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Who Will Be The First MLB Manager Fired in 2021?

April 16, 2021
Odds on first MLB manager to be fired 2021

The Red Sox, White Sox, and Tigers were the only major league teams to replace their managers during or after the 2020 MLB season. Alex Cora, Tony La Russa, and A.J. Hinch might be safe in 2021, but there are a handful of managers that could be shown the door before the regular season ends.

Who will be the first MLB manager fired in 2021? While Cora, La Russa, and Hinch might not be on the short list, in today’s “win now” era you never know who might find themselves out of a job.

BRANDON HYDE, BALTIMORE
The Baltimore Orioles haven’t been relevant in a long time. There were three seasons in the mid-2010s where the Orioles made the postseason, but prior to that it was the late 1990s when Baltimore was a threat in the AL East.

Hyde was hired before the 2019 season and, if not for the Detroit Tigers, the Orioles would have had MLB’s worst record at 54-108. But, it was Hyde’s first season, so he got a pass as he and the front office attempted to rebuild.

Hyde got another pass after last season, the fourth straight losing season for the Orioles. In a coronavirus pandemic shortened 60-game season, the Orioles went 25-35 but didn’t finish last in the AL East Division.

In 2021, Baltimore is off to a 5-8 start and yes, they are last in the division. That is why Hyde is the leading favorite to be the first manager fired in 2021. Hyde is given +700 odds to be let go before another team pulls the plug on its manager.

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BUD BLACK, COLORADO
Of all the managers on this list, Black is one of the most successful. Hired prior to the 2017 season, Black is still above .500 despite two awful seasons in 2019 and 2020. In Black’s first two seasons with the Rockies, he led them to third- and second-place finishes in the L.A. Dodger-owned NL West. Both finishes resulted in wild card berths in the postseason.

Black’s postseason record is also a sore spot. The Rockies are just 1-4 in five postseason games under Black. The Colorado front office hasn’t helped Black much and heading into 2021 he will now be without one of the game’s best players in Nolan Arenado, who is now a Cardinal. But, remember that Colorado went 97-125 the past two seasons and that was with Arenado.

The Rockies aren’t helping Black at all in 2021. After 13 games, the team is 3-10 overall and has yet to win a game on the road. Black is listed right behind Hyde at +800 to be the first MLB manager fired in 2021.

CHRIS WOODWARD, TEXAS & SCOTT SERVAIS, SEATTLE
Both Woodward and Servais are given the same odds – +800 – as Black. Woodward has two seasons under his belt in Texas. Neither was very impressive. The Rangers finished fourth in the AL West in 2019 after going 78-84 and then fell to fifth last year after a 22-38 pandemic-shortened season. The Rangers are 6-7 after 13 games in 2021.

Servais is in his sixth season in Seattle where he has produced two winning seasons (2016 and 2018). He has yet to produce a playoff berth as the Mariners own the record among the four major North American professional sports. Seattle has not been to a postseason since 2001.

Servais may be on track to save himself though. Seattle leads the AL West after 13 games with an 8-5 record. They are a half-game ahead of the Angels and 1.5 games ahead of Houston. The Mariners have managed to win eight games despite a run differential of minus-8.

THE VALUE PICK: TOREY LOVULLO, ARIZONA
Lovullo started his tenure with Arizona with a bang. The Diamondbacks went 93-69 and finished second in the NL West in Lovullo’s first season in 2017. TheD-Backs would lose in the NLDS. That would be Lovullo’s only trip to the postseason in his four years with Arizona. Lovullo would produce winning seasons in 2018 and 2019 but no playoff berth.

Last year, Arizona finished last in the NL West at 25-35. Yes, the division is a tough one. Having to play 19 games against the Dodgers and Padres this season will be an adventure. It will be an even bigger adventure with a lineup that doesn’t scare many pitchers. Lovullo’s best player, Kole Calhoun, is hitting .263 and the team hits just .228 (20th in MLB). The lone bright spot is Eduardo Escobar who has five home runs in 12 games.

Arizona is 5-8 so far and they haven’t played the Dodgers once yet. The schedule is going to be a tough one. Before the first half of the season ends, the D-Backs will have played the Dodgers 10 times and the Padres nine. They have a three-game series with Atlanta, six games against the Nationals, and seven games against the Brewers. At +1000, Lovullo makes for a great choice to be the first MLB manager fired in 2021.

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