Even though we're a few games short of 40 games into the 2012 season, there are five teams that are on pace to win 100 games: the Baltimore Orioles, Tampa Bay Rays, Texas Rangers, Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers. Whether or not these teams can sustain this pace and finish with over 100 wins on the year is another story.
Based on history, chances are there will not be five teams with 100 or more wins at the end of the '12 season. The greatest number of teams with 100 or more wins in a season is three, which has happened multiple times; the last time this happened was during the 2003 season, when the Yankees (101), Atlanta (101) and San Francisco (100) either matched or surpassed the 100-win mark.
Last season, the Philadelphia Phillies topped the majors with 102 victories—the third time the franchise has won 100-plus games in a season since 1903. They were the only 100-win team last year. As great of an achievement as this was, their dream season ended abruptly when they lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Division Series.
In looking at MLB history, how "magical" has the 100-win season been for teams? Better stated, does a 100-or-more-win season equate to success in the postseason? Let's take a look back to 1903, when the MLB had its first World Series.
Since 1903, there have been 93 teams that have won 100 or more games in a season. Of those 93, 62 went on to the World Series that year. Thirty-four 100-win (or more) teams won the World Series that same season.
In 1969, MLB went to two divisions in each league. From 1903-68, 47 teams had 100 or more wins in a season. Of those 47, 24 won the World Series that year. From 1969 to 2011, 46 teams won 100 or more games in a season; only 10 of those 46 won the World Series that year.
Since 1980, 31 teams have won 100 or more games. Four won the World Series, seven lost in the World Series, eight lost in the league championship series, 10 lost in the league divisional series and two teams (San Francisco 103 wins in 1993 and Baltimore 100 wins in 1980) did not even make the playoffs.
Since 2000, 14 teams have won 100 or more games. Only one team won the World Series, two lost in the World Series, three lost in the league championship series and eight lost in the league divisional series.
Following are the franchises that have won 100 or more games the greatest number of times:
New York Yankees: 19
Oakland/Philadelphia A's: 10
St. Louis Cardinals: 8
San Francisco/New York Giants: 7
Atlanta/Milwaukee/Boston Braves: 6
Did you know these current franchises have never had a season with 100 or more wins?
San Diego Padres
Tampa Bay Rays
Toronto Blue Jays
The New York Yankees won 103 games in 2009 and won the World Series that season. They are the last team to win 100 or more games in a season and win the World Series in the same year. Prior to that, the 1998 New York Yankees won 114 games and the title.
The last National League team to win 100 or more games in a season and the World Series the same year was the 1986 Mets, who won 108 games.