In baseball, teams usually go through cycles of futility and success. However, some teams seemed to be trapped in a repeated cycle of futility. Other teams suddenly create the conditions to be bad, while others are beset by injuries and regression that, for the most part, is uncontrollable.
Below, you will find the list of worst teams in MLB The Show 22. Importantly, the in-game rankings reflected below are from the live rosters at game launch (March 31). Each team listed below did not make the 2021 playoffs, representing at least a multi-season spat of fruitlessness. As with any sports game, the rankings are bound to change throughout the season based on individual player performances, injuries, trades, and more.
After all, most projections heading into 2021 had the San Francisco Giants as a mediocre team at best; they just led the league in regular season wins with 107 in response. Could any of the teams listed below buck projections and be this year’s version of the Giants?
21. Colorado Rockies
Division: National League West
2021 Record: 74-87 (4th in N.L. West)
Best Pitcher: German Màrquez (81 OVR)
Best Hitter: Kris Bryant (85 OVR)
A team that has leaned more mediocre than futile, the Rockies made a splash of sorts by signing former Most Valuable Player and World Series winner Kris Bryant to a lucrative contract. The question now is will he be enough to turn the team around into a playoff contender?
Bryant joins the newly-extended Ryan McMahon (84 OVR), C.J. Cron (81 OVR), speedster Garrett Hampson (79 OVR), and veteran Charlie Blackmon (77 OVR), returning to the leadoff spot. On the other hand, pitching – as has always been the case for Colorado – remains an issue. Màrquez leads a rotation that sees no other pitcher in the 80s, with their relief pitching even worse.
In a division with the Dodgers, Giants, and Padres all looking to remain in contention, it will be a tough journey for Colorado to regain playoff status.
22. Arizona Diamondbacks
Division: N.L. West
2021 Record: 52-110 (5th in N.L. West)
Best Pitcher: Zac Gallen (82 OVR)
Best Hitter: Ketel Marte (83 OVR)
Another N.L. West team the Diamondbacks were every negative adjective in the book. They tied Baltimore for the worst record in the league.
Unless there is some regression to the mean not projected in their player ratings, 2022 will be much of the same. Most of the pictured roster was on the team in 2021, and even Ketel Marte’s brilliance wasn’t enough to even make Arizona respectable. Catcher Carson Kelly (81 OVR) faces a make-or-break season where he either takes the leap to superstar catcher that he was touted as being as a prospect or just a serviceable MLB starter, which is a fine career. Nick Ahmed (77 OVR) can play defense, but his hit tool is lacking.
On the pitching side, Gallen leads a rotation that includes former World Series winner Madison Bumgarner (80 OVR) and Merrill Kelly (77 OVR). The bullpen is led by longtime veteran Oliver Pérez (80 OVR) and Mark Melancon (77 OVR). Still, even though the pitching side isn’t as dire as Colorado, it will be tough.
23. Detroit Tigers
Division: American League Central
2021 Record: 77-85 (3rd in A.L. Central)
Best Pitcher: Andrew Chafin (81 OVR)
Best Hitter: Javier Bàez (87 OVR)
A team that actually surprised many by only finishing eight games under .500 in 2021, the Detroit Tigers rank 23rd of 30 teams even after signing Javier Bàez from the Chicago Cubs.
Bàez now anchors a lineup that includes Jonathon Schoop (83 OVR) – who seems to have found new life in Detroit – and young Willi Castro (79 OVR). Catcher Eric Haase (77 OVR) brings the power. The big name to watch for is that of one of the best positional prospects in the game, Spencer Torkelson, who is expected to be called up during the season.
Eduardo Rodriguez (80 OVR) helms a rotation that includes Michael Pineda (77 OVR) and is expected to add top prospect Spencer Turnbull (80 OVR) during the season. Chafin anchors the bullpen, but a common theme with these lower-ranked teams is that they just do not have enough pitching.
