The New York Mets celebrate after winning game 7 of...

The New York Mets celebrate after winning game 7 of the 1986 World Series against the Boston Red Sox at Shea Stadium on October 27, 1986. Credit: Getty Images/T.G. Higgins


Record: 116-36

Manager: Frank Chance

Lost in World Series (4-2) to the Chicago White Sox

A win total that has stood as the NL record for more than a century. In addition to managing the team to an MLB record .763 winning percentage, Hall-of-Famer Frank Chance also played first base and led the league in runs and stolen bases. Joining Chance were three other future Hall of Famers in Johnny Evers, Joe Tinker and Mordecai Brown. Brown posted a record-setting 1.04 ERA on his way to a 26-6 season. However, a ton of regular season wins does not guarantee a championship, and although the AL's Chicago White Sox had 23 less wins during the season, they upset the Cubbies in the World Series, 4-2.


Record: 116-46

Manager: Lou Piniella

Lost in the ALCS (4-1) to the Yankees

It took 95 years, but in 2001, the Mariners were able to match the Cubs' win total — with a little help from a longer schedule. The M's took full advantage of their roster, with John Olerud, Mike Cameron and Edgar Martinez playing in their prime and Bret Boone having a career year. The Mariners also benefited from career years from four different starting pitchers in Jamie Moyer(20-6), Freddy Garcia (18-6), Aaron Sele (15-5) and Paul Abbott (17-4). But the main piece to the puzzle was the arrival of Ichiro Suzuki. Ichiro immediately led the league in batting average and hits. However, the Mariners were ousted in the ALCS in five games by the defending champion Yankees, who finished 21 games behind Seattle in the regular season. They are the only team on this list not to make it to the World Series.


Record: 114-48

Manager:Joe Torre

Won World Series

On paper, the 1998 Yankees might not have looked as impressive as the 1927 or 1961 Yankees, but the results don't lie. Fueled by the all-star bats of Scott Brosius, Paul O'Neill, Bernie Williams and a young Derek Jeter as well as the arms of Andy Pettitte, Orlando Hernandez, David Cone and David Wells, the bombers would finish the year 22 games ahead of the Red Sox to win the AL East. Jeter lead the league in runs and hits while Williams won the batting title. Cone compiled his fist 20-win season in a decade, and Wells pitched a perfect game. After finishing the season on a seven-game winning streak to reach the record-setting 114 win marker, the Yankees didn't slow down one bit in the post-season. They steamrolled to an 11-2 playoff record, including a World Series sweep of the San Diego Padres. With a 125-50 overall record, the best ever, it's hard to ignore this team when you talk about the all-time greats.


Record: 111-43

Manager: Al Lopez

Swept in World Series (4-0) by the New York Giants

Over the 10-year period between 1949-1958, the Yankees won the AL pennant nine times. The one year they didn't, they won 103 games. Unfortunately that wasn't enough to beat out the 1954 Indians. So what's a good way to win 111 games? Have four future Hall of Famers on your pitching staff. The Indians' starting rotation featured Early Wynn and Bob Lemon — 23 wins each — as well as Bob Feller, who only started 19 games but won 13 of them. Hal Newhouser pitched out of the bullpen and added seven wins himself. But Cleveland didn't just rely on pitching. Their starting lineup included Hall-of-Famer Larry Doby, who led the league in homers and RBIs, as well as all-stars Al Rosen and Bobby Avila, who won the AL batting title. The 111 regular-season wins total, however, would also be the Indians' final wins total, as they were swept in the World Series.


Record: 110-49 (with three games left)

Manager: Dave Roberts

No. 1 seed in NL playoffs

This ninth time in the past 10 seasons the Dodgers won their division. In that time span, they've reached the World Series three times times and won it once, in the COVID-19 shortened 2020 season.


Record: 110-42

Manager: Fred Clarke

Won World Series

Led by hurlers Howie Camnitz and Hall-of-Famer Vic Willis, along with Hall-of-Fame sluggers Fred Clarke (who also managed the team) and Honus Wagner, the 1909 Pirates cruised to an impressive win total. The aging Wagner led the league in batting average, on-base and slugging percentage and RBIs while Willis and Camnitz combined for a 47-17 record. The World Series that year would pit "The Flying Dutchman" Wagner and his Pirates against "The Georgia Peach" Ty Cobb and his Detroit Tigers. Wagner went 8-24 with a triple, six RBIs and six stolen bases as the Pirates edged out the Tigers in seven games.


Record: 110-44

Manager: Miller Huggins

Won World Series

Arguably sporting the most terrifying lineup in MLB history, the batting order included Hall-of-Famers Earle Combs, Tony Lazzeri, Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth. Add in Bob Meusel and Mark Koenig and you get the infamous "Murderers' Row." The nickname seemed appropriate, as the Bombers led the league in batting average, runs and RBIs. They also launched 158 homers, which beat the next closest AL team by 102. Ruth's record-setting 60 long-balls was enough to lead the league on its own. Lou Gehrig added 48 home runs and 175 RBIs which landed him an MVP award (Ruth was ineligible to win the award). Meusel and Lazzeri also notched 100-RBI seasons. The Yanks also boasted two Hall-of-Famers at the top of their rotation in Waite Hoyt and Herb Pennock who won 22 and 19 games, respectively. Come the World Series, the Yankees solidified their reputation, as they steamrolled the Pittsburgh Pirates in four games. Only two home runs were hit during the series, both by the Babe.


