What does best and worst mean? For this project, we’re just going to look at three defining factors; Batting Average, Earned Run Average, and Adjusted Run Differential (during the regular season.) We will be looking at the World Series winners between the years 1969, (The year the pitcher’s mound was dropped five inches and the strike zone was shrunken to the area from the armpits to the top of the batter’s knees.) and 2015, the last year that was in the ‘Lahman’s Database,’ an open-source collection of baseball statistics.
The database didn’t have a batting average column for all the teams, but it had both a hits column and an at bats column. It was easy enough to create a new column by dividing the total hits by the total at bats. The database also didn’t have an adjusted run differential for all the teams so I took the runs column and divided by the amount of games played that season and divided that by the runs allowed column divided by the amount of games played that season. (ERA was given.)
Next I would compute numerical data ranks for each team’s stat whether it be Batting Average, Earned Run Average, and/or Adjusted Run Differential. Once each team had a ranking for each of their respective statistics I created an average rank of all three and that is how I made my conclusions.
The 1987 Twins were the worst team according to my rankings. It makes sense! The 1987 Twins were 85-77 but interestingly enough they had a remarkably bad road record of 29-52. Fortunately for the Twins, they played in a very weak division, as only two teams finished above .500 and only 10 games separated the Twins from the last-place California Angels. Kent Hrbeck, Kirby Puckett, and Frank Viola really kept this team alive and as long as you give yourself a chance and get your team to the playoffs, anything can happen!
The 1975 Reds were the best team according to my rankings. The Reds dominated the competition all year with a record of 108–54, for best record in the MLB. The 1975 Reds clinched a playoff appearance on September 7, the earliest clinch date of any MLB team in a 162-game season. They had some really amazing players on their team that year. Joe Morgan led the team with an MVP performance, but don’t forget about Johnny Bench, Pete Rose, and Tony Perez. Interestingly enough, the second best team according to my rankings was the 1976 Reds which had a very similar team.
Down below is the full ranking for teams from 1969-2015: