Baseball is a major sport internationally and certainly a big deal in the US. Whether you support the Yankees, Astros, or Dodgers, it offers a heady mix of all-out action and bullpen drama. The 2021 MLB season is now well underway, with the regular season set to finish on October 3, 2021. This will then see the famed World Series start at the end of October and provide the answer to who is the MLB’s biggest surprise of the season?
As the season has progressed, there have been some teams that have surprised fans with their form and success on the field. Of course, you also have some sides that have surprised baseball fans for the wrong reasons! It is not only interesting to find out which teams these are, but can also help if you bet on baseball. Once you know which teams are overperforming or not playing as well as they should, you can use this knowledge when placing the best sports bets today.
But which MLB teams have been the biggest surprises in the current season so far?
2021 MLB’s Biggest Surprises
San Francisco Giants
Coming into the current MLB season, some people were doubting the Giants. It is fair to say the team from San Francisco has more than surprised these fans. They currently sit atop NL West with a 90-53 record and were the first side to hit 70 wins in 2021. Most MLB fans will admit that the Giants have outperformed expectations and delivered a lot more than they promised pre-season. The transformation of Steven Duggar and Darin Ruf into top-level players has helped, as has the leadership of Gabe Kapler. With the Kris Bryant trade also a big plus, they have really made people sit up and take notice
When talking about nasty surprises in this MLB season so far, you have to look at the Cubs. There are two major reasons for the way Chicago has shocked baseball fans so far this year. Firstly, they have not played anywhere near their potential and currently have a 65-76 record in NL Central. This leaves them floundering second from bottom and playing well below their potential.
The second big surprise was how the team’s roster was blown up on the trade deadline in July. They let go of players such as Bryant, Rizzo, and Baez in deals that most Cubs supporters were not expecting. 2021 now seems a write-off for the side and a season that really underdelivered. They have some serious work to do for next year and need to sign some of the best free agents available in the 2021 MLB off-season
Another team that has surprised people with just how bad they are is the Twins. After last year’s title win and postseason run, everyone thought they would be back for more. This has not happened, though. They currently languish last in AL Central and might be lucky to hit 70 wins this campaign or get over a .500 average.
The drop-off from how well they did last year compared to this year’s form has really caught people out. The problem for Minnesota is that key players such as Josh Donaldson have just not turned up yet. With sub-standard pitching and hitting so far in 2021, it has been a real shocker.
Boston Red Sox
Although the Red Sox MLB season to date has been a little inconsistent, few could argue that they have not been pleasantly surprised by Boston. Not too much was expected of them coming into the campaign, so to sit behind only the Rays in AL East is pretty good.
Although their pitching has not always been great, their home run limiting has been a nice treat in general for fans. The offense has been where they have really turned it on, though. Ranking well for batting average and slugging percentage, players such as Rafael Devers and Xander Bogaerts have excelled. After a slow start in 2021, the Red Sox has come back to surprise everyone.
MLB 2021 Campaign Full of Surprises
After the somewhat downbeat 2020 season, 2021 has been a real breath of fresh air for MLB fans. This has been helped in large part by the number of surprises and unexpected shocks that the league has delivered. Twists of fate are a major part of sports, after all, and keep fans coming back for more. The sides mentioned above have certainly been surprising to date – some for better, some for worse!