As we sit here on the morning of August 1, 2012, the Cincinnati Reds have the best record in the majors with a 62-41 mark, amounting to a .602 winning percentage. They are the only team over .600 at this point in the season.
The New York Yankees have the best record in the American League with a 60-34 mark, good for a .583 winning percentage. It is the fifth time since 2000 that the Yankees have had the best record in the American League on August 1.
This is the first season since 1992 that the Reds have had the best record in the National League on August 1. The ’92 Reds finished 90-72, ending up in second place in the NL West and missing the playoffs.
The good news for the Reds is that the last time the franchise had the best record in the majors on August 1 was in 1975. Those Reds were 69-37 (.651 winning percentage) and went on to win the World Series that season.
Can the 2012 version of the Reds duplicate what the 1975 team did?
Following is a look at how well the most recent teams with the major’s best record on August 1 did at the end of that respective season.
Year, Team, Winning Percentage, Season Outcome
2011: Philadelphia, .636 (lost in the NLCS)
2010: New York Yankees, .641 (lost in the ALCS)
2009: L.A. Dodgers, .621 (lost in the NLCS)
2008: L.A. Angels, .630 (lost in the ALDS)
2007: Boston, .604 (won World Series)
2006: Detroit, .667 (lost in the World Series)
2005: Chicago White Sox, .660 (won World Series)
2004: St. Louis, .641 (lost in World Series)
2003: Atlanta, .657 (lost in NLDS)
2002: Atlanta, .645 (lost in NLDS)
2001: Seattle, .717 (lost in ALCS)
2000: Atlanta, .619 (lost in NLDS)
Of the 24 teams since 2000 that had the best record in their league on August 1, only five of those teams went on to play in the World Series, with two winning the title. Four of the 24 did not make the playoffs after having the league’s best record on August 1—Chicago Cubs, 2001; New York Mets, 2007; San Diego Padres, 2010; and last year, the Boston Red Sox had the AL’s best record on August 1 (66-40) but failed to make the playoffs.
Following are the teams since 2000 that have had the best record in their league on August 1 in two or more seasons: N.Y. Yankees (5), Atlanta (3), Boston (2), L.A. Angeles (2), Chicago White Sox (2), Chicago Cubs (2), N.Y. Mets (2), St. Louis (2).
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