The New York Yankees enter Wednesday’s action with a 55-20 record, a .733 winning percentage which would translate to 119 wins over a full season. That would break the all-time record for wins in a season, shared by the 1906 Cubs and 2001 Mariners. (Neither of whom, incidentally, won the World Series. The Mariners didn’t even get there, losing the ALCS to... the Yankees.)
So can they do it? Can they keep up that pace, which would result in a 64-24 recordthe rest of the year and break that record?
I’m here to tell you... probably not. It’s really, really hard to sustain that pace for a full season.
Here are some examples of recent teams who started off nearly that well, or had runs during a season close to what the Yankees are doing now, only to fall short of breaking the season wins record.
The Cubs didn’t get to 55-20, but on June 19 after defeating the Pirates 10-5, they were 47-20, a .701 winning percentage. That’s a pace for 114 wins, a level which has been reached only twice since the Cubs’ 116-win season in 1906, by the aforementioned Mariners and the Yankees in 1998.
The Cubs then went on a three-week stretch where they looked like the worst team in baseball, losing 15 of their next 20 to drop to 52-35. That was still good enough to keep a 6½-game lead in the NL Central.
After that, the Cubs went 51-23 (.689) the rest of the way to finish at 103-58. That was still the team’s best winning percentage and win total since 1910.
Oddly, this LA team, which lost the tainted World Series to the Astros, was two games under .500 at 10-12 on April 26, four games out of first place.
They then went on a remarkable run, even better than this year’s Yankees, for a longer period of time. From April 27 through August 25 they were 81-24 (.771), a pace that would equate to 125 wins over a full season. Their 91-36 overall record at that point was a .717 percentage, which would have tied them for the wins record at 116.
Inexplicably, the Dodgers then lost five straight, won one game (by 1-0!) and then lost 11 more in a row — 16 losses in 17 games for a team that began that stretch with a 21-game lead in the NL West. By the end of that run they had lost more than half that lead, as it had dropped to “only” nine games. Their overall season winning percentage had dropped to .639, a pace for 104 wins.
And that’s exactly where they wound up, 104-58, eventually defeating the Cubs in the NLCS before losing the World Series.
2018 Red Sox
The Red Sox began this year 17-2 (.895), then hung around .500 for a month before starting to win again.
At the end of July they were 75-34 (.688), which would have meant 111 wins in a full season. They played well enough from there to season’s end, 33-20 (.623), but that “dropped” them to 108-54 (.667), breaking their franchise record for wins (105) that had been set in 1912.
This was a weird, streaky team. They started 13-2, then lost 15 of 20 to drop to 18-17. At the end of July they were 63-43, a .594 percentage which is good but not great (a 96-win pace).
From August 1 through season’s end they went 43-13 (.768) to wind up with 106 wins. That established a new MLB record for the most wins for a second-place team, because of the...
Like their divisional counterparts, the Giants played good, but not great, ball through the end of July. They were 65-39 heading to August, a .625 winning percentage which is a pace for 101 wins in a full season.
They were second in MLB only to the Dodgers from August 1 through season’s end with a 42-16 (.724) mark, and their 10-9 record over L.A. gave them the division title. Their 107 wins set a franchise record, but it wasn’t enough to get them past their division series against the Dodgers.
These are just a few examples of teams that had runs similar to what the Yankees have done so far in 2022. Not one of them was able to sustain that over the course of a full season. Here are all 16 teams that have won at least 103 games since the Yankees’ 114-win season in 1998. Keeping up a .700+ winning percentage can be done for a month or two, even three in the 2017 Dodgers’ case, but for a full year? It just doesn’t happen.
So I’m going to say no, the 2022 Yankees won’t break the wins record. Most likely, they’ll go through a stretch where they struggle for two or three weeks, and they’ll wind up with between 110 and 114 wins.
What say you?
Will the 2022 Yankees break the season wins record?
This poll is closed
How many wins will the Yankees finish with this year?
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116 or more
Fewer than 110