Well, at the expense of two fanbases in particular, we have our playoff schematic, and we have our crowd of 20 also-rans. It's a depressing, maddening day for a lot of teams, both the non-competitive bottom feeders and the teams that seemed very close to breaking into the race. From last year, we have two new additions to the fold, but they are both teams who have won a World Series ring in the last 10 years. Alternatively, there are two teams who have never won a World Series in this playoff picture, and only one additional team that hasn't won in over 20 years.
The teams that made the playoffs are a lot of the usual suspects, and so are the teams who made this Best of the Rest list.
Without an expanded playoff, eight teams that made the 2020 playoff picture are back on this list. Three of them were downright terrible this year. Everybody else is a barrel of surprises and not-surprises, and we're gonna give some superlatives for all of them, ranging from painful to mirthful.
Most Likely to Succeed [According to the Sportswriters in February]: San Diego Padres
Most Depressing Example of Peaking Too Early: Kansas City Royals
Best Team That Peaked Too Late: For the 2nd year in a row, Seattle Mariners
Best Squanderer of Hopes Their Fans Had in 2020: Oakland Athletics
Best Squanderer of Hopes Their Fans Had in June: New York Mets
Biggest Proponent for an Expanded Playoff in 2022: Toronto Blue Jays
Biggest Proponent Against an Expanded Playoff in 2020: Miami Marlins
Most Willing to Settle: Los Angeles Angels
Most Blatant July Dismemberment: Chicago Cubs
Collapse That Makes a Lot More Sense When You Really Think About It: Minnesota Twins
Best Pitching Staff for a Team That Didn't Make the Playoffs: Cincinnati Reds
Worst Pitching: Baltimore Orioles
Best Farm System [Composed of Other Team's Prospects]: Washington Nationals
Biggest Anticlimax: THREE- WAY-TIE - Toronto Blue Jays/Seattle Mariners/Philadelphia Phillies
Most Blatant Victims of a Rough 2nd Half: San Diego Padres
Most Inexplicably Reserved Trade Deadline Strategy: Colorado Rockies
Most Depressing Team to Talk About Every Few Weeks: Arizona Diamondbacks
Most Comically-Timed Injuries: Cleveland Indians
Most Fun Last Place Team: Washington Nationals
Most Confused Youth Movement: Detroit Tigers
Most Likely to Just Accept Walk-Ons from the Public for Spring Training Next Year: Pittsburgh Pirates
Most Unwilling to Recapture the Lightning in the Bottle: Texas Rangers
Most Likely to Not End Up On This List in 2022: Toronto Blue Jays & San Diego Padres
That's the end of the road for these 20 teams. I'm gonna predict the other ten's playoff path sometime in the next few days, probably inaccurately.
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