Record: 109-53

Manager: Ralph Houk

Won World Series

When you think of the 1961 Yankees, you normally think of the M&M boys’ pursuit of the Babe. But while Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris' chase for the home-run record was historic, the team they played on also had one of the most memorable and successful seasons in league history. With the help of aris' MVP-winning 61 homers and 141 RBIs plus Mickey Mantle's 54 bombs, the Yanks finished the season eight games ahead of the Detroit Tigers to win the AL pennant. Elston Howard, Bill “Moose” Skowron and Yogi Berra each hit more than 20 homers to bring the team's season total to a record-breaking 240. On the pitching side, Whitey Ford led the charge, finishing with 209 strikeouts and a dominating 25-4 record on his way to his only Cy Young Award. In the World Series, they beat the Cincinnati Reds in five games.


Record: 109-53

Manager: Earl Weaver

Lost in World Series (4-1) to the Mets

1969 marked the birth of division standings, as the American League was split in two. Baltimore emerged as the first American League East champion and did so in impressive fashion. First baseman Boog Powell had a career year, blasting 37 home runs and knocking in 121 runs. The starting line-up also included Hall-of-Famers Brooks and Frank Robinson. Pitchers Mike Cuellar and Dave McNally both put together 20-win seasons and were backed up by 23-year-old future Hall-of-Famer Jim Palmer who went 16-4 with a 2.34 ERA. The Orioles finished the season 19 games ahead of the Detroit Tigers to win the East and then swept the Minnesota Twins in the first ALCS. However, in the World Series, Baltimore lost in five games to the Mets.


Record: 108-54

Manager: Sparky Anderson

Won World Series

Although "The Big Red Machine" had no starting pitchers win more than 15 games in 1975, they still were able to win the NL West by 20 games. This was due mainly to the Hall-of-Fame bats of Tony Perez, Johnny Bench, 1975 NL MVP Joe Morgan and the bat of all-time hit king Pete Rose. Morgan and Rose both hit over .315 while Bench and Perez each compiled 20-homer, 100-RBI seasons. Significant contributions from George Foster and Ken Griffey along with the managing of Hall-of-Famer Sparky Anderson helped elevate this team to one of the best ever. The Reds cruised through the Pittsburgh Pirates in the NLCS and then edged out the Boston Red Sox in seven games to win the World Series. They would win it all again the following year.


Record: 108-54

Manager: Earl Weaver

Won World Series

If at first you don't succeed.... After losing to the Mets in the Series the year before, the Orioles didn't change much. The team was still led by the Robinsons and Boog Powell offensively and the top three starting pitchers remained Cuellar, McNally and Palmer. A year older, Palmer put together his first 20-win season to go with 24-win seasons by both Cuellar and McNally. The Orioles rode the trio to 108 wins during the regular season, and then won seven more in the playoffs, sweeping the Twins once again in the ALCS and finishing the job against the Cincinnati Reds. Six of the seven victories went to these three pitchers. Over this two-year period, the O's won 217 regular-season games, 228 including the playoffs.


Record: 108-54

Manager: Davey Johnson

Won World Series

Much like the 1998 Yankees, the 1986 Mets didn't look like a 108-win team on paper. With only one Hall-of-Famer (Gary Carter) you wouldn't expect them to run away with their division, but that's exactly what they did. Armed with an even blend of speed (Lenny Dykstra and Mookie Wilson), power (Darryl Strawberry and Carter) and contact (Keith Hernandez and Wally Backman), the Mets would lead the league in runs, RBIs and batting average. The pitching staff contained four starters with at least 15 wins — Dwight Gooden (17-6), Ron Darling (15-6), Bob Ojeda (18-5) and Sid Fernandez (16-6) — and led the league with a team ERA of 3.11. In the end, the Amazin's had won the NL East by 21.5 games, defeated the Houston Astros in the NLCS (4-2) and — with a little help from Bill Buckner — beat the Boston Red Sox in seven to win their second World Series in franchise history.


Record: 108-54

Manager: Alex Cora

Won World Series

For the first time in history, both the Red Sox and Yankees had 100 wins in the same season, but it was Boston who came out on top in the American League East. Seemingly never slowing down, the Red Sox never lost more than three games in a row, and only did that twice in the course of a long season. With two MVP candidates in outfielders Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez and a strong starting rotation, the Red Sox cruised through the playoffs, beating both the Yankees and Astros in five games in the ALDS and ALCS, respectively, before clinching their fourth World Series title in 15 years by topping the Dodgers in five games.

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