The 2019 Major League Baseball season is upon us, and so it’s time for the yearly tradition of ranking every active franchise. For those new to this series, a brief reminder: My formula for ranking teams looks beyond World Series titles to evaluate several criteria that I think offer a more complete picture of success or failure over the years.
This is especially important in baseball where, until fairly recently, a team could turn in a really good season and not even be rewarded with a postseason appearance. Are we to completely forget those team? Or teams that churn out lengthy stretches of seasons with above-.500 records? I think not, and that’s what this system takes into account besides just championships.
With that out of the way, let’s take a look once again at my criteria and then get to the list. For a look at all the charts, click here.
The categories and point values are as follows:
- 20 points for a World Series title. Pre-1903 titles are not counted.
- 15 points for a pennant.
- 6 points for a playoff series win.
- 2 points for a win in the Wild Card game.
- 4 points for a division title.
- 3 points for a regular season winning percentage of .556 or higher, -3 points for a percentage of .444 or lower.
- 1 point for a winning season, -1 point for a losing season.
- Consecutive winning regular seasons are worth 2 points starting with the second, 3 points for the third, 4 points for the fourth, and so on. The counter is reset after any non-winning season. So if a team has three winning seasons in a row, they get a total of 5 points.
Feel free to share your thoughts on my rankings in the comments below. And as I do every year, I must give credit to two sites that helped form the basis of my own formulations — Bob’s Blog and Page 2.
All rankings are current through the end of the 2018 Major League Baseball season (prior-year ranking in parentheses). Click on the image to be taken to the interactive version:
The Top 10
#1. New York Yankees (#1) — 23.42 pts.
#2. San Francisco Giants (#2) — 8.25 pts.
#3. Boston Red Sox (#4) — 7.98 pts.
#4. St. Louis Cardinals (#3) — 7.78 pts.
#5. Los Angeles Dodgers (#5) — 7.72 pts.
#6. Atlanta Braves (#7) — 5.53 pts.
#7. Oakland Athletics (#6) — 5.51 pts.
#8. Chicago Cubs (#8) — 5.11 pts.
#9. Detroit Tigers (#9) — 4.67 pts.
#10. Pittsburgh Pirates (#11) — 4.60 pts.
Another year, another winning season for the Yankees. That’s 26 in a row for those keeping count. So long as they keep that streak alive their stranglehold on the top spot will not change. Elsewhere, the World Series champion Red Sox switched places with the Cardinals, and the Braves and A’s also swapped spots.
The Mediocre 10
#11. Toronto Blue Jays (#11) — 4.47 pts.
#12. Arizona Diamondbacks (#12) — 4.18 pts.
#13. Cleveland Indians (#13) — 3.79 pts.
#14. Chicago White Sox (#14) — 3.57 pts.
#15. New York Mets (#15) — 3.44 pts.
#16. Cincinnati Reds (#16) — 3.39 pts.
#17. Kansas City Royals (#17) — 3.04 pts.
#18. Houston Astros (#19) — 2.94 pts.
#19. Baltimore Orioles (#18) — 2.82 pts.
#20. Philadelphia Phillies (#21) — 1.93 pts.
While they failed to defend their World Series crown the Astros had a good enough season to climb another spot to #18. In the process the bumped the Orioles down to #19. The Phillies moved into the middle tier by virtue of a tiebreak with the Marlins.
The Bottom 10
#21. Miami Marlins (#20) — 1.93 pts.
#22. Los Angeles Angels (#22) — 1.90 pts.
#23. Minnesota Twins (#23) — 1.56 pts.
#24. Tampa Bay Rays (#24) — 1.35 pts.
#25. Washington Nationals (#26) — 1.15 pts.
#26. Texas Rangers (#25) — 0.93 pts.
#27. Milwaukee Brewers (#27) — 0.76 pts.
#28. Colorado Rockies (#29) — 0.32 pts.
#29. San Diego Padres (#28) — 0.02 pts.
#30. Seattle Mariners (#30) — -0.10 pts.
Other than the Marlins falling down to the third tier there were two other switches. The Nats and Rangers swapped spots, as did the Rockies and Padres.
Team of the Decade (So Far)
This is the last season for one of the teams leading the pack statistically to lay claim to the title of Team of the 2010s. Despite some down years for the San Francisco Giants it’s still their title to lose. However, the Red Sox, Cardinals, and Dodgers are all within striking distance.