Seeing a major-league team get to 100 wins is a pretty arbitrary but also fun measure of greatness we've come to accept. Does 100 wins necessarily mean a team is that much greater than a 99-win team? Absolutely not, but mentally seeing that triple-digit win total just makes a team feel like a special regular-season team.
With the truncated 2020 season only being a 60-game sprint, we've lost the context for a 100-win team, but let's do this just for fun. A normal season is 162 games. Take that divided by 2.7 and you get our 60-game season. Using the 2.7x math, 37 wins this season is the rough equivalent of a 100-win team in a full season.
Over the course of history, it's pretty rare to see 100-win teams when we consider how many teams have played so many seasons in the majors, but there's been a recent influx of 100-win clubs.
Last year, four teams won at least 100 games. That was a record. Never before had more than three gotten to triple digits. In 2018, three teams got there. In 2017, yep, three teams. In 2015 and 2016, it was just one team each. From 2012-2014, there were zero. Prior to the trio in 2017, you have to go back to 2003 to find a season with multiple 100-win teams. In 2006, 2007 and 2010, there were also zero.
We could keep going, but it's pretty clear. The previous three seasons were the most prolific in MLB history in terms of teams getting to 100 wins.
How about in 2020, on a pro-rated basis?
Surprise, surprise [note dripping sarcasm], the Dodgers are already home, entering Tuesday night with 38 wins. If we counted this as a 100-win season, this would make three of the last four for the Dodgers in triple digits. Since integration, they previously only had three total 100-win seasons.
Perhaps more exciting, there are three other fun ones to watch:
- One more win for the Rays gets them to 37. They've never had a 100-win season.
- If the Padres go 3-3 the rest of the way, they'll finish 37-23. There has never been a 100-win Padres team. The franchise record in wins is 98, but they've only gone above 92 just that one time (1998).
- Likewise, the White Sox only have to go 3-3 to get to 37-23. Would you believe they haven't won 100 games since 1917? Even the 2005 World champs "only" won 99 games.
Past those three, we could see the A's get there, and they haven't won 100 since the 2002 "Moneyball" club. The Twins, Braves and Cubs have an outside shot, but 1) they seem unlikely and 2) the Twins did it last year, the Cubs just did in 2016 and the Braves aren't exactly strangers to 100 wins in the Wild Card era.
Now, let's be clear: It's a hell of a lot easier to win 37 of 60 games than to maintain the pace and take 100 of 162 games over the course of six months. Anyone who thinks otherwise doesn't understand baseball. Also, though, we can realize this isn't the same while also having fun and thinking that these are the 100*** (sure, we'll throw three asterisks on there just to make sure everyone understands we get it's not actually 100 wins) win teams for 2020. Fun is good and lord knows we need all the fun we can get in 2020. Just embrace it!
I'm now officially leading the charge. I hope Rays, Padres and White Sox fans brand their teams honorary 100-game winners on social media and troll fans of other teams with it.