By looking at the final 2021 MLB standings, we understand the current reality of the league.
That reality, however, was entirely different 12 years ago and throughout the last decade.
The Twitter account @TalkinBaseball_ shared the cumulative MLB standings since 2010.
The MLB standings since 2010. A lot to unpack here pic.twitter.com/c6iOy5B6u1
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) January 24, 2022
The Chicago White Sox and Houston Astros were rebuilding in the early 2010s, for example: now, they are both MLB powerhouses.
We can tell you this: some things never change, as the Colorado Rockies, the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Baltimore Orioles, and the Miami Marlins were all last-place teams.
What are the biggest surprises, though?
2. AL West: Oakland And Texas With Positive Records, Houston Below .500
The Oakland Athletics have been criticized for years for not spending enough money to build a true championship contender.
However, they have the best record in the AL West since 2010, at 961-881.
In fact, the second-best team is 36 games behind: the Los Angeles Angels.
Neither of these two teams have won a World Series in the last decade, but they have had considerable regular season success.
It goes to show that postseason baseball has some difference than what happens from April to September.
In the case of the A’s, the approach implemented by executive vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane works wonders and allows the team to do a lot with limited resources.
Two ways to win:
1. Cutting Checks: Dodgers, Yankees, Red Sox
2. New Moneyball: Oakland, Cleveland, Tampa
Everyone else is in the ugly middle.
— Patrick Thomas (@OnDugout) January 24, 2022
In the case of the Angels, owners of a 925-917 record, they have had a guy named Mike Trout for the better part of the last decade.
Seeing the Astros with a sub-.500 record was certainly a shocker.
However, they didn’t really break out until the middle of the 2010s.
Once they did, however, they dominated the division.
Well, we have to at least consider the Texas Rangers.
That team went to consecutive World Series in 2010 and 2011, and was one strike away from winning the latter.
The decade-long rankings and 2021’s standings are worlds apart.
It’s funny how baseball works.
1. The Mets Have A Losing Record Despite World Series Appearance
The NL East division is, somewhat surprisingly, dominated by the Washington Nationals since 2010.
One would think the Atlanta Braves led the decade-long standings, but they are a close second, three games behind the Nats.
The perennially-rebuilding Miami Marlins are last, but it’s a little shocking to see the New York Mets with a sub-.500 record and in fourth place.
They have a 896-946 mark since the beginning of 2010, 74.5 games behind the Nationals.
They even went to a World Series, in 2015, when they lost to the Kansas City Royals.
Since 2019, they have entered with sky-high expectations, had a Rookie of the Year (Pete Alonso) in 2019, a Cy Young winner in 2018 and 2019 (Jacob deGrom), and traded for and extended a former MVP candidate in Francisco Lindor, but they have disappointed ever since their trip to the Fall Classic.
They look ready to explode in 2022, but they didn’t really have a good decade if we look at the results.