The following is a list of the teams in major league baseball history with the highest winning percentages in a season. To qualify, teams had to have played at least 120 games in a season.
This is a great list since it includes my favorite team, the New York Yankees, twice. I was only around to watch and root for one of the Yankees teams, but what a great thrill that season was.
As you can see from the list, having a high winning percentage is no guarantee that a team will go on and win the World Series. Many of the teams on this list were upset in the World Series, and one team even lost in the playoffs before the World Series.
Teams with Highest Regular Season Winning Percentages in Baseball History
1. 1906 Chicago Cubs – .762
The 1906 Chicago Cubs went 116-36 for winning percentage of .762. That is the best winning percentage in major league baseball history for all teams that played at least 120 games in a season. Despite the great record, the Cubs lost the 1906 World Series to the Chicago White Sox in six games.
2. 1902 Pittsburgh Pirates – .741
The 1902 Pittsburgh Pirates went 103-36 for a winning percentage of .741. Second best in baseball history. The World Series was not played in 1902.
3. 1886 Chicago White Stockings – .726
The 1886 Chicago White Stockings went 90-34 for the third best winning percentage in major league history at .726. The White Stocking lost in the 1886 pre-modern World Series to the St. Louis Browns in six games.
4. 1909 Pittsburgh Pirates – .724
The 1909 Pittsburgh Pirates went 110-42 for a winning percentage of .724. Led by Baseball Hall of Fame players Fred Clarke, Honus Wagner and Vic Willis, the 1909 Pirates defeated Ty Cobb and the Detroit Tigers, 4-3, in the 1909 World Series.
5. 1954 Cleveland Indians – .721
The 1954 Cleveland Indians went 111-43 for a winning percentage of .721. Despite having great starting pitchers like Bob Feller, Bob Lemon and Early Wynn, all three are in the Hall of Fame, Cleveland was swept in the 1954 World Series by Willie Mays and the New York Giants.
6. 2001 Seattle Mariners – .716
The 2001 Seattle Mariners went 116-46 for a winning percentage of .716. Despite the great winning percentage and modern day record for most wins in a season, the 2001 Mariners lost to the New York Yankees in the ALCS.
7. 1927 New York Yankees – .714
The great Murderers’ Row 1927 New York Yankees had a 110-44 record for a .714 winning percentage. The 1927 Yankees swept the Pittsburgh Pirates in the World Series.
8. 1886 Detroit Wolverines – .707
The 1886 Detroit Wolverines went 87-36 for a winning percentage of. 707. The team finished second in the National League to the Chicago White Stockings who are the third team on this list.
9. 1897 Boston Beaneaters – .705
The 1897 Boston Beaneaters went 93-39 for a winning percentage of .705.
T-10. 1998 New York Yankees – .704
The great 1998 New York Yankees went 114-48 (.704) in the regular season, and then went 11-2 in the playoffs, including sweeping the San Diego Padres in the 1998 World Series.
T-10. 1931 Philadelphia A’s – .704
The 1931 Philadelphia A’s were trying to become the first team to win the World Series three times in a row in 1931 when the team went 107-45 (.704). Despite the great record the A’s were defeated by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1931 World Series.
T-10. 1887 St. Louis Browns – .704
The 1887 St. Louis Browns went 95-40 (.704) in the American Association. The Browns then lost to the Detroit Wolverines in the pre-modern World Series.