We are in the golden age of 100-win teams. Last year we had three; in 2019 we had four; in ’18 we had three and in ’17 we also had three. Compare that to the previous seven years, from 2010 to 2016, when there were a total of three (2011 Phillies, 2015 Cardinals and 2016 Cubs). And that doesn’t even take into account the 2020 season, when three teams (the Dodgers, Rays and Padres) played at a 100-win pace, and there were eight teams that played at a 94-win pace.
One more test? Right now there are seven teams on track for 100 wins this year.
So let’s take a look at those seven teams, ranked by how likely they are to sustain this pace. Not all of these teams will make it. But as recent history tells us… there may be more than you think.
1. Yankees (Record: 24-8. Pace: 122-40.)
All right, obviously the Yankees aren’t going to win 122 games: That would be the most wins in major league history. His .750 winning percentage would be the second-highest in baseball history, behind the 1906 Cubs, who went 116-36-3, a .763 winning percentage. The Yankees will cool down at some point, particularly considering the competition they have in their division. But a good start like this cannot be ignored. Let’s put it this way: They need to go 77-54 the rest of the way to reach 100 wins, which is a .587 winning percentage, resulting in a 95-win pace. That is certainly not easy. The Yankees didn’t win more than 95 games in any season between 2012 and 2017. But a hot start like this has earned them a bit of wiggle room. They are the best bet right now.
2. Dodgers (Record: 20-11. Pace: 104-58.)
The Dodgers are in the toughest division in baseball, a division that, absurdly, still has no sub-.500 teams: The last team in the NL West, the Rockies, is just one game away from a wild-card spot. . But this still feels a bit low for the Dodgers, doesn’t it? They’ve won 104 games or more three times in the last five full seasons, and they were on track for even more than that in 2020, the year they won the World Series. The Dodgers look stacked up and down their roster, and even in a division with five winning teams, winning 100 seems within reach.
3. Mets (Record: 22-12. Pace: 105-57.)
The Mets have three big things going for them:
• They’re at a two-for-three win rate. Those wins are in the bank.
• They haven’t seen a single start from Jacob deGrom yet.
• No one else in the NL East has a winning record.
That last one is legitimately wild, and it certainly won’t last. The Braves will get it going at some point, and the Phillies and Marlins have their fair share of ambition, too. Plus, you know, it’s the Mets — they haven’t won 100 games since 1988. But if they stay hot and this division doesn’t come together, this could be a special year.
4. Brewers (Record: 21-12. Pace: 103-59.)
This might seem like a risky pick to have them so high, considering the Brewers have never won more than 96 games in franchise history. But have you seen this division? He’s got two of the teams on a 100-loss beat, and it could be argued that the Pirates are actually playing a little over their heads right now. And it’s not like the Cardinals, the only other competitive team in the NL Central, are ripping it apart right now. The Brewers have already gotten a little fat in that division: They’re 13-5 against the Cubs, Pirates and Reds, and 7-7 against everyone else; the Cardinals are just 4-2 against that trio, but they can still play those teams 39 more times. And remember: Brandon Woodruff and Freddy Peralta aren’t even pitching that well yet.
5. Astros (Record: 22-11. Pace: 108-54.)
A week and a half ago, the Astros were at .500 and wondering if the Angels would top them. It’s funny how useful 11-game win streaks can be. They’re not as good as they seem right now, no team could be, but the Astros seem to be built for the long haul. Also, unlike other teams on this list, they have recently won 100 games, three years in a row since 2017-19. The split could come in handy here for them: The Rangers, and especially the A’s, aren’t going anywhere particularly interesting. But you’d think the Mariners had a few runs left and, oh yeah, there’s another 100-win team in the AL West. But the Astros, as they have for nearly a decade, keep winning.
6. Parents (Record: 21-12. Pace: 103-59.)
There’s probably a big gap between those top five and these bottom two. Still: How can you not be impressed by the Padres right now? They’re missing their MVP candidate in Fernando Tatis Jr., so they went ahead and had another one, with Manny Machado an early favorite to win his first trophy. Eric Hosmer has done it again in 2015. Joe Musgrove is the hometown boy who is now a Cy Young contender. That bullpen looks great! But the Padres also have a lot going against them, from that tough split to some rotation issues, the 16 games they have left with the Dodgers and the fact that their run differential is more emblematic of a 17-15 team than a 20-game one. -12. one. The Padres have never had a 100-win season. It is unlikely that this will be the first.
7. Angels (Record: 22-12. Pace: 105-57.)
Look, I’m having as much fun watching the Angels as the rest of you. They have become the team you always switch to on MLB.TV at least once a night. They still have an awfully thin rotation and a terrifying injury history and, uh, they haven’t had a winning record since 2015. 100 wins? Let’s focus on getting to the playoffs first, okay?