquired Sale from the White Sox in December.

Sale previously racked up 10 strikeouts in eight consecutive games between May 23 and June 30 in 2015 with the White Sox. Pedro Martinez accomplished the feat for the Red Sox between August 19 and September 27 in 1999.