The Atlanta Braves and Tampa Bay Rays will head into the MLB All-Star break with the most wins in the American and National Leagues, with the Braves on pace to win 109 games. Whether or not that will be meaningful in the postseason remains to be seen, especially after the Los Angeles Dodgers won 111 games last season and were then ousted from the first round of the playoffs by the San Diego Padres in four games.

Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred has cheapened the regular season by expanding the playoffs, and old-timers who say “It sure isn’t like the good old days” might have a point. It used to be that the best team in the AL and the best team in the NL met in the World Series, and that was that. The games were played on October afternoons, and a champion was crowned before mid-October.

Nowadays, baseball playoffs stretch into early November, and winter hats are often needed by fans to endure the cold temperatures as championships are decided under the lights. This is considered progress in the era of revenues trumping all other considerations, and only time will tell whether the cheapening of the regular season will turn off a young generation that would prefer to stare at a small screen instead of eating hot dogs and downing beverages from the bleachers.

Anyway, the twists and turns of any given baseball season make it a great sport, and as long as grandparents continue to educate their grandchildren about America’s Pastime, there will be a buzz surrounding Major League Baseball each fall as it competes with the start of the NFL and NBA seasons.

The buzz around the Dodgers as a “Superteam” was considerable last fall before it died a quick death with those three straight losses to the San Diego Padres. The Superteam ended up being the Houston Astros, who won their second championship in six years while playing in the World Series for the fourth time over that span.

As for the Braves, they have a chance to make next year’s edition of this list if they can raise their winning percentage above 70 percent -- which, as they say, is why they play the games.

Which MLB team has the most wins in a season?

That distinction is shared by the 1906 Chicago Cubs and the 2001 Seattle Mariners, who each won 116 games but failed to win a championship. The 1906 Cubs lost the World Series to the crosstown Chicago White Sox 4-2, while the 2001 Mariners lost 4-1 to the New York Yankees in the American League Championship Series.

The Top 10 Teams with most wins in an MLB season

10 (tie). 2018 Boston Red Sox, 1986 New York Mets, 1975 Cincinnati Reds, 1970 Baltimore Orioles

Wins: 108
How Their Seasons Ended: The 2018 Red Sox won the World Series over the Dodgers 4-1. The 1986 Mets won the World Series over the Red Sox 4-3. The 1975 Reds won the World Series 4-3 against Boston, and the 1970 Orioles defeated the Cincinnati Reds 4-1 in the World Series.

The number 108 was a magic number for all four of these teams. For the Red Sox, the 2018 World Series victory was the ninth in franchise history and the fourth in a span of 15 years. The victory by the 1986 Mets is legendary in New York and cursed in Boston -- best remembered for a ground ball that got past Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner to allow the Mets to stage the unlikeliest of comebacks. The 1975 Reds survived Carlton Fisk’s walk-off homer in Game 6 and recovered from a 3-0 deficit in Game 7, and the 1970 Orioles won the first World Series played on artificial turf (in Cincinnati) and the last in which all games were played in the afternoon.

8 (tie). 1969 Baltimore Orioles and 1961 New York Yankees

Wins: 109
How Their Seasons Ended: The 1961 Yankees defeated the Cincinnati Reds 4-1 in the World Series, while the 1969 Orioles lost the World Series to the “Miracle Mets” in five games.

The 1961 Yankees are best remembered for Roger Maris setting a record with 61 home runs in a season -- a record that stood until 1998 when Mark McGwire (70) and Sammy Sosa (66) both broke it. Whitey Ford won two games and threw 14 scoreless innings as New York won the title for the 19th time in 39 seasons. The 1969 Orioles, meanwhile, had the misfortune of going up against a Mets team that had won 38 of their final 49 games to surpass the Chicago Cubs in the NL East.

6 (tie). 1927 New York Yankees and 1909 Pittsburgh Pirates

Wins: 110
How Their Seasons Ended: The 1927 Yankees swept the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-0 in the World Series, while the 1909 Pirates defeated the Detroit Tigers 4-3 in the World Series.

The 1927 Yankees were led by Hall of Famers Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig and are widely considered the greatest baseball team of all time. They were the first American League team to sweep a National League team in the World Series. The 1909 Pirates featured Honus Wagner, whose team defeated Ty Cobb’s Tigers 8-0 in the deciding Game 7 with Babe Adams pitching a six-hitter for his third victory in the series.

4 (tie). 2022 Los Angeles Dodgers and 1954 Cleveland Indians

Wins: 111
How Their Seasons Ended: The 2022 Dodgers lost three straight to San Diego after winning the opener of their NLDS series, while the 1954 Indians got swept 4-0 by the New York Giants in the World Series.

There’s not much to say about the 2022 Dodgers, who didn’t get far in the postseason. The National League team that did, the Philadelphia Phillies (who lost to Houston in the World Series), had finished the regular season 14 games back in the NL East. The 1954 Indians weren’t any more fortunate. They got swept in the World Series by Leo Durocher’s New York Giants for that franchise’s final championship while based in New York.

3. 1998 New York Yankees

Wins: 114
How Their Season Ended: The 1998 Yankees swept the San Diego Padres 4-0 to win the World Series.

New York had a killer pitching rotation of David Cone, David Wells, and Andy Pettitte, and the Yankees went 11-2 in the postseason against Texas, Cleveland, and San Diego, with the only losses coming consecutively. This was officially the first World Series presided over by former MLB commissioner Bud Selig, the well-known team owner who gave up oversight of the Milwaukee Brewers in order to take the job.

1 (tie). 2001 Seattle Mariners and 1906 Chicago Cubs

Wins: 116
How Their Seasons Ended: The 1906 Cubs lost the World Series to the Chicago White Sox 4-2, while the 2001 Mariners lost the AL Championship Series to the New York Yankees in five games.

This was the first of back-to-back-to-back World Series visits for the Cubs, who won in 1907 and 1908 but would not win another one until 2016 to end a championship drought of 108 years -- the longest in professional sports history. The Mariners have never played in a World Series, and this might have been their best chance at a championship with a lineup that included Randy Johnson, Ichiro Suzuki, Edgar Martinez, Jay Buhner, and Jamie Moyer.

Parameters of Ranking

The numbers tell the whole story here in terms of ranking teams with the most wins, but it is interesting to note that the fortunes of each of these teams were quite different. As noted, regular-season wins do not always count for that much in professional sports anymore. This was shown in the recent NBA playoffs when the eighth-seeded Miami Heat went all the way to the 2023 NBA Finals before losing to the Denver Nuggets.

Related: Which team has the longest win streak in baseball history?

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