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100+ Wins In A Season Since ’69

Posted by Steve Lombardi on April 1, 2011

Dimitris Bertsimas of MIT is predicting that both the Red Sox and Rays will win 100 games this season.

Here's a list of all the teams to win 100+ games in a season since 1969:

Rk Tm Year 5 #Matching W L  
1 NYM 1969 100 100 0 Ind. Games
2 BAL 1969 109 109 0 Ind. Games
3 CIN 1970 102 102 0 Ind. Games
4 BAL 1970 108 108 0 Ind. Games
5 BAL 1971 101 101 0 Ind. Games
6 OAK 1971 101 101 0 Ind. Games
7 LAD 1974 102 102 0 Ind. Games
8 CIN 1975 108 108 0 Ind. Games
9 PHI 1976 101 101 0 Ind. Games
10 CIN 1976 102 102 0 Ind. Games
11 NYY 1977 100 100 0 Ind. Games
12 PHI 1977 101 101 0 Ind. Games
13 KCR 1977 102 102 0 Ind. Games
14 NYY 1978 100 100 0 Ind. Games
15 BAL 1979 102 102 0 Ind. Games
16 BAL 1980 100 100 0 Ind. Games
17 NYY 1980 103 103 0 Ind. Games
18 DET 1984 104 104 0 Ind. Games
19 STL 1985 101 101 0 Ind. Games
20 NYM 1986 108 108 0 Ind. Games
21 NYM 1988 100 100 0 Ind. Games
22 OAK 1988 104 104 0 Ind. Games
23 OAK 1990 103 103 0 Ind. Games
24 SFG 1993 103 103 0 Ind. Games
25 ATL 1993 104 104 0 Ind. Games
26 CLE 1995 100 100 0 Ind. Games
27 ATL 1997 101 101 0 Ind. Games
28 HOU 1998 102 102 0 Ind. Games
29 ATL 1998 106 106 0 Ind. Games
30 NYY 1998 114 114 0 Ind. Games
31 ARI 1999 100 100 0 Ind. Games
32 ATL 1999 103 103 0 Ind. Games
33 OAK 2001 102 102 0 Ind. Games
34 SEA 2001 116 116 0 Ind. Games
35 ATL 2002 101 101 0 Ind. Games
36 NYY 2002 103 103 0 Ind. Games
37 OAK 2002 103 103 0 Ind. Games
38 SFG 2003 100 100 0 Ind. Games
39 ATL 2003 101 101 0 Ind. Games
40 NYY 2003 101 101 0 Ind. Games
41 NYY 2004 101 101 0 Ind. Games
42 STL 2004 105 105 0 Ind. Games
43 STL 2005 100 100 0 Ind. Games
44 LAA 2008 100 100 0 Ind. Games
45 NYY 2009 103 103 0 Ind. Games
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 4/1/2011.

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Two teams in the same divison each winning 100+ games? It's happened just 3 times since 1969: The AL East in 1980, the NL West in 1993, and, the AL West in 2001.

Can it happen again in 2011?  What do you think?

This entry was posted on Friday, April 1st, 2011 at 1:23 pm and is filed under Game Finders. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

35 Responses to “100+ Wins In A Season Since ’69”

  1. Interesting that, through 1990, at least one of the 100+ win teams made it to the WS every year except 1980. That's 14 out of 15 years that the pattern held.

    Since then, it's been pretty much a toss-up with misses in 6 out of 12 years (1993, 1997, 2001, 2002, 2005 and 2008).

    My guess is the extra round of playoffs has something to do with it. It's just that much harder to stay on top of your game for 3 weeks instead of just two.

  2. "...said Bertsimas, co-director of MIT's Operations Research Center and admitted Red Sox fan."

    :)

  3. Bertie of MIT should probably lay off the glue for a while. :-)

  4. John Autin Says:

    I just noticed this (though it must have been widely noted at the time):
    2002-04 was the first time the Yankees ever won 100+ games for 3 straight seasons.

  5. John Autin Says:

    Franchises around since 1901 with the fewest 100-win seasons:

    1 -- White Sox (1917); Twins/Senators (1965)
    2 -- Pirates (1902, '09); Phillies (1976-77); Indians (1954, '95)
    3 -- Red Sox (1912, '15, '46)

  6. Bill Parks Says:

    If the 162 game schedule was in effect before 1961 the Yankees probably would have done it a bunch of times: 36-39, 41-43, 49-51, 53-57

  7. 1993 - the last season before the strike and subsequent addition of the wild card round (and also the Braves moving to the NL East)

    The Giants lost out to the Braves for the NL West crown (104 to 103) and did not make the playoffs. The only other team on the list to hold that distinction is the 1980 Orioles.

