The 2010s saw a bunch of different MLB teams enjoy success. All but four teams (the White Sox, Padres, Marlins, and Mariners) made a playoff appearance. However, there are some teams that stand out from the rest of the field in terms of domination. Here are the 10 best teams from the past decade.
10. 2011 Texas Rangers
The 2011 Texas Rangers were an absolute juggernaut. They hit 210 homers, with five players hitting at least 25. Additionally, they averaged 5.28 runs per game, while having a team ERA of 3.68. Their +177 run differential was third best in the majors.
The Rangers breezed past the Rays and Tigers in the ALDS and ALCS. The team was only one strike away from winning the World Series, before Nelson Cruz infamously misplayed David Freese‘s game-tying triple. While the Rangers did fall short in heartbreaking fashion, their dominance shouldn’t be forgotten.
9. 2019 Minnesota Twins
The Twins were not expected to compete in 2019. With no true superstar pitchers or position players, they faced a tough road ahead if they wanted to make a postseason push. However, the Twins surprised everyone with a 101-win season. They hit a Major League-record 307 homers, with five players hitting 30 or more homers. Additionally, they averaged 5.8 runs per game and had a strong +185 run differential. Unfortunately though, the Twins were swept by the Yankees in the ALDS, ending what was a historic season.
8. 2017 Cleveland Indians
The 2017 Indians are another team that would be ranked higher if they had won the World Series. They were a stacked team, and they rattled off a 22-game winning streak from August 24 to September 14. Overall, they won 102 games, averaging 5.04 runs per game while having the best team ERA in majors at 3.30. Additionally, their +254 run differential was the best in the majors by a country mile.
The Indians carried their momentum into the postseason by winning the first two games of the ALDS against the Yankees. Unfortunately, the Tribe lost the next three games and were eliminated. While the early exit was disappointing, this team was incredibly fun to watch.
7. 2019 New York Yankees
The Yankees had many injuries hamper them throughout the season. Despite all that, they still won 103 games and averaged a Major League-best 5.82 runs per game. Additionally, they smacked 306 homers and a had a +195 run differential. The Yankees fell short in a six-game ALCS against the Astros, but they had their best season since 2009.
6. 2019 Los Angeles Dodgers
This Dodgers team fits the theme here at the bottom: a dominant regular season followed by disappointing postseason. The 2019 Dodgers were a popular pick to win their third straight NL pennant. They delivered during the regular season, winning 106 games and claiming their seventh straight NL West crown. Additionally, their offense, led by NL MVP Cody Bellinger, averaged a whopping 5.47 runs per game, while their pitching had a Major League-best 3.37 ERA. All told, the Dodgers had an NL-best +273 run differential.The baseball world was shocked however, as the Nationals upset the Dodgers in a five game NLDS.
5. 2019 Washington Nationals
The Nationals entered 2019 having lost their franchise icon, Bryce Harper, to free agency. They tripped out of the gate, and after getting swept by the Mets at the end of May, the Nationals fell to 19-31. The baseball world thought they were dead, buried in the standings. However, they took off after that slow start, going 74-48 from that point on. Overall, they averaged 5.39 runs per game, and had a +149 run differential.
After beating the Brewers in the Wild Card game, the Nationals shocked the world by upsetting the heavy favorite Dodgers in the NLDS. They continued their postseason run by sweeping the Cardinals in the NLCS without trailing once in the series. The Nationals entered the World Series as underdogs once again against the 107-win Astros. They shocked the baseball world by beating the Astros in a classic seven-game World Series, winning Washington’s first championship title in franchise history.
4. 2013 Boston Red Sox
Entering the 2013 season, the Red Sox were coming off a last place finish. They had fired Bobby Valentine after just one season, and expectations were low. However, the Red Sox got off to an 18-8 start in April and never looked back. They finished with 97 wins, with their offense averaging a Major League-best 5.27 runs per game. Additionally, their +197 run differential was also tops in the majors.
The Red Sox continued their dominance by beating the Rays and Tigers in their first two playoff match-ups. After falling behind in the World Series, the Red Sox bounced back to win the next three games, winning their third World Series title in 10 years. This was a huge win for the city of Boston, which had experienced the tragic Boston Marathon bombing that April.
3. 2017 Houston Astros
Here come the comments. “The Astros cheated!” “The Astros were stealing signs!” “The Dodgers were cheated out of a World Series!”. Regardless of the trash can banging, the 2017 Astros were a great team. In fact, the Astros actually had a better record and scored over 100 more runs on the road than at home. Overall, they averaged 5.5 runs per game, easily the best in the majors. Additionally, they had a +196 run differential, and finished with 101 wins. Some thought the Astros were falling off after an 11-17 August, but then they splurged to acquire Justin Verlander, and went 20-8 in September.
The Astros continued their dominance by dispatching the Red Sox in the ALDS. The Yankees fought hard and even took a series lead in the ALCS, but ultimately, the Astros fought back and made the World Series. There they matched up with the very dangerous Dodgers, in an all-time great series. After many twists and turns, the Astros won their first ever World Series, winning in seven games.
2. 2016 Chicago Cubs
The Cubs were poised to finally bring a title back to the North Side of Chicago after making the NLCS in 2015. The team had made some high-profile acquisitions by signing Ben Zobrist and Jason Heyward. This added to their already high-powered offense. They came through on those high expectations, only spending one day in second place on April 8. They went 17-5 in April, and after a mediocre stretch in July, they acquired Aroldis Chapman to shore up their bullpen.
The Cubs then went 22-6 in August, and for the season, finished with 103 wins. They averaged 4.97 runs per game and had a Major League-best 3.15 ERA.
Kris Bryant led the line-up, winning NL MVP, and Anthony Rizzo finished fourth in the voting. Their pitching staff was led by Jon Lester and Kyle Hendricks, who finish second and third respectively in the Cy Young voting. Additionally, the Cubs had a +252 run differential, tops in the majors by a wide margin.
After dispatching the Giants and Dodgers in relatively painless fashion, the Cubs fell into a deep three-game to one hole in the World Series against the Indians. After managing to win games five and six, the Cubs set up a Game-7 that would go down as one of the wildest games in MLB history. The Cubs won Game-7 in extra innings, bringing the North Side their first World Series title since 1908.
1. 2018 Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox may have done some cheating too, but this season was nothing short of dominant. They won 108 regular season games, the highest total for any team since the 2001 Mariners, who won 116. Additionally, they averaged a Major League-best 5.4 runs per game, and had a dominant +229 run differential. Mookie Betts won AL MVP, while key offseason acquisition J.D. Martinez finished fourth in the voting.
Some doubted that Boston’s momentum would continue into the postseason, but they beat the Yankees in a four-game ALDS. The Red Sox won game three in that series by a score of 16-2, silencing any critics after a Game-2 defeat. They then dispatched the Astros in five games in the ALCS. In the World Series, the Red Sox capped off their remarkable season by dominating the Dodgers in five games, winning Boston’s fourth World Series title in 15 years.
Final Thoughts and Honorable Mentions
If there was anything proven by this list, it’s that it isn’t always the best team that wins the World Series. Additionally, there were plenty of teams that were left off this list that won the World Series or had great years, but just missed out on the cut. Those teams include the Giants’ even year magic teams, the 2015 Royals and Mets, the 2011 Phillies, and the 2011 Cardinals. The teams that made the list however, will go down as some of the best teams in baseball history.