To compile a list of the best Major League Baseball teams of all time, there’s more than a century of data to mine and parameters to set. For one thing, a team can’t be great if they lose in the playoffs. For the Ruth and Gehrig Yankees (and every other team before 1969), the postseason simply meant the World Series. The best of the American League played the best of the National League for a winner-take-all best of seven.
Nowadays, there are wild card playoffs followed by Division Series followed by League Championship Series. Teams that survive earn the right to play for all the marbles. Still, the lopsided way teams from decades past won earn them the right to be among the greatest ever.
Baseball Almanac did some fantastic number crunching to come up with a picture of the most dominant teams in the regular season and playoffs. They used winning percentage, percentage of runs scored in any given game (allowing defensive-minded teams to gain weight), playoff record, and earned-run average (ERA) to define their version of “best ever.” Based on Baseball Almanac’s calculations and other tales of epic clubs of yore, here are the eight best MLB teams of all time.
8. 1970 Baltimore Orioles
In the modern era, 100-win seasons are special achievements. The 1970 Baltimore Orioles posted 108 wins and went 115-55 with their playoff run included. They beat the Reds in five games to cap off a season for the ages that was defined by the Birds’ pitching staff.
Hall of Famer Jim Palmer led the staff that featured three 20-game winners in the rotation and a team ERA of 3.15. Big Frank Robinson and Boog Powell supplied the power while Paul Blair and Brooks Robinson worked their magic on the field and at the plate. This was Earl Weaver’s best team, one of five 100-win squads skippered by the late Hall of Fame manager but the only one to win the World Series.