  8. Great list.

    *The 1969 Mets are usually depicted as some sort of lousy & lucky team but this team was actually great and somehow their 100 wins get overlooked in the story. Seaver & Koosman were excellent in '69 and C. Jones had a career year that in most years would have resulted in an MVP award. They received excellent defense from Agee, Harrelson and Grote. McGraw and Gentry were very good and for some reason the contributions of Jack Dilauro, Ron Taylor and Don Cardwell have been completely overlooked.

    *Ironically the '71 A's might have been the best version of those A's teams and they didn't even get to the WS.

    *The 1974 Dodgers were a great team that never gets talked about. Tommy John got hurt mid-way through the 1974 season otherwise they may have been remembered as one of the all time great teams. They probably should have won the 1974 WS even without John. All but one of the five games in the series were 1 run games and the Dodgers lost 3 of them. Ron Cey made a crucial error in game 1 and grounded into a no-out double play. Joe Ferguson made a crucial error in game 3, and Steve Yeager made a crucial error in game 5.

    *The '76 & '77 Phillies were a much stronger and more balanced team than the 1980 WS champs.

    *The 1977 Royals were the best team in franchise history and they didn't even get to the WS.

    *I forgot about the 1980 Orioles.

    *The 1980 Yankees won 103 games and were a great Yankee team that never gets talked about because they didn't get to the WS. 1980 also got Dick Howser fired and probably brought Dave Winfield to the Bronx.

    *I know Hershiser was great, but how the heck did the '88 Mets & A's lose to the Dodgers that year?

    *How did the 1990 A's lose to the Reds?

    *It's amazing, the '93 Braves won 104 games and the '93 Giants won 103 and neither team made it to the WS???

    *Cleveland won 100 games in a STRIKE shortened year in '95!

    *The Braves won 104 games in '93, 101 in '97, 106 in '98, 101 in '02, and 101 in '03 and didn't go to the WS in any of those years????

    *The Mariners won 116 & the A's won 102 in 2001 and neither team made it to the WS??

    *The Yankees won 103 & the A's won 103 in 2002 and neither team made it to the WS?

    The '04-05 Cardinals both won 100+ games and didn't win the WS yet the '06 Cardinals who only won 83 games won the WS?? Go figure baseball!

    I kind of forgot how good those '02-04 Yankees were. 3 straight 100+ win seasons yet only One A.L. pennant and No WS titles?

    I forgot that the '08 Angels won 100 games.

  9. I think what this list shows overall is how the extra round of playoffs has cheapened the value of the regular season. It also shows the impact the 7 game LCS has had on the outcome of the WS winner. But what it really shows is that it's not really that important to win 100+ games in the regular season because it doesn't mean that much anymore.

    From 1969-1984 (5 game LCS): 11/18 (61%) teams that won 100+ games won the LCS and went to the WS.

    From 1969-1984 (5 game LCS): 7/18 (38%) teams that won 100+ games won the WS.

    From 1985-1993 (7 game LCS): 4/7 (57 %) teams that won 100+ games won the LCS and went to the WS.

    From 1985-1993 (7 game LCS): 1/7 (14%) teams that won 100+ games won the WS.

    From 1995-2010 (Divisional Series + 7 Game LCS): 6/20 (30%) teams that won 100+ games won the LCS and went to the WS.

    From 1995-2010 (Divisional Series + 7 Game LCS): 2/20 (10%) teams that won 100+ games won the WS.

    From 1985-2010 (7 Game LCS + Divisional Series from '95-10) 10/27 (37%) won the LCS and went to the WS.

    From 1985-2010 (7 Game LCS + Divisional Series from '95-10) 3/27 (11%) won the WS.

    The thing that's most shocking to me is that only 3 teams out of 27 that have won 100+ games since 1985 have won the WS. Also it's been a drastic drop in that from 1969-1984 you basically had a 40% chance to win the WS if you won 100 games. Since '85 your chance of winning a WS with 100+ wins is about 10% which is kind of mind blowing to me.

  10. John DiFool Says:

    Only two teams in the last 5 years tho, the fewest for any 5 year period you can name in the chart in question.

