Where 2022 Rays Rank Among ‘Worst’ MLB Playoff Teams Of All Time

Where 2022 Rays Rank Among ‘Worst’ MLB Playoff Teams Of All Time
Fact Checked by Nate Hamilton

There’s an age-old saying that regular-season records get thrown out the window the minute the MLB calendar flips over to October.  

Few teams embodied that sentiment quite like the 2022 Tampa Bay Rays, who made the AL Wild Card round, despite going 86-76 (.531) in the regular season.  

Fast forward a year, and two divisions in the league (the AL and NL Central) are currently on pace to shatter the league’s current record for the worst regular season record (82-80, by the 2005 Padres) to make the postseason.  

That’s because the 2023 Twins currently hold the top spot in the AL Central despite having a 42-43 record; the Guardians are also one game under .500 at 41-42 but Minnesota has a slightly better winning percentage. In the NL Central, the Brewers and Reds are tied at 45-39 (a .536 wining percentage) going into Monday's games. Potentially one of these teams could be one-upping the 2005 Padres as the MLB team with the worst regular season record to make the postseason.  

With the AL and NL Central being especially bad this season, and a record just a few games about .500 might be enough win either division.  FloridaBets.com decided to break from Florida sports betting updates and look back at the worst regular season teams (86 or fewer wins) to reach the postseason since the MLB expanded to three divisions in 1994, and how deep they went.

Worst MLB Regular Season Teams To Reach Postseason

We utilized historical records from MLB.com and Baseball-Reference.com to construct this list.  

Year Team Record Postseason Result
2005 Padres 82-80 (Won NL West) Lost NLDS to Cardinals, 3-0
2006 Cardinals 83-78 (Won NL Central) Won World Series over Tigers, 4-1
1997 Astros 84-78 (Won NL Central) Lost NLDS to Braves, 3-0
2008 Dodgers 84-78 (Won NL West) Lost NLCS to Phillies, 4-1
2007 Cubs 85-77 (Won NL Central) Lost NLDS to Diamondbacks, 3-0
2017Twins85-77 (Second AL Wild Card)Lost AL Wild Card Game to Yankees
1997 Indians 86-76 (Won AL Central) Lost World Series to Marlins, 4-3
2015 Astros 86-76 (Second AL Wild Card) Lost ALDS to Royals, 3-2
2022 Rays 86-76 (Third AL Wild Card) Lost AL WC Series to Guardians, 2-0

Where 2022 Rays Would Rank Among Worst Playoff Teams

The 2022 Rays actually aren’t particularly close to being the MLB’s worst playoff team by record, ranking in a tie for eighth overall with the 1997 Indians and 2015 Astros at 86-76.  

Leaguewide, the 2005 Padres (82-80), 2006 Cardinals (83-78), 1997 Astros and 2008 Dodgers (84-78 apiece) and 2007 Cubs (85-77) lead the way in terms of regular season futility.  

Of the 10 teams with the lowest regular season win totals to reach the playoffs, only the Cardinals won it all, while the 1997 Indians lost to the Marlins in the World Series and the 2008 Dodgers fell in the NLCS.  

The other five teams either fell in the Wild Card round (like the Rays) or in the ALDS or NLDS, showing how hard it is to win in October — especially when you enter on less-than-stable footing. 

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Christopher Boan writes for FloridaBet.com and has been covering sports and sports betting for more than seven years, with experience at ArizonaSports.com, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.

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