After losing 100 in '22, Reds make historic turnaround

October 1st, 2023

Coming off a 62-100 season in 2022, the Reds made a surprising turnaround behind an influx of young talent in 2023, remaining in the postseason race until the final weekend of the season.

While Cincinnati ultimately fell short in its bid for the playoffs, it became just the 12th team to post a winning record one year after losing 100-plus games since MLB switched from a 154- to a 162-game schedule in 1961, the start of the Expansion Era.

Here's a breakdown of how 100-loss teams have fared in subsequent seasons during this time period.

Note: Unless otherwise noted, only teams during the Expansion Era (1961-present) are included here for the sake of consistency with the 162-game schedule. Shortened seasons such as 1981, 1994, 1995 and 2020 are not included.

How many teams lost 100 or more games from 1961 to the present?

A total of 91 teams have lost 100 or more games in a season since the start of the Expansion Era in 1961.

What was the average win total for those teams the following season?

The average win total the year after a team lost 100 or more games is 69.

How many teams finished the season after they lost 100 or more games with a record above .500?

Of the 87 teams with 100 or more losses from 1961-2022, 12 (13.8%) finished the next season above .500:

2022-23 Reds (62-100 to 82-79, through Sept. 30)
2021-22 Orioles (52-110 to 83-79)
2016-17 Twins (59-103 to 85-77)
2008-09 Mariners (61-101 to 85-77)
1988-89 Orioles (54-107 to 87-75)
1985-86 Giants (62-100 to 83-79)
1985-86 Cleveland (60-102 to 84-78)
1979-80 Athletics (54-108 to 83-79)
1973-74 Rangers (57-105 to 84-76-1)
1966-67 Cubs (59-103 to 87-74-1)
1962-63 Cubs (59-103 to 82-80)
1961-62 Phillies (47-107 to 81-80)

The highest win total among these teams belongs to the 1967 Cubs and 1989 Orioles, who each won 87 games after losing 100-plus the prior season. The largest year-over-year increase in wins belongs to the 1962 Phillies, who went from 47 wins the previous season to 81 the next, representing an increase of 34 wins.

How many teams with 100-plus losses one season reached the postseason the next?

That would be just one: the 2017 Twins, who went 85-77 after going 59-103 the prior season to clinch an American League Wild Card berth. Minnesota lost the AL Wild Card Game to the Yankees that October.

What was the average length of time from a 100-plus-loss season to a playoff appearance?

The average time to the next postseason berth for one of these teams during the Wild Card Era -- we’re using that period for this question because since the implementation of the Wild Card in 1995, there has been more opportunity to reach the postseason -- was 6.6 years.