24. Minnesota Twins
Division: A.L. Central
2021 Record: 73-89 (5th in A.L. Central)
Best Pitcher: Taylor Rogers (86 OVR)
Best Hitter: Byron Buxton (91 OVR)
A team that fell below expectations in 2021, Minnesota enters a quasi-rebuild after trading Josh Donaldson to the New York Yankees for a package that included catcher Gary Sànchez (77 OVR) and jettisoning catcher Mitch Garver to the Texas Rangers.
However, they did finally sign Byron Buxton to an extension, ensuring he will lead their lineup while playing platinum level defense in center. They also signed Carlos Correa (87 OVR) to a three-year deal. The lineup also includes Jorge Polanco (81 OVR) and Sànchez.
Minnesota did sign Sonny Gray (81 OVR) to add to a rotation that includes Kenta Maeda (78 OVR). Taylor Rogers – one of the best closers in the game – unfortunately doesn’t have too much help as Tyler Duffey (79 OVR) and Caleb Thielbar (77 OVR) slot in behind him.
25. Texas Rangers
Division: American League West
2021 Record: 60-102 (5th in A.L. West)
Best Pitcher: Dane Dunning (77 OVR)
Best Hitter: Marcus Semien (97 OVR)
It should be an indication of the depth of Texas that even after signing both Marcus Semien and Corey Seager (80 OVR), the Rangers still rank as the sixth-worst team in MLB The Show 22.
The good news is that Semien and Seager should anchor the team as it moves into contention. The bad news is that time may come later rather than sooner. Adding Garver (85 OVR) helps, as does the hopeful development of Adolis Garcia (81 OVR). However, their lineup needs help if they’re going to make the most use of Semien and Seager’s abilities.
Like Colorado, Texas has generally had issues fielding competitive pitching and 2022 is no different. Dan Dunning is the highest-rated pitcher on the team, tied with former Rockies pitcher Jon Gray (77 OVR) and just ahead of Kohei Arihara (75 OVR). The bullpen is led by John King (76 OVR). When it comes to pitching, few teams in The Show 22 fare worse than Texas.
26. Cincinnati Reds
Division: National League Central
2021 Record: 83-79 (3rd in N.L. Central)
Best Pitcher: Tyler Mahle (82 OVR)
Best Hitter: Joey Votto (83 OVR)
A fun team in 2021 that just couldn’t find the right formula, Cincinnati finds itself in a rebuild after the departures of players like Gray and Nick Castellanos, both of whom played well for the Reds.
Joey Votto – who will likely retire as the rare one-team player in modern baseball – may not be his prime M.V.P. self, but he can still work the strike zone and get on base with the best of them. He’s joined by reigning Rookie of the Year Jonathan India (82 OVR), who looks to improve and avoid the dreaded sophomore slump. Catcher Tyler Stephenson (79 OVR) also looks to improve after showing flashes of promise last year and with the spot opened by the trade of Tucker Barnhart.
Tyler Mahle is joined by Luis Castillo (80 OVR) and his fantastic changeup, with Mike Minor (78 OVR) rounding out the top three. Tejay Antone (77 OVR) leads the bullpen that, like with most teams on this list, needs help.
27. Baltimore Orioles
Division: American League East
2021 Record: 52-110 (5th in A.L. East)
Best Pitcher: John Means (80 OVR)
Best Hitter: Cedric Mullins (86 OVR)
The unfortunate punching bag for the A.L. East for the better part of the last decade, Baltimore once again projects to be putrid, but at least they have foundational pieces to build around.
Cedric Mullens, fresh off of a career year, leads a lineup that include Austin Hays (83 OVR), Ryan Mountcastle (80 OVR), and Trey “Boom Boom” Mancini (78 OVR), who returned to baseball last year after a battle with cancer. The lineup has potential, but also still needs room for growing into that potential.
