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The worst MLB teams from the 2010s

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Analytics took over baseball by the 2010s, and many teams rebuilt by intentionally tanking. As a result, the decade saw some of the worst teams. Here’s a look at the 20 worst MLB teams from the decade.

 

Evan Habeeb / USA Today Sports Images

The O’s reached a franchise-record 115 losses, handicapped by aging hitters and the worst pitching staff in baseball. High-priced first baseman Chris Davis hit a putrid .168-16-59 over 128 games while the team allowed a league-worst 892 runs with Dylan Bundy, Andrew Cashner, and Alex Cobb each losing at least 15 games. The team would fire GM Dan Duquette following the season, and start their rebound by hiring Astros assistant Mike Elias to the role.

 

2019 Detroit Tigers

Rick Osentoski / USA Today Sports Images

It wasn’t quite the 2003 squad that lost 119 games, but the 2019 Tigers were terrible all on their own with 114 losses. With former star Miguel Cabrera now well past his prime, the Tigers struggled to score runs, last in the league with 582. The pitching staff also had its fair share of issues, allowing the third most runs in the league.

 

2013 Houston Astros

Troy Taormina / USA Today Sports Images

The Astros would eventually put together a dynasty under controversial GM Jeff Luhnow, but that plan involved some painful tanking early in the decade. The franchise lost more than 100 games for three consecutive years, culminating with their 111 loss season in 2013. Chris Carter and Matt Dominguez were the team’s only 20 home run hitters, while the pitching staff allowed the most runs in baseball as young pitchers like Dallas Keuchel and Erik Bedard started to find their form.

 

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4. 2019 Baltimore Orioles

2019 Baltimore Orioles

Rick Osentoski / USA Today Sports Images

The Orioles followed up their 2018 disaster with another terrible season in 2019, albeit with a new manager (Brandon Hyde) and front office. Baltimore lost 108 games as they mercifully waited for Chris Davis’ contract to expire, though surprise power hitters Trey Mancini and Renato Nunez both hit more than 30 home runs. The pitching staff was the worst in MLB with 981 runs allowed, and a bullpen that sported a 5.79 ERA. The franchise’s most notable move of the year was drafting eventual franchise catcher Adley Rutschman first overall in the amateur draft.

 

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5. 2012 Houston Astros

2012 Houston Astros

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Houston’s second of three consecutive 100-loss seasons saw them lose 107 games. Houston’s offense was the worst in baseball, with only 583 runs scored, though 22-year-old second baseman Jose Altuve made his first All-Star appearance.

 

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6. 2011 Houston Astros

2011 Houston Astros

Brett Davis / USA Today Sports Images

The Astros reached 100 losses for the first time in franchise history in 2011, finishing the season 56-106. The team failed to produce a 20-home-run hitter and had four starting pitchers reach double-digit losses. Following the season, Houston fired GM Ed Wade and hired Cardinals assistant Jeff Luhnow to spark their eventual turnaround.

 

2019 Miami Marlins

Sam Navarro / USA Today Sports Images

The 2019 Marlins were offensively challenged, losing 105 games and scoring only 615 runs, the second-worst in MLB. Starlin Castro and Brian Anderson were the team’s only players to reach 20 home runs in a season when the ball was flying out, while young starting pitchers Sandy Alcantara and Pablo Lopez were beginning their development.

 

2010 Pittsburgh Pirates

Mark J. Rebilas / USA Today Sports Images

Pittsburgh’s 105 losses were the franchise’s most since 1952, as young hitters like Andrew McCutchen, Neil Walker, and Pedro Alvarez started to develop. The pitching staff was also the worst in MLB, as five different starting pitchers reached double-digit losses.

 

2018 Kansas City Royals

Peter Aiken / USA Today Sports Images

Only three years after winning the World Series, Kansas City was near the bottom of the league again with 104 losses. Key players in their World Series run like Mike Moustakas and Alex Gordon started to break down, while Brad Keller was the team’s only regular starting pitcher with an ERA below 4.00.

 

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10. 2019 Kansas City Royals

2019 Kansas City Royals

Denny Medley / USA Today Sports Images

The Royals improved  to 103 losses in 2019 after losing 104 games the previous year. Franchise catcher Salvador Perez missed the entire season after elbow surgery, though the offense did get a spark from Jorge Soler hitting 48 home runs.

