In MLB history, 145 teams have lost 100 or more games in a season, while 102 teams have won 100 or more games in a season.
Since the year 2000, 19 MLB teams have won 100 games in a season, with 3 coming in 2017. Those three teams were the Los Angeles Dodgers, Houston Astros, and the Cleveland Indians. Each one of them finished the season at least 11.0 games ahead of the next best team in their division and in the Astros (21.0) and Indians (17.0) case, no team in their division was even remotely close. The Dodgers were the only 100-win team in 2017 that did not completely pulverize the rest of its division (they even lost the season series to both the Rockies and Diamondbacks), yet they still managed to make a World Series appearance against their 100-win contemporary Houston Astros.
There have been a grand total of 22 100-loss teams in the 2000s, and there has been 8 since 2010, most recently the Minnesota Twins in 2016. A 100-loss season has been the benchmark in the MLB for teams that are absolutely horrible. If you want to show off the pure mediocrity and ineptitude of your franchise, a 100-loss season or three is bound to do it.
To be straightforward, a 100-loss season is one of the absolute worst things that a franchise and its fanbase can endure, while a 100-win season almost guarantees a team a spot in the playoffs and a chance to bring a World Series trophy home to its fans.
So without further procrastination, let’s take a look a the top-5 100-win candidates and the top-5 100 loss candidates for this upcoming 2018 season. First up, the losers.
Top 5 100-Loss Season Candidates
(Dis)Honorable Mention: Philadelphia Phillies
2017 Season Record: 66-96
The Philadelphia Phillies have been one of the most consistently awful teams in MLB and, despite the acquisition of free agent Carlos Santana this offseason, are going to be absolutely horrendous in 2018. Big shock…right.
5. Cincinnati Reds
2017 Season Record: 68-94
The Cincinnati Reds have been stuck in the bottomless pit that is known as mediocrity since 2014, and have come in dead last in their division every year since 2015. The Reds have done nothing to improve their situation this offseason, and with the loss of All-Star shortstop Zack Cozart, the Reds will be in a good position to lose 100 games in 2018.
4. Pittsburgh Pirates
2017 Season Record: 75-87
The Pirates dumped Gerrit Cole and franchise face Andrew McCutchen in order to begin an inevitable rebuild and are in no position to contend in 2018. The Pirates came in fourth place in the relatively weak NL Central in 2017, and with the loss of their ace and best position player, they will be strong candidates for a 100-loss season in 2018, especially with the Brewers bolstering their lineup this offseason.
3. San Diego Padres
2017 Season Record: 71-91
The Padres are now going to be in a division with the Colorado Rockies, Arizona Diamondbacks, Los Angeles Dodgers and the (possibly) revamped San Francisco Giants. The Padres are going to resemble a punching bag for the rest of the NL West and will lose, at the very least, 95 or more games in 2018, possibly 100.
2. Detroit Tigers
2017 Season Record: 64-98
The Detroit Tigers were the owners of the worst record in baseball in 2017, and don’t look much better at the time of writing. The only notable change that the Tigers made this offseason was getting rid of Brad Ausmus and bringing in Ron Gardenhire as their new manager. While I personally do like this move, it is not going to improve the play on the field a whole lot and the Tigers will take the #2 spot for most likely teams to lose 100 games in 2018.
1. Miami Marlins
2017 Season Record: 77-85
The Miami Marlins were not actually that bad in 2017, coming in second in the NL East division with the help of 59 home runs by Giancarlo Stanton. Unfortunately for them, the Marlins are going to be one of, if not the worst, teams in the MLB in 2018.
Marlins’ former owner Jeffery Loria sold the ballclub to Derek Jeter who then proceeded to completely dismantle the entire team from the top down. Giancarlo Stanton was the first to go and was sent to the Yankees in return for a small package of prospects and Starlin Castro. Marcell Ozuna (Cardinals) and Dee Gordon (Mariners) would follow. The Marlins would then trade their remaining outfielder in Christian Yelich cap the horror off. The Marlins are going to be absolutely horrendous in 2018 and will most likely lose 100 games.
