MLB, each year, surprises us with the final standings.
If everything was as predictable as we think it is, then where is the fun?
This year, a recent contender and a historic MLB franchise like the Chicago Cubs will finish with a losing record.
We can say, however, that it wasn’t so surprising given that a fire sale was always a possibility with so many contracts expiring after the season.
The San Diego Padres are currently playing .500 ball, and that certainly qualifies as more of a surprise given the immense expectations prior to the season.
These three teams, however, have been extremely disappointing and will finish the 2021 MLB campaign with a sub-.500 record, raising eyebrows all over the baseball universe.
3. Cleveland Indians
Sure, by now, we know that the Cleveland Indians (soon to be Guardians) are a small-market team and often spend like one.
Most of them got injured at some point in the season, and everything went south.
The offense, currently ranked 18th in runs scored per game with 4.4, was also mediocre despite Ramirez’s best efforts.
And while there are certainly some positive developments with an eye on 2022 (such as Cal Quantrill’s progress, for example), it’s fair to say that, at 77-79, Cleveland has been a disappointment.
2. Los Angeles Angels
You would think that a team with this generation’s top player and the game’s most unique talent would finish better than .500, at least.
Only Ohtani, currently the leading candidate for the AL MVP award, could answer the call all year long.
As long as the Angels don’t have competent pitching to complement Trout, Ohtani, and Rendon, they won’t get very far.
They haven’t gone to the playoffs since 2014, and 2021 will be no different, as they are 74-82.
Maybe next year.
The #Angels have two of the most dynamic players in the sport with Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani. This season has been disappointing but these guys are close to winning. The Front Office needs to get these guys to the playoffs! #MLB #WeBelieve #ShoheiOhtani #MikeTrout pic.twitter.com/krWihHOiBd
— Angels in the Outfield (@HaloGateway) September 27, 2021
1. New York Mets
If there was a team with sky-high expectations before the season, it was the New York Mets.
They now have the wealthiest owner in the league, brought competent people in key front office, and welcomed several stars via trade and free agency, most notably Francisco Lindor.
But amid several off-the-field scandals by highly-ranked front office executives, a feud between players and fans, an ugly early-season slump by Lindor, and injuries (lots of them), the Mets fell in the standings and could never recover.
They lost Jacob deGrom (1.08 ERA before going down) on July 7, and Lindor on July 16.
The shortstop returned in late August, but the team had already lost the first place spot it held for weeks, even months, earlier in the year.
It was, generally speaking, an ugly year in Flushing.
Mets are a huge disappointment this year as well.
— r (@ryanwagner05) September 26, 2021
The Mets currently have a 73-82 record.
However, don’t count them out in 2022 just yet, as they should be much, much better next year.