Nearly one quarter of the 2021 MLB season is done, and there has been plenty of good and bad. Some of the bad has been quite glaring.
Let's take a look at the 10 biggest disappointments in baseball this year. The list will include everything from players to teams and trends throughout the league. Player and team selections weighed things like expectations or contracts, among other factors.
National League East
Los Angeles Angels
Miguel Sano, Minnesota Twins
Eugenio Suarez, Cincinnati Reds
Dominic Smith and James McCann, New York Mets
Elvis Andrus, Oakland Athletics
Kyle Hendricks, Chicago Cubs
10. Los Angeles Dodgers
The Los Angeles Dodgers entered the 2021 campaign with enormous expectations.
PECOTA projected they would win 103 games. FanGraphs' Average Total Costs (ATC) Projections system had L.A. at 99 victories. Needless to say, various analytical formulas favored the defending champions.
Early on, it appeared those formulas were right on the money. The Dodgers raced out to a 13-2 start. Los Angeles consistently pounded out runs, and the rotation dominated from the first pitch of the season.
But the Dodgers have shockingly gone 6-15 in their last 21 games. Injuries have played a role, with the lineup losing Cody Bellinger early to a hairline fracture in his fibula and Zach McKinstry going down with an oblique strain. Dustin May's UCL injury was a tough piece of news. However, some of the stars—notably Corey Seager and Mookie Betts—also went through slumps.
Now, there is no reason for Dodgers fans to be concerned. Los Angeles has the second-best OPS and highest-scoring offense in the National League. The pitching staff is tremendous, though the injuries are challenging the team's depth. Still, it's hard to ignore just how much of a grind it's been. Trevor Bauer sounded off on the team's struggles Sunday.
This might be concerning, though: The Dodgers are just 4-10 in one-run games. That is quite uncharacteristic for one of the best teams in baseball.
9. Strange Suspension Criteria
Has anyone else felt slightly perturbed by MLB's erratic criteria for handing out suspensions? I'm willing to bet Cincinnati Reds fans have been puzzled on a couple of occasions.
The league office suspended Reds outfielder Nick Castellanos for his role in a benches-clearing scuffle between Cincinnati and the St. Louis Cardinals, even though Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina tried to grab Castellanos from behind.
Another strange suspension came after the Reds and Chicago Cubs got into it when Cubs shortstop Javier Baez took exception to Amir Garrett's reaction following a strikeout of Anthony Rizzo.