What is the worst team start to a season in MLB history?


Cincinnati Reds president Phil Castellini apologized to the team’s fans before the 2022 season even started.

After 25 games, he might be due for another one.

The Reds have a putrid 3-22 record after falling to the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday. The loss was Cincinnati’s ninth straight and capped off a third straight sweep.

The immediate start to the season wasn’t nearly as dreary in Cincinnati. The team won its Opening Day contest in Atlanta against the defending World Series champion Braves and wound up splitting the four-game series. Since then, they have just one win compared to 20 losses.

It’s May 5, and the Reds aren’t even the winningest major professional sports team from The Queen City in the calendar year. Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals went 4-2 in their final six games dating back to a Week 17 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. They fell to the Cleveland Browns in Week 18, won their first three playoff games and then lost to the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LVI.

How does the Reds’ abysmal beginning compare to other MLB teams, though?

What’s the worst start to a season in MLB history?

By beating the Braves on Opening Day, the Reds aren’t in the conversation for the most losses to begin a season. 

That dishonor belongs to the Baltimore Orioles, who dropped 21 straight games to begin the 1988 season. Right behind them are the 1997 Chicago Cubs, who started the season 0-14.

As for 25-game starts to a season, the 2022 Reds’ 3-22 record is tied with the 2003 Detroit Tigers for the second-worst mark in league history. Only the ‘88 Orioles started worse through 25 games at 2-23.

What’s the longest losing streak in an MLB season?

The Reds have a long way to go before reaching the longest losing streak in MLB history.

The Philadelphia Phillies rattled off a record-setting 23 straight losses during the 1961 season. The Orioles have approached that number twice, once with their 0-21 start in 1988 (second-longest in MLB history) and again in 2021 with a 19-game skid.

What’s the worst record for a team in an MLB season?

The Reds are currently on pace for the worst record in an MLB season.

At 3-22, Cincinnati has a .120 winning percentage. By comparison, the worst record in league history belongs to the 1899 Cleveland Spiders, who had a .130 winning percentage with their 20-134 record.

Even if they move above the 1899 Spiders, the 2022 Reds could still be in danger of setting a modern record. The worst record for any team since 1900 belongs to the Philadelphia Athletics, who went 36-117 (.235) in 1916.

To make matters worse, even if the Reds land the worst record in the league this season, they will still be long shots for the No. 1 pick in the 2023 MLB Draft. Under the new draft lottery rules, a team’s odds for the top selection max out at 16.5%.

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