MLB teams have concluded their regular seasons, and the postseason is officially underway. Now is an excellent time to reflect on how the MLB teams performed in the 2021 regular season. Expectations before the season begin to play a huge role in analyzing performance when the season is over. What can be defined as a good or bad season is relative to each specific team. All of that being said, here are two MLB teams that overachieved and two others that underachieved this season.
AL Overachiever: Seattle Mariners
The Seattle Mariners far exceeded their expectations this year. Before the season began, they were projected to be one of the bottom teams in the American League. That was not how it played out. They remained competitive all season long and were in the AL Wild Card race until the season’s final game. The Mariners are a young and exciting team with a bright future. The “future” started in the 2021 season with a solid 90-72 record and barely missing out on the postseason.
AL Underachiever: New York Yankees
Over the last several years, based on expectations, the Yankees are one of the most disappointing MLB teams. Like every year for the New York Yankees, they expected to win a World Series; furthermore, they have one of the highest payrolls in baseball, and they are loaded with talented players. The Tampa Bay Rays ran away in the AL East divisional race, and the Yankees had to settle for a Wild Card spot, which they barely earned. The Red Sox dominated them in the one-game playoff, and their season is over. The 2021 season was no different.
NL Overachiever: San Francisco Giants
When analyzing the roster of the San Francisco Giants before the season began, it was not expected that they would be a contender. They played way above their talent level all season and earned the very best record of all MLB teams. In a heated season-long battle for the division title, they surprisingly beat out their rivals, the Los Angeles Dodgers. The two NL West teams will now face off for the first time in the postseason; also, this is a must-watch series that should be intense and competitive.
NL Underachiever: San Diego Padres
Heading into the 2021 MLB season, the San Diego Padres, not the San Francisco Giants, were projected to challenge the Los Angeles Dodgers for the NL West division crown. However, the Padres made many roster moves and spent a ton of money to add to their talented young core of players. They finished the season with a highly disappointing 79-83 record and were 28 games behind the division-winning Giants. They also end up being irrelevant in the NL Wild Card race, finishing in a distant 5th place.
The Padres were the most disappointing of all MLB teams in the 2021 season. They have already fired their manager and will need to figure things out in the offseason. Like the Yankees, when that much money is spent on players, the expectations are sky-high. The Yankees did not accomplish their goals this season either, but they were not as much of a disaster as the failed experiment by the Padres.