While pulling off 100 wins is no easy feat for a team, it’s not an uncommon phenomenon in Major League Baseball.

Since 2000, 33 teams have reached triple-digit wins in a season. And in the last six years, at least three teams per season have finished with 100+ wins.

In 2022, four teams finished with over 100 wins – the Los Angeles Dodgers, Houston Astros, Atlanta Braves, and New York Mets. The Dodgers’ .685 winning percentage (111-51 record) has become the highest since the .716 winning percentage set by the 2001 Seattle Mariners.

Best Records in MLB History Since Start of 162-Game Season

We recently looked back at the worst records of all-time, but now let’s explore the teams with the best records in MLB history.

(Note: this list only includes teams that played a full season, as the 2020 Dodgers hold a .717 winning percentage but only played 60 games in the COVID-shortened season.)

Best Records in MLB History

1.     116-36 (.763) – Chicago Cubs, 1906

Just five years after the start of the modern era, the Cubs set a record for single-season winning percentage – and it has stood untouched ever since. Their pitching staff was outstanding, with a stellar 1.75 team ERA. In fact, Hall of Famer Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown owned a 1.04 ERA on the season, the second lowest in the modern era. The team boasted a few more Cooperstown inductees, among them player-manager Frank Chance, who helped the Cubs reach a league-leading 4.55 runs per game. But despite finishing with the best record in MLB history, the Cubs ultimately lost 4-2 in the World Series to the Chicago White Sox, their crosstown rivals.

2.     103-36 (.741) – Pittsburgh Pirates, 1902

The 1902 Pirates are the only 100+ win team on this list not to play a game in the playoffs. That is, they didn’t because the MLB had not yet had its inaugural postseason. With skipper Fred Clarke at the helm, the Pirates led the National League in nearly every offensive category, including batting average (.286), on-base percentage (.344), and runs scored (775). Outfielder Ginger Beaumont owned the highest batting average in the NL, reaching the .357 mark, and shortstop Honus Wagner led the league with six home runs (it was called the Dead-Ball Era for a reason).

3.     110-42 (.724) – Pittsburgh Pirates, 1909

The Pirates make the list again in 1909, but shockingly, they barely ran away with the best regular season record. Fresh off two World Series wins, the Cubs were right at their heels, finishing just six games behind the Pirates with a 104-49 record. Pirates shortstop Honus Wagner led the NL in most batting statistics, including batting average (.339), runs batted in (100), on-base percentage (.420), and slugging percentage (.489). That same year, the Pirates narrowly defeated Ty Cobb’s Detroit Tigers 4-3 to win their first World Series title.

4.     111-43 (.721) – Cleveland Indians, 1954

The American League record for highest winning percentage is held by the ’54 Indians. Though he was competing against legends like Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle, and Yogi Berra, Cleveland outfielder Larry Doby led the AL in homers (32) and runs batted in (126). The team combined for a league-low 2.78 ERA, with two Indians’ pitchers – Bob Lemon and Early Wynn – leading the majors with 23 wins apiece. While the Indians claimed the AL pennant, they were swept 4-0 by the New York Giants in the World Series (but they might’ve had a shot to win Game 1 had it not been for “The Catch” by Willie Mays). After that WS loss, the Indians did not reach the playoffs again until 1995, the second-longest drought in MLB history – and with their last championship coming in ‘49, hold the longest active World Series win drought.

5.     116-46 (.716) – Seattle Mariners, 2001

While no team has ever come close to the Cub’s .763 winning percentage, the ‘01 Mariners managed to match their 116-win MLB record. 2001 was outfielder Ichiro Suzuki’s rookie season, where he tied for best batting average in the majors (.350) and led in hits with 242 (just two years before his 262 hits broke the modern era record). Ichiro ultimately won the MVP award and Rookie of the Year, but the Mariners did not fare as well as he did. Though Seattle beat the Indians in the ALDS, they lost 4-1 to Derek Jeter’s New York Yankees in the ALCS. In doing so, they’ve gone down in history as the first team to win over 110 games but fall short of making the World Series – a stage the franchise has yet to reach in any season.

