Worst seasons in MLB history: Most losses, worst record and more

Looking at the worst MLB seasons after A's historically bad start originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The Oakland Athletics are on pace for a historic season.

A historically bad one.

The A’s won just 10 of their first 50 games in 2023, giving them the worst 50-game start to a season since the Boston Red Sox also went 10-40 all the way back in 1932. That 1932 Red Sox team went on to have one of the worst regular seasons in big league history with a record of 43-111.

So, will the 2023 A’s suffer a similar fate? Here’s a look at the company Oakland could be joining by season’s end.

What’s the worst start to an MLB season?

The A’s are tied with the 1932 Red Sox and 1897 St. Louis Browns for the fourth-worst 50-game start in big league history. The record belongs to the 1897 Louisville Colonels who went 7-43 in their first 50 games.

Who has the most losses in an MLB season?

No big league team has suffered more losses in one season than the 1899 Cleveland Spiders, who went 20-134. Cleveland is the only team that has reached the 130-loss mark.

What’s the worst MLB record in a 162-game season?

The 2003 Detroit Tigers recorded the fewest wins among teams that played 162 games. Detroit went 43-119 for a winning percentage of .265.

How many games are the Oakland Athletics on pace to lose in 2023?

Through 50 games, the A’s were on pace to finish with a record of 32-130. That would give them a winning percentage of .246, which would rank seventh-worst all time and the worst among teams to play at least 160 games. The 130 losses would be the second-most ever.

What is the worst record in MLB history?

Based on winning percentage, the aforementioned 1899 Cleveland squad is also the owner of the worst record among teams that played at least 120 games in big league history.

Here’s an extended look at the worst seasons, with a minimum of 120 games played, in big league history by winning percentage, according to StatMuse.

1899 Cleveland Spiders: 20-134, .130 winning percentage

1890 Pittsburgh Alleghenys: 23-113, .169

1889 Louisville Colonels: 27-111, .196

1897 St. Louis Browns: 29-102, .221

1886 Washington Nationals: 28-92, .233

1916 Philadelphia Athletics: 36-117, .235

1886 Kansas City Cowboys: 30-91, .248

1935 Boston Braves: 38-115, .248

1962 New York Mets: 40-120, .250

1884 Detroit Wolverines: 28-84, .250