Last week, we looked at the five losing teams from last year that are most likely to take a step forward in 2023. This week, we look at five 2022 playoff teams that might take a step back in 2023.
We'll start by again referencing the Plexiglass Principle: Teams that improve one season tend to decline the next and vice versa. Using a similar methodology as last week, we'll examine the 75 teams that had winning records over five complete back-to-back seasons from 2015-16 to 2021-22. Not surprisingly, those teams declined an average of 3.4 wins the following season.
The 2021-22 San Francisco Giants are a great example of the Plexiglass Principle in action. After years of losing baseball, the Giants shocked everyone with a 107-win season in 2021. While nobody expected 107 wins again, they fell to 81-81 -- a 26-win decline that matches the 2021-22 Oakland Athletics for the largest of the 75 teams in our study. (Of course, Oakland's decline was self-imposed after a series of post-lockout trades).
So, let's pick five teams coming off winning seasons that might regress in 2023 ...