While listening to people debate which team is or is not the best team in baseball I learned that it is all about opinion. Who “Steve” likes is directly related to who his favorite team is. Meanwhile, the media will continue to hype the teams that bring them ratings, why not, it is a viable business model. How can we resolve this? How can we determine the best teams while removing as much opinion as possible? It has to be a numbers game. In order to make it a numbers game we need categories to apply those numbers to.
But what categories are more viable than others? I decided to come up with a work off list of 18 criteria. Teams deserve credit for playoff appearances and World Series titles but those should not be the only factors that matter. The quality of a team’s pitching staff should weigh into the discussion. To address this I chose strikeouts, team ERA, team WHIP, and opposing team’s batting average as the common criteria. I cannot forget about a team’s offense either. For that I chose total team runs scored, team batting average, stolen bases, and home runs as the criteria. Those criteria will earn a team one point per year that they led baseball in that category. However, I believe that run differential is of greater importance in ascertaining a team’s dominance. As such, each team will receive four points for each year that they led baseball in that category.
While the above criteria serve a purpose it does come down to how that criterion translates to wins. To account for wins I came up with nine different criteria. Teams will receive one point for each year they finished over .500, two points for each year they won 90 games, and three points for each year that they won 100 games. It is a rollup so if a team wins 105 games they only receive credit for the 100 game mark and not the 90 wins or above .500 marks as well.
The post-season is still the gold standard when ascertaining dominance. In order to accomplish this I allocated the following points based on level attained. A team receives three points for a wildcard berth, four points for winning their division, four points for winning the wildcard game, six points for winning the LDS, eight points for winning the LCS, and 10 points for winning the World Series.
In my opinion, that is a solid list of criteria and weighting factors to create the list of the ten best teams. Some teams will make sense; others might shock you while their rankings may cause your grey matter to reboot. Now that you have the criteria I present the top-10 rankings in Major League Baseball since the year 2000 including ties.
Note: A comment by Buzz_Spirit caught an inconsistency in which I called out the 21st century when in fact it was a list from 2000-2013. That has been rectified and I thank the individual for catching the error. Also, due to the comment expect an article on the 21st Century best at the completion of the 2015 MLB season.
The Top-10 MLB Teams from 2000-2013 (including ties)
|1||New York Yankees||190|
|2||St Louis Cardinals||174|
|3||Boston Red Sox||145|
|4||San Francisco Giants||107|
|T6||Los Angeles Angels||77|
|T8||Los Angeles Dodgers||63|
|10||Chicago White Sox||52|
There you have it. I broke down all the teams based on the 18 criteria laid out at the beginning of the article. I calculated all the points, added everything up and the list is complete. The New York Yankees are the number one team in baseball since the year 2000. That is thanks in part to the World Series titles in 2000 and 2009. However, a steady presence in the playoffs as well as World Series appearances in 2001 and 2003 played a roll.
A steady St. Louis Cardinals team finished a close second to the Yankees. Thanks in part to multiple World Series titles; the Boston Red Sox hold the third spot. If they had a more consistent level of playoff success they might have topped the list. The San Francisco Giants held the fourth spot far behind the top three but comfortably ahead of the fifth spot thanks in part to the World Series titles. If the Giants had a steadier playoff run they might have finished higher on the list.
If you are the type of person that wants to know where the total point values came from, you can click on the next page of this article which breaks down each table and the data within. That data was used to calculate the total point values for each team. What do you think about the list? Did the math work out about how you expected the results to play out? Leave a comment and let me know.