Most MLB Wins in a Season

Which teams won the most games in a single MLB season? Also, tips for predicting wins in a season.

February 23, 2024

The baseball season is long – with Opening Day right around Easter and the World Series right around Halloween. In between are the dog days of summer, with lots of travel, lots of streaks and lots of slumps. The teams that survive and thrive often wind up with the trophy after the final pitch has been thrown.

Let’s look at those teams from the past that had the most MLB season wins, and how they did it. We’ll also try to give you some insight on how to bet on which teams will have the biggest numbers in the W column this year.

The Basics of MLB Season Wins Betting

When the oddsmakers set the win totals and over/under lines for each team before the season starts, they take note of several things:

  • Acquisitions during the offseason
  • Injuries to key players and pitchers heading into the season
  • Growth and maturity of young stars
  • Deterioration of stars due to injury and/or age
  • Win totals in recent seasons

For instance, the Los Angeles Dodgers added Shohei Ohtani, Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Tyler Glasnow and Teoscar Hernandez in the offseason, while the Atlanta Braves traded for Jarred Kelenic and Chris Sale. The Dodgers won 100 games in 2023, and the Braves 104.

On the low end, the books have the Oakland A’s projected to win about 56 games in their final season in Oakland. Last year, the A’s were 50-112.

Analyzing Historical Performance

A look at teams’ records in recent seasons can offer insight on how they will perform in the current season. The Dodgers, for instance, have won at least 100 games every season since 2019, except for the COVID-shortened 2020 season. So, expecting LA to hit at least 100 wins is a decent possibility.

Over the past several seasons, the Astros have 90, 106, 95, 107, 103, and 101 wins since 2017.

Unless recently successful teams lose key pitchers or a few of their major sluggers, it’s a good bet they won’t have a major drop-off in wins.

Case Studies of Past MLB Seasons

Here are the teams with the most MLB wins in a single season, and these totals are only for the regular season. Playoff wins are not included in MLB season records:

  1. Seattle Mariners, 116 (2001) – Ichiro Suzuki batted .350 and won AL Rookie of the Year after coming to MLB from Japan. The Mariners are the only current MLB franchise to never make a World Series appearance.
  2. Chicago Cubs, 116 (1906) – Shortstop Joe Tinker, second baseman Johnny Evers and player-manager first baseman Frank Chance formed the most famous double-play combination in history (“Tinker to Evers to Chance”).
  3. New York Yankees, 114 (1998) – David Wells pitched a perfect game — he later claimed to be hung over — and the team was stocked with stars, including Hall of Famers Derek Jeter, Tim Raines, Mariano Rivera and manager Joe Torre.
  4. Cleveland Indians, 111 (1954) – Early Wynn and Bob Lemon each won 23 games and 35-year-old Bob Feller was 13-3.
  5. New York Yankees, 110 (1927) – The team’s “Murderers Row” included Babe Ruth (60 home runs) and Lou Gehrig (47).
  6. Pittsburgh Pirates, 110 (1909) – Honus Wagner, whose 1911 card is the most expensive baseball card in history, led the majors in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage and runs batted in.
  7. Baltimore Orioles, 109 (1969) – The O’s had pitching stars Mike Cuellar (23 wins), Dave McNally (20) and Jim Palmer (16), and future Hall of Famers Frank Robinson and Brooks Robinson.
  8. New York Yankees, 109 (1961) – Roger Maris broke the home run record with 61 and Mickey Mantle hit 54. Whitey Ford won 25 games.
  9. New York Mets, 108 (1986) – 21-year-old Dwight Gooden was 17-6 with 200 strikeouts and a stellar roster including Gary Carter, Darryl Strawberry, Lenny Dykstra and Keith Hernandez. The team later rallied past the Red Sox in the “Bill Buckner Game” and went on to win the World Series.
  10. Cincinnati Reds, 108 (1975) – The “Big Red Machine” had an incredible roster, including Pete Rose, Joe Morgan, Johnny Bench, Tony Perez, George Foster and Ken Griffey Sr. Amazingly, none of their pitchers reached 20 wins.
  11. Baltimore Orioles, 108 (1970) – McNally and Cuellar each won 24 and Palmer won 20. Boog Powell hit 35 home runs and Frank Robinson belted 25.
  12. Boston Red Sox, 108 (2018) – Mookie Betts batted .346 and had 32 home runs, and J.D. Martinez hit 43 HRs and batted .330.

Understanding the Impact of Offseason Moves

Before you take a swing at MLB futures on Tipico, do some homework, especially if you’re just getting over your NFL and college football obsessions and haven’t paid attention to the baseball off-season. Check out who got traded and which free agents signed with new teams. Also make sure to find out if anyone joined MLB from overseas – like Ichiro to the Mariners before the 2001 season.

Here are some of the biggest offseason moves in MLB history and how they helped:

Yankees trade for Babe Ruth in 1919 – The Bombers became a dynasty, while the Red Sox couldn’t win a title for 85 years.

Orioles trade for Frank Robinson in 1965 – “The Judge” won the Triple Crown in 1966 and led the O’s to four World Series in six years, winning two of them.

Reds trade for Joe Morgan in 1971 – “Little Joe” won two MVP awards and led the Reds to back-to-back titles.

Giants sign Barry Bonds in 1992 – Bonds went on to become the all-time home run leader – allegedly with the help of PEDs – and helped SF reach a World Series.

Here are some of the most impactful offseason moves after last season. Take stock of them and figure those into your betting decisions:

Dodgers sign Yoshinobu Yamamoto – The right-handed pitcher was 75-30 with a 1.72 ERA in the Japan professional leagues.

Yankees trade for Juan Soto – The outfielder is with his third team in three seasons, but has 160 home runs, and he’s only 25.

Orioles trade for Corbin Burnes – The right-hander won the NL Cy Young in 2021 and will bolster a rotation that is coping with injuries to starters Kyle Bradish and John Means.

Dodgers sign Shohei Ohtani – The two-time AL MVP will be hitting and not pitching this season, but that’s just fine – he hit 124 HRs with the Angels over the past three seasons.

Advanced Metrics in Predicting Wins

Aside from the old school statistics such as batting average, slugging percentage and earned run average, bettors and fantasy baseball players utilize a plethora of more granular metrics – sometimes referred to as sabermetrics – to measure a player’s worth and how that might figure into how many games their teams will win.

Here are some of the more popular ones:

WAR (wins above replacement) – How many more wins a player contributes to a team vs. a replacement player

OPS+ — On-base percentage and slugging percentage combined

ERA+ — ERAs that are normalized across the league, taking into account factors like ballparks and opponents

wOBA (weighted on-base average) – Measures a player’s overall offensive contribution by considering not just their batting average, but also their ability to get on base and hit for power

WHIP (walks plus hits per inning pitched) – Measures how many baserunners a pitcher allows each inning

There are many more and it just depends on how detailed you want to get – just beware of information overload that might end up being more confusing than helpful.

Betting Strategies for MLB Season Wins

When wagering on wins futures, keep an eye out for how much lines are moving. Is the total moving up or down depending on offseason developments? Sometimes you might find some tidbits in the futures lines, like perhaps you think the book is overrating or underrating a team’s chances. If you can get more insight than the book, you could beat them at their own game!

Always make sure you are aware of your bankroll and don’t spend above your limits.

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Alex Valdes
Alex Valdes is Web Content Manager at Tipico North America. He has written, edited and performed user and site analysis at MoneyTalksNews, NBC Sports, MSN, Bing, MSNBC, as well as newspapers and magazines.