MLB

25 Hyped MLB Teams That Fizzled Out In The Playoffs

Darren - October 8, 2021
MLB

25 Hyped MLB Teams That Fizzled Out In The Playoffs

Darren - October 8, 2021
Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

8. Oakland Athletics (1990)

Oakland was phenomenal in 1990 with 103 regular-season wins. They blazed through the postseason and made it all the way to the World Series. Even more impressive was the fact that this was their third World Series appearance in a row. The hyped Athletics carried the favorites tag into the series but that’s as good as it got. Their hopes of glory faded after four tepid showings against the Reds.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Cincinnati shouldn’t have won this series because Oakland had an unbelievable roster. They had the likes of Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco as well as Rickey Henderson (via SF Gate). But it just goes to show that the biggest names don’t always guarantee success. Oakland stumbled at the final hurdle and the Reds brought home the glory. But everyone loves an underdog story.

Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports

7. Seattle Mariners (2001)

It’s rare that a record-breaking season ends with a bitter taste. But that was exactly Seattle’s experience after a heartbreaking end to 2001. They broke the AL record for most wins in a season with a remarkable 116. It appeared as though they were invincible and fans had high hopes for the hyped franchise. They won the ALDS before facing the Cleveland Indians in the ALDS.

Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports

In reality, the Mariners were an overrated team. The majority of their players overperformed throughout the season and failed to reproduce the same numbers in other years. We’re talking about the likes of Freddy Garcia and Aaron Sele who played important roles (via CBS Sports). But they did have genuine star power in Ichiro Suzuki and Brett Boone. In the end, the Indians brought their postseason to a close.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

6. Baltimore Orioles (1979)

The Orioles stormed through the American League with a glorious 102-57 record. Ken Singleton had the year of his life with 35 home runs while Earl Weaver was his usual brilliant self. Their power hitting was a sight to behold as they became one of the most electrifying teams in the Major Leagues. Soon fans hyped their chances of winning a World Series and it looked like they’d deliver.

Mandatory Credit: NBC Sports

After smashing their way through the playoffs, Baltimore faced Pittsburgh on the biggest stage of them all. They had smashed the Angels in the previous round and expected to blitz the Pirates (via Sporting News). The early signs were good as they took a 3-1 series lead. But then they capitulated and melted down as Pittsburgh took control. Disappointingly, this attacking force only scored two home runs in their final three games.

Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports

5. Atlanta Braves (1993)

There’s no doubt that Atlanta underachieved in 1993. After going 104-58, there were high hopes that this was their year. The hyped Braves were heavy favorites to win the World Series. When they brought in Greg Maddux it felt like they had brought an army tank to a pistol shooting range. Nobody gave the Phillies a chance of beating the Braves because they had such a great roster.

Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports

But the Phillies refused to allow the Braves to intimidate them in the NLDS. They went toe-to-toe with Atlanta and stunned them in Game One. This seemed like a blip because Atlanta bounced back to win the next two matches (via Sporting News). However, Philadelphia regained their focus and blazed their way through the next three games to clinch the series. But they lost the World Series against the Blue Jays.

Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports

4. New York Yankees (2020)

The Yankees came into 2020 as joint-favorites to win the World Series. However, unlike the Los Angeles Dodgers, they were unable to live up to preseason hopes. After adding Gerrit Cole, there were genuine hopes that they could be a contender. But the New York franchise suffered a lot of injuries throughout the year. The likes of Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge missed a lot of game time.

Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports

Analysts hyped them before the season but it soon became apparent that all was not well. They finished second in the AL after finishing with a 33-27 record and limped into the postseason. Then, they crashed out after defeat to the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALDS (via Sports Illustrated). Fans were very disappointed to see their team drop out of the playoffs at such an early stage.

Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports

3. Detroit Tigers (2012)

An 88-74 record isn’t the most impressive on this list, but the Tigers carried a lot of momentum in the 2012 postseason. Their run was dramatic for both good and bad reasons. After making it into the ALDS, they overcame Oakland in a hard-fought series. Immediately, MLB fans praised the Tigers for their fortitude and hyped up their chances of going all the way.

Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports

Then, they swept the Yankees in the Championship Series (via The Guardian). It appeared as though they had exploded into life at the perfect moment but this wasn’t the case. The San Francisco Giants destroyed the Tigers in the World Series as their hope of glory fizzled out. They had a great chance of winning and carried a lot of media attention into the finals but they couldn’t live up to it.

Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports

2. Houston Astros (2018)

The 2017 World Series winners came into the new season as the team to beat. Now that everybody knows that they cheated, it’s a wonder they didn’t secure back-to-back titles. However, the heavy favorites still had an impressive regular season. They went 103-59 as they secured successive hundred-win seasons for the first time in franchise history (via SBNation). No wonder fans hyped them up so much.

Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports

After winning the AL West they cruised past the Cleveland Indians in the ALDS. Next up was a meeting with the Boston Red Sox. However, this series didn’t go to plan for the Astros. Somehow, they managed to fall short and lost across five games. It was a miserable ending to their year because they should have made it to the World Series again. Looking back, it’s a wonder they failed.

Mandatory Credit: Bleacher Report

1. Chicago Cubs (2008)

The Cubs love to say ‘This is the season.’ But it usually isn’t the season. This was the case again in 2008 because they definitely didn’t win the World Series. The trouble with this franchise is that they court expectations. Their hyped teams find themselves in tricky situations because they drive their fans into a frenzy. Then, when they inevitably flop, their fans’ passion reflects back onto them.

Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports

After a 97-64 season, the Cubs faced the Dodgers in the NLDS. They had the likes of Aramis Ramirez, Carlos Zambrano, and Derek Lee on their roster. Meanwhile, they had the best record in the entire National League (via Fansided). They believed that this was finally their season but it wasn’t. They capitulated against the Dodgers as the West Coasters swept them across the series.

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