6.     110-44 (.714) – New York Yankees, 1927

It’s safe to say that with a lineup nicknamed “Murderer’s Row,” the 1927 Yankees did some damage. They dominated the league in almost every batting category, including their 158 home runs (50 more than the second-best team), .307 team batting average, 908 RBIs, and whopping 376 run differential. That year, Babe Ruth shattered the MLB record with 60 home runs – hitting more than 12 entire teams. AL MVP Lou Gehrig finished second with 47 dingers and led the majors with 173 RBIs. In terms of pitching, the Yankees were stellar, with a league-low 3.20 ERA and starter Waite Hoyt tied for most wins (22) in the AL. Led by manager Ed Barrow, the Yankees swept the Pirates in the World Series, taking home their second win.

T-7. 107-45 (.704) – Chicago Cubs, 1907

The defending National League champion Cubs stayed hot to start the 1907 season, just a year after they finished with the best record in MLB history. Their pitching staff led the charge, setting an MLB record (that still stands today) with their 1.73 team ERA. Jack Pfiester led the league with a 1.15 ERA, and four out of the next five spots on the list were held by the Cubs – all of which were sub-1.70. The Cubs defeated the Tigers 4-1 (including a tie) in the World Series, redeeming themselves for their 4-2 loss to the White Sox the previous season. Their phenomenal pitching was able to hold Ty Cobb to just four hits in 20 at-bats and only gave up six runs the entire series.

T-7. 107-45 (.704) – Philadelphia Athletics, 1931

Entering the 1931 season, the A’s were coming off back-to-back triple-digit win seasons and had won the last two World Series. Outfielder Al Simmons led the majors with his .390 batting average, beating out both Ruth and Gehrig. But it was the A’s pitching that stole the spotlight, starting with Robert “Lefty” Grove’s “Triple Crown,” where he ranked first with 31 wins, 175 strikeouts, and a 2.06 ERA. George Earnshaw, Rube Walberg, and James “Jumbo” Elliott owned 21, 20, and 19 wins, respectively, and the A’s led the AL in least runs allowed (626). But their dreams of winning three consecutive World Series ended as they fell to the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games. The A’s would not go on to reach another Fall Classic until ’72 – but then went ahead to win three in a row.

Best Records in MLB History at Home

9. 114-48 (.704) – New York Yankees, 1998

Entering the ’98 season, the Yankees were 23-time World Series champions – and were on their way to starting another title run. Their stacked roster put up numbers, with outfielder Bernie Williams leading the AL in batting average (.339) and All-Star shortstop Derek Jeter ranking first in runs scored (127). On the pitching side, David Cone tied for first in the majors with 20 wins, and David Wells threw a perfect game against the Twins. Closer Mariano Rivera dominated other teams with his 1.88 ERA and 36 saves, extinguishing any hope of a comeback once he took the mound. The Yankees ultimately swept the Rangers in the ALDS, got their revenge on the defending American League champion Indians in the ALCS, and pulled off another yet another sweep of the Padres in the World Series.

10. 106-45 (.702) – New York Yankees, 1939

The Yankees cap off the list for best records in MLB history, starting off the 1939 season with a World Series three-peat under their belt. Outfielder Joe DiMaggio led the league in batting average (.381) and placed top-5 in nearly every other offensive category – usually just behind the rival Boston Red Sox’s Jimmie Foxx or Ted Williams. DiMaggio, second baseman Joe Gordon, and catcher Bill Dickey each had over 20 home runs apiece. The team finished first – by decent margins – in several hitting categories, among them runs scored (967), homers (166), and RBIs (904). Outscoring other teams by an impressive 411 runs, the Bronx Bombers ended the season 17 games in front of the second-place Red Sox. They easily swept the Cincinnati Reds in the Fall Classic and became the only team in MLB history to win four consecutive World Series rings.

Best Record During a Postseason Run (Min. Seven Games)

  • 7-0 – Cincinnati Reds, 1976
  • 11-1 – Chicago White Sox, 2005
  • 11-1 – New York Yankees, 1999
  • 8-1 – Oakland Athletics, 1989
  • 7-1 – Baltimore Orioles, 1970
  • 7-1 – Detroit Tigers, 1984
  • 7-1 – New York Mets, 1969

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