Despite the end result, the 2019 Los Angeles Dodgers 106 regular season wins was an impressive achievement. In any era, passing the century mark has long been a benchmark for great teams, but if the Dodgers are going to finally win the World Series, history will not be on their side.
The Dodgers now have 100 wins. They finish with a 59-22 (.728) record at home — the best mark in Dodger Stadium history. It’s the Dodgers’ second-best winning percentage at home in franchise history behind the 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers (60–17, .779).
— Dodger Insider (@DodgerInsider) September 22, 2019
Since the implementation of the two team wild-card format before the 2012 season, no team has ever won the World Series the year after a 100 or more win season.
The Season After 100 Wins
- 2015 St. Louis Cardinals (100-62) Failed to reach playoffs in 2016
- 2016 Chicago Cubs (103-58)* Lost to the Dodgers in 2017 NLCS
- 2017 Cleveland Indians (102-60) Lost to the Astros in 2018 ALDS
- 2017 Houston Astros (101-61)* Lost to the Boston Red Sox in 2018 ALCS
- 2017 Los Angeles Dodgers (104-58) We all know what happened
- 2018 Boston Red Sox (108-54)* Failed to reach playoffs in 2019
- 2018 New York Yankees (100-62) Lost to the Astros in 2019 ALCS
- 2018 Houston Astros (103-59) Lost to the Nationals in 2019 WS
*Won the World Series the year of their 100 win season
Of the eight teams that have recorded 100 or more wins during the current playoff format, two failed to make the playoffs, one lost in the division series, three lost in the league championship, and two lost in the World Series (you probably remember one of them) the year after hitting triple digits in the win column.
A Quick Historical Review
The Cardinals rotation struggled mightily after overachieving in 2015 while the Cubs suffered an understandable World Series hangover over a century in the making. The Cleveland Indians mustered only six runs in the process of getting swept out of the 2018 ALDS to the eventual champion Astros. Houston collapsed against a 108 win juggernaut Red Sox team that was destined to win it all. Forty five weeks later, the Red Sox fired General Manager Dave Dombrowski after finishing 19 games out of first and missing the playoffs. The Yankees and Astros both join the Dodgers on this list as the three teams that came damn near close.
Optimists will point to the small sample size and dispute any correlation, but the regular season is a strenuous trail culminating in an ascent up a grueling mountain peak. The list above includes talented organizations, shoe-in Hall of Fame players, and some of the best managers of the decade – all of whom couldn’t get over the hump the next year.
So why is it so difficult to come back and win the World Series after a previously great season? Is it the wear and tear on a pitching staff from many a hard thrown October pitch? Is it a sense of complacency that off-season by the returning players? Perhaps it’s going through the motions thinking they’ll yield the same level of success the year after?
Whatever it may be, the Dodgers prologue seems to read differently this off-season. There’s plenty of life in the young arms of Julio Urias, Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin, to reinforce the starting rotation or buttress the bullpen when injury or underperformance arise.
Tony Gonsolin, Beautiful Curveball (Panik seems to agree with me). pic.twitter.com/LmjM1YKqdQ
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) March 11, 2019
For the first time in a long time, Corey Seager will enter the year at full health with top prospect Gavin Lux spelling him when needed. Alex Verdugo’s back should be 100% and he should begin his training regimen shortly. His bat and contact hitting were sorely missed. All the while Justin Turner — the heart, soul, and leader of the Dodgers — returns for what could be his final year at Chavez Ravine.
Although they’ve made big acquisitions, this Dodgers team has never been defined by mid-July push notifications. They have been defined by an organizational depth and longevity of success that none of the other 100 win franchise have displayed this decade.
There always needs to be a first, why not the Los Angeles Dodgers?