All right. Here they are. The all-time standings in the history of Major League Baseball. These standings are going to be arranged by winning percentage (you'll see some funky results from time to time in the "Games Behind" column on account of the wide disparity in games played).
Those, people, are the all-time AL East standings. Each franchise's record includes the wins and losses inherited from previous incarnations. Thus, for example, the Orioles' overall mark is being dragged down by the St. Louis Browns and so forth. These numbers are current as of Tuesday, and you can thank Baseball-Reference for the data, which is -- teach the children this -- a plural noun.
Again, these standings are arranged by winning percentage. The Rays come in last by this measure, even though they're not as far back in the standings as the Orioles are. The Yankees, of course, are juggernauts. Scaled to 162 games, the average Yankee team is a 92-win squadron. It's entirely possible they'll be 2,500 games over .500 at some point before the end of the 2018 season. Stated another way, the Yankees could have 15 straight winless seasons and still be above .500 as a franchise. Let's move on ...
You see much more compression among the teams of the AL Central, to the extent that you could actually see first place change hands at some point in the very distant future. Surprised by the White Sox's having a winning record? They ripped off 16 winning seasons in the first 20 years of their existence, so that provided a nice initial cushion.
Yep, the Angels have played more than 9,000 games and are just 15 games above .500. The A's, meantime, have a losing mark despite being one of baseball's most storied franchises. Legendary paterfamilias Connie Mack actually ran a losing record as manager, largely because of his multiple teardowns. For what it's worth, the A's are playing .517 ball since moving to Oakland from Kansas City.
Now the senior circuit ...
Dig those Braves. They've played more than 21,000 games and are essentially a .500 team. Given their impressive young talent base, they should get above the waterline and stay there for the foreseeable future. The Phillies are a contending team in the here and now, but on the franchise level, they'll almost certainly be the first to 11,000 losses. The Marlins, though, are even worse on a rate basis, which is true on thousands of levels.
Not surprisingly, the Cardinals -- second to only the Yankees in championships -- are on top, but it's a close race with the Cubs, at least in historical terms. The Cardinals have on balance been the better franchise for decades, but the Cubs built up a huge edge in the early years of modern baseball. Note how similar the Reds and Pirates have been on this broad scale.
And finally ...
Yep, the Giants are the winningest MLB franchise in terms of total victories. Just last season, they became the first to 11,000 wins.
To wrap this up, let's have a look at our all-time playoff bracket ...
- AL Wild Card Game: Tigers at Red Sox
- ALDS 1: Wild card winner vs. Yankees
- ALDS 2: Angels vs. Indians
- NL Wild Card Game: Cubs at Dodgers
- NLDS 1: Wild card winner vs. Giants
- NLDS 2: Braves vs. Cardinals
People, let us now yell about the past, present and future with the certainty of Puritan ministers.