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MLB teams with most wins in a season without division titles

MLB teams with most wins in a season without division titles
With 101 wins, the New York Mets became one of the winningest MLB teams in league history to not earn a divisional title. (Credit: Larry Robinson/USA TODAY Sports)

NEW YORK (BVM) – Despite going 101-61, the New York Mets finished in second place in the National League East this season behind the Atlanta Braves who also went 101-61 but won the division by going 10-9 over the Mets in the season series. This isn’t the first time this has happened in Major League Baseball. In fact, it has happened 12 times in the league’s history. While the 101 wins by New York is impressive, that’s not even the most wins without a division title in the league’s long history and some of those teams weren’t even allowed to go to the postseason. Below are the 10 teams who have won the most games in a season without winning the divisional title.

Editor’s Note: Tiebreakers will be determined by who has the highest winning percentage and the record of the team that won the division.

10. 1915 Detroit Tigers (100-54)

Three different teams have won 100 games yet not won the title, the 2018 New York Yankees, the 1980 Baltimore Orioles and the Tigers. Both the Orioles and Yankees finished with 100-62 records giving the nod to the Tigers based on winning percentage. Detroit at the time was led by Hall of Famer Ty Cobb who led the Majors with 208 hits and 96 stolen bases while also winning his ninth straight batting title with a .369 batting average. The Tigers missed out on the postseason thanks to the Boston Red Sox who had a 101-50 record to finish ahead in the standings.

9. 2022 Mets (101-61)

With their finish this season, the Mets joined the list of teams to win 100 or more games yet not win their division. Fortunately for New York, they will have a chance to redeem themselves in the postseason after earning a Wild Card spot, something a number of other teams on this list didn’t have the luxury of doing as the league didn’t expand the playoff format until 1995.

8. 1961 Tigers (101-61)

Detroit is again on this list after a juggernaut stole the pennant ahead of them. In 1961, that team was the New York Yankees as they went an impressive 109-53 with Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle in their lineup. A bright spot for the Tigers was Even Norm Cash, who won the batting title with a .361 average much like Cobb had done for the 1915 iteration of the club.

7. 1962 Los Angeles Dodgers (102-63)

The very next year the NL pennant came down to the Dodgers and their rival San Francisco Giants. With identical 102-63 records, the two teams played a three-game series to determine who advanced to the World Series and the Giants came out the victors, winning two of three games including the last one in dramatic fashion by scoring four runs in the ninth inning. While the Dodgers missed out on a chance at a championship in 1962, the team, led by Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax, won the World Series in 1963.

6. 2001 Oakland Athletics (102-60)

The first 100-win team without a divisional win to benefit from the Wild Card format, the A’s were one of the best teams in baseball in 2001 despite losing the AL West to the 116-win Seattle Mariners. Headlined by Jason Giambi and Mark Mulder, the A’s fell to the New York Yankees in the American League Division Series 3-2 in five games. The next season would usher in the Moneyball era in Oakland.

5. 1993 San Francisco Giants (103-59)

The Giants became the first NL team in the divisional era to win 100-plus games and not win its division in 1993. That year, it came down to game 162 when the Giants dropped their game to the Dodgers as the Braves beat the Rockies to finish with a 104-58 record and win the NL West. This kept the Giants, led by MVP Barry Bonds, on the outside of the playoff picture without the benefit of the Wild Card.

Barry Bonds San Francisco Giants
Despite having MVP Barry Bonds, the Giants became the first NL team in the divisional era to win 100-plus games and not win the division. (Credit: RVR Photos/USA TODAY Sports)

4. 1954 New York Yankees (103-51)

Rather than being the ones that kept other teams out of the playoffs, the 1954 Yankees missed the postseason as the Cleveland Indians set an American League record 111 wins with a 111-43 finish. By missing the postseason, the Yankees had their streak of five consecutive World Series victories snapped ending a dominant era for the franchise.

3. 1942 Brooklyn Dodgers (104-50)

Another legendary Dodgers team that unfortunately missed the postseason despite over 100 wins, the 1942 club suffered a catastrophic meltdown near the end of the year to lose the pennant to the 106-48 St. Louis Cardinals. After being up as many as 10 games in August, the Dodgers dropped five of six contests to the Cardinals before the end of the season and St. Louis won 12 of its final 13 games to hold Brooklyn at bay.

2. 1909 Chicago Cubs (104-49)

After winning the World Series in 1908, the Cubs were left out of the postseason the next year thanks to a 110-42 Pittsburgh Pirates team. Chicago not only became the first team in MLB history to win over 100 games and not make the playoffs, but it also was the start of the club’s infamous 108-year World Series championship drought.

1. 2021 Los Angeles Dodgers (106-56)

Just last year, the Dodgers lost the NL West to the Giants who had a 107-55 record after beating Los Angeles in Game 162. Despite the loss, the Dodgers made the postseason thanks to the Wild Card round and got their revenge against San Francisco by winning the NLDS over the team in five games.

Los Angeles Dodgers 2021 NLCS
While the Dodgers made the postseason as a Wild Card team, they lost to the Braves in the NLCS. (Credit: Dale Zanine/USA TODAY Sports)