  11. @9 - I don't think you can make that assumption at all. This is a pretty small sample size.

  12. Re: #9, the only two teams to win 100 games and the Series (out of 25 teams to win 100 games) since the '86 Mets were the '98 and '09 Yankees.

    IMO, the '09 and '98 Yankees and the '86 Mets were the best teams of their respective decades, and the '75 Reds were the best team of the 70s, and they won the World Series, too. Although Bill James hates the '61 Yankees, I believe they were the best team of the '60s.

    So, IMO, the best team of the decade, at least from a regular season wins standpoint, did win the World Series in each of the past 5 decades. But after those teams postseason success for the 100-win club was hard to come by.

  13. Sorry. To correct myself on Post #12, the '09 Yankees did not have the most regular season wins of the '00s. I believe they ranked #3 behind the '01 Mariners and the '04 Cardinals. The '09 Yankees were the only 100-win team of the decade which won the World Series, though. Two other teams, the '02 Angels and '05 White Sox, had 99 wins.

  14. John Autin Says:

    @9 may have had a small sample size, but it's also perfectly logical that 100-win teams would win the WS far less often in the current format than they did before 1969.

    Before 1969, 100 wins quite likely got you into directly into the WS. These days, it just gets you into an 8-team tournament.

    Even if you are the dominant team in the 8-team field, the probability of winning it all is much less than before the divisional era. Say your team is (by some purely objective method) a 3-2 favorite in every series; you still have less than a 22% chance to win the big one.

    Also, it's generally accepted that there's a bit of difference in the optimal composition of a team for the regular season and for a postseason series. Generally, depth and balance are less important in the postseason, while having 2 great SPs is a big plus, especially with all the off days. This has always been at least somewhat true; but before '69, if you had a deep, balanced team without those 2 great SPs, you still had a decent shot to win it all, because you only had to win one series. With 3 rounds, you have a much larger chance of running into a team that you would beat over the course of a long season but that has an edge on you in a series, because of 2 great SPs or because they just match up well against you for some reason.

  15. John Autin Says:

    P.S. My argument @14 lost sight of the fact that the discussion is only about the divisional era. But the general points still apply.

  16. There are 45 teams that have won 100+ games in a season since 1969 but take away all extra inning wins and that number of teams drops from 45 to 3

  17. "Dimitris Bertsimas of MIT is predicting that both the Red Sox and Rays will win 100 games this season."

    Is he the same guy who lives under a rock in the Geico commercials?

  18. @11 Mike,

    I don't see how it's a small sample size considering the context.

    From 1969-1993 under the LCS/WS format, 25 seasons, (8) 100+ win teams won the WS out of 25 teams with 100+ wins. That's 32% and that's with 2 of those teams, '80 Orioles and the '93 Giants not even making the playoffs!

    From 1995-2010, 16 seasons, (20) teams have won 100+ games and only 2 (10%) have gone on to win the WS.

    You had a period from 1999-2008, 10 seasons, where 14 teams won 100+ games and NONE of those teams won the WS! And only 3 of those teams even made it to the WS, '99 Braves, '03 Yankees, and the '04 Cardinals.There's never been anything like that in baseball history.

    From 1969-1993, 25 seasons, 16 teams out of 25 (64%) that won 100+ games made it to the WS.

    From 1995-2010, 16 seasons, 6 teams out of 20 (30%) that won 100+ games made it to the WS.

    That's a dramatic difference. 64% to 30% making the WS and 32% to 10% winning the WS.

    The point is that the extra round of playoffs radically changed the way the Championship is decided and baseball rarely makes mention of it. Building a team to win 100 games is costly and kind of pointless now because it doesn't guarantee you anything.

    I think the smart way to build a team now is to have two ace pitchers in your rotation with a good defense behind them and have one or two big hitters and a half way decent bullpen the rest really becomes superfluous. All you have to do is win 89-93 games and just make the playoffs

  19. DaveKingman Says:

    The two most incredible sports stories of the last 15 years that (I think) nobody talks about as much as I would think....

    1. A two-bit, semi-pro quarterback bagging groceries in an Iowa Hy-Vee store cracks a backup job in the NFL for a last place team. The starter goes down in preseason, and the backup steps in to take them to the Super Bowl and becomes the MVP to boot.

    2. An up and coming Seattle Mariners team trades away 3 of the top 50 greatest players of the last century (Griffey, Rodriguez and Johnson) and immediately after they're all gone, goes out and wins 116 games.

