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In 2019, four major-league teams won 100 games and four lost 100. The disparity was extreme in the American League, where the three division winners all won at least 100 games and three teams lost 100 or more. Has this happened before in major-league history?

Ron Thompson

Charleston, IL

Never in major-league history have four teams won 100 games and another four lost 100 games in the same season. Only seven other times have three teams produced 100 wins in a single season, and five of them have come since MLB increased the schedule from 154 to 162 games in 1961. All five of those instances have taken place since MLB split the two leagues into three divisions each in 1994--and three teams have posted triple-digit wins in each of the last three seasons.

Having four teams lose 100 games in a single season had only happened once before--in 2002. In general, teams losing 100 games in a season has been far more common than teams winning 100 games, and three teams frequently lost 100 games in the early 1960s, when the expansion Washington Senators, New York Mets and Houston Astros began play. Three teams have finished with at least 100 losses in each of the last twoyears, and today's approach to rebuilding probably plays a role in the recent surge in 100-win and 100-loss performances.

A look at 100-loss campaigns illustrates the longtime frustration of Philadelphia baseball fans. Since the start of the modern era, the Phillies top all National League franchises with 14 100-loss seasons. The only franchise with more is the Athletics with 16--and 11 of them came in Philadelphia, its home from 1901-1954. In the 11-year span of 1936-1946, Philadelphia fans endured 11 100-loss seasons between the two clubs--and three times both franchises posted 100 losses in the same year, including 1936 and 1940. Losing 90-some games is even more common. Since 1901, the Phillies have lost 90 or more games in 39 seasons.

Four Teams Winning or Losing 100 Games in a Single Season

100-Win Teams, 2019  100-Loss Teams, 2019  100-Loss Teams, 2002

Astros   107         Tigers   114          Brewers     106
Dodgers  106         Orioles  108          Devil Rays  106
Yankees  103         Marlins  105          Tigers      106
Twins    101         Royals   103          Royals      100
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Title Annotation:THE FANS SPEAK OUT
Publication:Baseball Digest
Date:Jan 1, 2020
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