Top 5 100-Win Season Candidates
Honorable Mention: Arizona Diamondbacks
2017 Season Record: 93-69
The Arizona Diamondbacks shocked the world in 2017 by winning 93 games, clinching the first Wild Card spot, and then winning the WC Game before getting dismantled by the Dodgers in the NLDS. Nevertheless, the Diamondbacks, led by Paul Goldschmidt, will be even better in 2018 and possibly a 100-win team. The only reason why the D-Backs are not in the actual top 5 is because of the absolutely stacked NL West that they dwell in.
5. Washington Nationals
2017 Season Record: 97-65
Washington was one of the best teams in baseball in 2017 winning their division by a landslide and appeared to be the top contenders for the NL Pennant with the exception of the Dodgers. Surprisingly, the Nationals took a heartbreaking loss to the Chicago Cubs in the NLDS and 2018 will now be their last shot at a championship before Bryce Harper leaves the Nats for an insane amount of money in free agency.
The Nationals will be back in 2018 with a vengeance and a desperation to win it all. The Nationals will now have the Marlins to beat up on in 2018 along with the rest of the weak NL East and this should skyrocket their already excellent record.
4. Los Angeles Dodgers
2017 Season Record: 104-58
The Los Angeles Dodgers were the heavy favorites to win the World Series in 2018 after winning 104 games with their insane core led by Cody Bellinger and Corey Seager and a seemingly unstoppable pitching rotation with Clayton Kershaw, Yu Darvish, and Alex Wood. It was not meant to be and the Dodgers came 4-runs short of winning their first championship since 1988.
The Dodgers will once again head into 2018 as World Series favorites along with the Astros and will likely win 100 games. The one thing that may abolish their hopes of winning triple digits is the division they play in. The Dodgers play in a division consisting of the Colorado Rockies, Arizona Diamondbacks, and the repaired San Francisco Giants which will make winning 100 games incredibly difficult.
3. Houston Astros
2017 Season Record: 101-61
The Houston Astros won 101 games in 2017 and won the World Series against their star-studded 100-win season contemporary Dodgers. The Astros will have a really good shot at squeaking out 100 wins in 2018, but it will not come as easy as last year.
The Angels were the lucky winners of the Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes, acquired Zach Cozart to play third base, and received Ian Kinsler from the Tigers, so while they have virtually no chance at winning the AL West in 2018, the Halos will be much better in 2018 and the Astros will have a much harder time winning 100 games. Simply put, the Astros competition just got a little sharper and they will have to be even better in 2018 then in 2017 if they want to win 100.
2. Cleveland Indians
2017 Season Record: 102-60
The Cleveland Indians are easily one of the best teams in the MLB and they are playing in easily the worst division in baseball. The tribe won their division by 17.0 games in 2017 and the Minnesota Twins’ core is not exactly the most threatening, especially to a team such as the Indians. The Tribe will be one of the heavy favorites to win 100 games in 2018 and possibly a World Series Trophy. Having three rebuilding teams in your division definitely helps.
1. New York Yankees
2017 Season Record: 91-71
The New York Yankees were supposed to be in rebuilding mode for at least a few years but, like the a-typical Yankees, they came through with a 91 win season, a Wild Card victory, an incredible comeback victory in the ALDS, and were one game short of the Pennant. Not bad for a rebuild.
The Bronx Bombers will have incredibly high expectations in 2018 after acquiring slugger Giancarlo Stanton this off-season. They will now have a superstar rotation that GMs would kill for, and a lineup that will strike fear into the heart of any pitcher that dare stands in its way. Looking at the way it sets up for the Yankees, it’ll be a shock if the Yankees don’t win 100 games.
*Note: This is coming from a die-hard Angels fan
Thich team do you think is most likely to win and lose 100 games in 2018?