The 2021 MLB season is only two weeks old, and a few teams have fallen well below their early expectations. The New York Yankees (5-7) are off to the most disappointing start of any club, while the Atlanta Braves (5-8) and Washington Nationals (3-7) surprisingly sit at the bottom of the NL East standings.

The Yankees entered the season as the clear favorite in the American League. New York’s over/under win total was set at 95.5 at various sportsbooks. After 12 games, the Bronx Bombers are on pace for a 68-94 record.

With less than 8% of their regular season in the books, the Yankees have more than enough time to turn things around. New York ranks 10th among 15 AL teams in OPS, and the most double plays in baseball have killed countless potential rallies. Aside from Gerrit Cole, the rotation has only produced one quality start.

New York has already lost three series to teams within the AL East. The Boston Red Sox (9-4) might be the league’s most pleasant surprise, jumping out to an early 3.5-game lead over their greatest rival.

While the AL East was supposed to be the Yankees’ division to lose, the NL East is considered MLB’s most competitive division. However, a couple of favorites aren’t doing much to prove that is actually the case.

Atlanta is 2.5 games behind the division-leading New York Mets (5-3). The Braves have won three straight NL East titles. Only the World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers (11-2) and San Diego Padres (9-5) started the year with higher projected win totals in the NL than Atlanta.

The Braves have only faced NL East opponents thus far, most recently losing three out of four games against the Miami Marlins. Atlanta is three games under .500, despite a hot start by Ronald Acuna Jr. The right fielder is the early NL MVP favorite with seven home runs and a .442/.492/1.000 slash line.

COVID-19 protocols have disrupted Washington’s season, which started five days later than originally scheduled. Even though they’ve played fewer games than almost any other team, the Nationals rank second-to-last in the NL with a minus-17 run differential.

An NL-worst 5.16 ERA is mostly responsible for Washington sitting in last place. Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Corbin are a combined 0-4 with an 8.58 ERA in six starts.

Although there's still a lot of baseball left to be played, it's worth noting that the Nationals and Braves are more than 3.5 games out of the early NL wild-card race.

New York Yankees
Clint Frazier #77, DJ LeMahieu #26 and Kyle Higashioka #66 of the New York Yankees and teammates Brett Gardner (2nd R) #11 and Aaron Judge (R) #99 look on from the bench during Game 2 of the American League Division Series against the Tampa Bay Rays at PETCO Park on October 06, 2020 in San Diego, California. Christian Petersen/Getty Images