What Does the Best Regular Season Record in MLB Mean?

The Phillies finished the 2010 regular season with the best record in MLB. This accomplishment is all the sweeter when the barrage of injuries the team faced are considered. Now that we’ve reached the interlude between the regular season and the postseason the question looms: aside from homefield advantage in the NL play-offs, what does the best regular season record mean? Here are a few numbers regarding the best MLB regular season record since the expansion to three divisions in each league (discounting 1994 because there was no postseason).

Seasons: 16
Teams with the best record: 20 (this number is greater than 16 due to ties)
Franchises with the best record: 11
Mean number of wins for best record: 102
Lowest number: 96
Highest number: 116

Does regular season performance translate to postseason success? Between 1995-2009  the postseason results looked like this:

The fate of MLB best regular season record teams (1995-2009).

In the past 15 seasons 16% of the teams with the best record in baseball have gone on to win the World Series. Because teams can tie for best record, 20% of the World Series champions have had the best record in MLB.

Postseason baseball is wonderful. I think it is a travesty that the division series are only best of five games, but I guess nothing is perfect.


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