    Anyway, I always thought that was pretty incredible.

  20. @19 Dave Kingman,

    It definitely was highly unlikely that the Mariners would set the single season win record after Griffey, Johnson, and A-Rod left. But they had a bunch of things go their way.

    Edgar Martinez was still there and hit .306/.423/.543

    John Olerud was a shrewd pick up and played great defense and hit .302/.401/.472.

    Bret Boone became the seconding coming of Rogers Hornsby with a .331/.372/.578 season.

    Then they had a superstar in Ichiro hit .350/.381/.457

    Mike Cameron was a shrewd pick up in the Griffey trade. He hit .267/.353/.480 with 34/39 in SB and played great defense in Center.

    David Bell, Mark Mclemore and Carlos Guillen gave them some great defense. Stan Javier gave them solid help off the bench.

    Their pitching wasn't that great and that's what hurt them in the playoffs.

    The Mariners were starting Freddy Garcia, Jamie Moyer, Aaron Sele and Paul Abbott with K. Sasaki. Meanwhile the Yankees were starting Roger Clemens, Mike Mussina, Andy Pettitte and El Duque and they had M. Rivera in the pen.

    The 2001 Mariners were really an anachronism to how a successful team was built before the Divisional & LCS rounds.

  21. @16...very interesting...which were the three? Are you a hockey fan who misses the 'T' column in the standings?

  22. # 8 I was a 16 year old Met fan and '88 was a miserable failure indeed.I thought they were the best team in baseball that year,Cone was awesome,Doc was still good,Strawberry was at his peak.Hershiser,Gibson and from what I remember,the Dodgers lousy CF killed them.I can't even remember his name,switch hitter who was a stiff.

  23. #21 I miss the ties.I also miss seeing goals scored,ahh to have only 21 teams again....

  24. Random Sports Guy Says:

    Is it money in the bank that the Red Sox are going to win 100 games this year? Has it been pre-written in the big book of baseball??? Since these 2 answers are NO then we should not be having this discussion.

  25. @24 Random

    Lighten up. That's why we have these forums. The Sox will win 100+ but not the Rays. This is not a team booster site!

  26. If we count losses where the Red Sox starters crap the bed before the 5th inning as WINS for them, then YES, the Red Sox will 'win' 100 games.

  27. #21

    :)

  28. Random Sports Guy Says:

    @25, go **** yourself pal. I'm sick of these Sox fans automatically entitling themselves to the division and the WS crown yet still trying to separate themselves from the fact that they are exactly like the Yankees.

  29. @24 & @28

    Random, why so much attitude? I'm not even a Sox fan.... just an AL East realist. Their lineup is offensively stacked and the starting pitching should be decent enough to total 100+ wins. Those are my general reasons without going into detail

  30. @25, the Sox might win 100 games, but I would not state that they "will win 100+."

    I'm comfortable they'll be in the 95+ win range, but a lot of things have to go right for a team to break through 100-win line, especially considering the number of times they'll have to play AL East teams. If the Orioles are the weakest team, then the division is even more insanely tough than the past.

    I don't see the Rays approaching 100 wins, unless they pull off a miracle reconstructing their bullpen. Odd to see the Yankees cast as underdogs. With their offense and bullpen, if the backend of their rotation puts up respectable numbers, they could win 100 games just as "easily" as the Red Sox. Yet there seems to be these expectations thta the Sox are going to win 117 games while breaking the single-season runs-scored record as they march to to and through the World Series. Not sure why.

  31. The Rays and Red Sox WILL win 100+ games... COMBINED.

    @28 Seems to be a disproportionate amount of anger towards something as silly as what people predict as win totals for baseball teams.

  32. download Maria Ozawa uncensored at http://www.duckload.com/dl/leuu2 password 2514

  33. Way too much anger over how many wins the Yakees, Red Sox, and Rays are going to have this year.

    The Vegas line for the Over/Under this year was:

    Red Sox: 95.5 wins o/u
    Yankees: 91.5 wins o/u
    Rays: 84.5 wins o/u

    Both the Yankees and Red Sox are huge favorites to make it to the playoffs, so I don't understand why there is so much anger on how many wins each team will have. Who cares how many regular season wins each team has?

  34. @ 5, some team NEVER won 100 games (like the Montreal Expos)

  35. Random Sports Guy Says:

    Has any team in baseball history to start out 0 - 4 ever won 100 games??????