On the pitching side, John Means emerged in 2021 as the ace Baltimore has sought since arguably Mike Mussina, depending on your thoughts on Erik Bedard. Baltimore instead has too often seen starting pitchers they tried to develop thrive on other teams (Jake Arrieta for the Cubs; Kevin Gausman in San Francisco after a stop in Atlanta), so Means really represents the first Baltimore ace in at least a decade. However, Baltimore may have the worst pitching situation in all of The Show 22 and in baseball in general.
28. Washington Nationals
Division: National League East
2021 Record: 65-97 (5th in N.L. East)
Best Pitcher: Stephen Strasburg (87 OVR)
Best Hitter: Juan Soto (93 OVR)
A team whose ranking was signaled by the late-season trades of longtime stalwarts Max Scherzer and Trea Turner to the Dodgers, Washington at least has a generational talent to build around and a former number one overall pick to ace the rotation – if healthy.
Juan Soto is a rare breed of hitter who can hit for power, contact, and control the strike zone. He makes hitting look easy and smooth. Luckily for him, the universal DH allowed the Nationals to sign Nelson Cruz (81 OVR) to provide insurance for Soto as the rest of the lineup leaves a bit to be desired. Former prospect Josh Bell (78 OVR) looks to cement himself at first while Victor Robles (75 OVR) just hopes to hit enough to remain the lineup to make use of his speed and defense.
Stephen Strasburg, arguably the most-hyped number one draft pick in all of baseball, regains his position as ace. Patrick Corbin (77 OVR) looks to return to form – from his Arizona days – as the number two behind Strasburg. In the bullpen, Will Harris (77 OVR) and Sean Doolittle (75 OVR) are solid, but are being asked to do a lot to anchor what will be a mediocre bullpen.
29. Pittsburgh Pirates
Division: N.L. Central
2021 Record: 61-101 (5th in N.L. Central)
Best Pitcher: David Bednar (79 OVR)
Best Hitter: Bryan Reynolds (84 OVR)
A team that’s already made news for negative reasons by sending down top prospect Oneil Cruz in what many see as brazenly manipulating player service time, Pittsburgh will probably continue to make news throughout the season because of their futility.
Bryan Reynolds tied with Roberto Pérez (84 OVR), but Reynolds has better vision, contact, and speed while both play premium defensive positions. They’re joined by young Ke’Bryan Hayes (81 OVR), who many see as challenging Nolan Arenado as the best defensive third basemen in baseball. However, after them, the lineup is not strong.
Zach Thompson (79 OVR) leads a rotation that includes Jared Eickhoff (78 OVR) with the bullpen led by David Bednar. Still, for all of these teams, pitching is the area that needs the most help.
30. Oakland Athletics
Division: A.L. West
2021 Record: 86-76 (3rd in A.L. West)
Best Pitcher: Sean Manea (83 OVR)
Best Hitter: Sean Murphy (83 OVR)
A team that many predicted would enter a self-inflicted rebuild after the 2021 season, Oakland proved the predictions right when they traded away “The Two Matts” in Matt Olson and Matt Chapman to Atlanta and Toronto, respectively.
In an A.L. West with the reigning A.L. champion Astros, an Angels team with Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani, and a Mariners team that many project to battle for a playoff spot, the A’s may become to the A.L. West what the Orioles are to the A.L. East.
Catcher Sean Murphy leads a lineup that includes Ramon Laureano (80 OVR) – suspended during 2021 and still serving out the suspension for performance enhancing drugs – Seth Brown (76 OVR), and Tony Kemp (76 OVR). The loss of both Matts removed stability and production from the A’s lineup.
Sean Manea leads a rotation that includes Frankie Montas (83 OVR) and James Kaprielian (75). However, their bullpen is atrocious in The Show 22, meaning you will need to bolster that before anything should you use the A’s.
Now you know the worst teams in MLB The Show 22. Will you choose to take any and turn them into winners in Franchise mode?