Did the best 10 baseball teams make the playoffs this season? That is debatable, as a few teams did not meet expectations and will chalk up the 2016 season as a loss. The MLB playoff structure only allows for 33% of each league’s teams to make the playoffs, leaving little room for error, just ask the St. Louis Cardinals who missed the wild card game by one game. Here a few MLB teams that were a letdown this season.
Houston Astros: 84-78
The Astros were supposed to take the American League by storm this season but that clearly never came to fruition. The Astros never led in the AL West and were never a serious threat for the AL Wild Card. The Astros counted on their Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel to be be their leader once again, but he had a very disappointing season. After going 20-8 with a 2.48 ERA, 216 strikeouts in 232 innings in 2015, Keuchel went 9-12 with a 4.55 ERA and 144 strikeouts in 168 innings. The Astros took a step back after their huge step forward in 2015.
Pittsburgh Pirates: 78-83
After a fantastic franchise turnaround in a three-year span of 94, 88 and 98 wins, the Pirates won their least amount of games since 2011. The front office signaled the white flag when they traded their closer Mark Melancon and are looking now to retool, not rebuild. With the Cubs probably controlling this division for the foreseeable future, it will make it even tougher for the Pirates to get back to the playoffs.
Kansas City Royals: 81-81
The Royals increased their win total every year from 2009-2015: 65, 67, 71, 72, 86, 89, and 95. The Royals’ bubble may have finally burst after their 2015 World Championship. Their starting pitchers did not come close to their past production and an injury to Lorenzo Cain proved costly. The team disappointed their fans, as the franchise saw an increase in Royals tickets sold in 2017. The Royals failed to make the playoffs in their defense of their championship.
Minnesota Twins: 59-103
After a surprising 83-79 2015 season, the Twins absolutely took a nose dive in 2016. Were the Twins expected to be a contender or to repeat their success? No, but no one expected them to have the worst record in baseball. The only bright spot was Brian Dozier’s 42 home runs, while the pitching staff’s 5.08 ERA was an obvious problem.
Arizona Diamondbacks: 69-93
The Diamondbacks went against the grain this season. With recent playoff teams such as the Giants, Cubs, Red Sox, Royals, and Indians proving the tactic of developing and grooming your own players is more effective than signing and trading for players, the Diamondbacks went the opposite route. They went all-in by signing Zack Greinke to a monster deal of six-years at $206 million and traded their 2015 #1 overall pick Dansby Swanson for Shelby Miller. The moves blew up the Diamondbacks’ face, as Greinke was average at best, going 14-7 with a 4.37 ERA, and Miller was a disaster with his 3-12 record and 6.15 ERA.