 

2016 Minnesota Twins

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Minnesota was near league-average offensively in 2016 with a powerful lineup led by 42 home run hitter Brian Dozier, but the pitching allowed the second most runs in MLB. Ace Ervin Santana posted a 3.38 ERA in 30 starts, but the team didn’t have another starter post an ERA below 5.00 as they lost 103 games.

 

2012 Chicago Cubs

Thomas Campbell / USA Today Sports Images

The Cubs rebuild plan got buy-in from fans under front office head Theo Epstein, with their 101-loss season in 2012 effectively reaching the bottom. Chicago struggled to score runs with Alfonso Soriano, the other player, to reach 20-plus long balls. The losses would seem worth it four years later when the franchise won its first World Series in over 100 years.

 

2010 Seattle Mariners

Matthew Emmons / USA Today Sports Images

Seattle lost 101 games for the second time in three years with their poor performance in 2010. The M’s couldn’t generate any offense with a league-worst 513 runs scored and a sub-.300 OBP for the year. Ichiro Suzuki was the team’s only regular to hit above .260. In spite of the team’s struggles, Felix Hernandez won the AL Cy Young for the team after going 13-12 with a 2.27 ERA in 34 starts.

 

2018 Chicago White Sox

Kim Klement / USA Today Sports Images

The White Sox were on the tail end of a string of losing and reached 100 losses for the first time since 1970. The pitching staff struggled with young pitchers Reynaldo Lopez, Lucas Giolito, and Carlos Rodon developing, but the lineup did show off capable building blocks in Jose Abreu, Tim Anderson, and Yoan Moncada.

 

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15. 2013 Miami Marlins

2013 Miami Marlins

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The Marlins were terrible in 2013, losing 100 games, but fans did have something to look forward to every fifth day with Rookie of the Year Jose Fernandez hurling gems. He finished his rookie season with a 2.19 ERA in 28 starts, and the starters behind him also weren’t too shabby with sub-4.00 ERAs from Nathan Eovaldi, Ricky Nolasco, Jacob Turner, and Henderson Alvarez. However, the lineup failed to deliver with Giancarlo Stanton fighting injury and almost no power behind him with a league-worst 95 home runs for the team.

 

2015 Philadelphia Phillies

Bill Streicher / USA Today Sports Images

The Phillies franchise had quite a run of success from 2007-2011, but the team would fall on hard times a few years later. Philadelphia lost 99 games in 2015, with a roster handicapped by bad contracts like Ryan Howard. The 2015 season did note the arrival of rookie starter Aaron Nola and an All-Star season from closer Jonathan Papelbon before he was traded to Washington.

 

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17. 2013 Chicago White Sox

2013 Chicago White Sox

Rick Osentoski / USA Today Sports Images

With Paul Konerko showing signs of age, the 2013 White Sox squad struggled to generate offense in losing 99 games. They did see Adam Dunn hit 34 home runs, albeit with only a .320 OBP. The starting rotation also started to show potential with young starters Chris Sale and Jose Quintana.

 

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18. 2011 Minnesota Twins

2011 Minnesota Twins

Jerry Lai / USA Today Sports Images

The Twins face planted after consecutive playoff appearances in 2009-2010, losing 99 games in 2011. Franchise players Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau both missed significant time to injuries, resulting in one of the worst offenses in the league. The pitching staff also struggled, failing to find reliable pitching beyond Carl Pavano and Scott Baker.

 

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19. 2018 Miami Marlins

2018 Miami Marlins

Charles LeClaire / USA Today Sports Images

The 2018 Marlins fell to 98 losses after trading franchise star Giancarlo Stanton to the Yankees the previous offseason. The team scored an MLB-worst 589 runs, with catcher J.T. Realmuto one of the team’s only notable offensive performers.

 

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20. 2018 Detroit Tigers

2018 Detroit Tigers

Rick Osentoski / USA Today Sports Images

Detroit lost exactly 98 games for the second straight year in 2018. It was a painful year for the team with franchise player Miguel Cabrera appearing in only 38 games and Victor Martinez struggling to hit in the final year of his career. The team did get a strong offensive performance from right fielder Nick Castellanos before getting traded the following year.

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