Each team's best 60-game stretch since 2000

June 28th, 2020

With a 60-game slate scheduled for the 2020 season, it's a great time to go back in history to find the best 60-game stretches each club has ever produced. Here's a rundown of the best 60-game run each team has had dating back to the year 2000, along with its best 60-game mark all-time and its best 60-game span from last season.

There are several cases in which there are multiple best-60-game stretches of the same record for a team, so we broke the tie with the streak that featured the largest run differential, and if another tiebreaker was required, we went with the most recent streak.

American League East

Blue Jays: 43-17 (2015)

It was a season that would be summed up in a single swing, followed by a single bat flip. José Bautista's go-ahead, three-run homer in the seventh inning of Game 5 of the 2015 American League Division Series against the Rangers lifted Toronto into the AL Championship Series. It followed a 93-69 regular season aided in a big way by this 60-game stretch from July 24 to Sept. 30. It was a tremendous late-season surge that took the Jays from 49-49 to 92-66.

Franchise record: Same as above
Best 2019 stretch: 29-31 (June 12-Aug. 17)

Orioles: 41-19 (2014)

Baltimore achieved its highest victory total in 17 years by winning 96 games in 2014, and a big factor was the 41-19 stretch the O's had from July 22 to Sept. 24. Led by a slugging lineup featuring Manny Machado, Nelson Cruz, Steve Pearce and Adam Jones, as well as star closer Zack Britton, the Orioles won the AL East for the first time since 1997, and they went on to reach the ALCS, where they were swept by the Royals.

Franchise record: 45-15 (1969)
Best 2019 stretch: 24-36 (June 28-Sept. 5)

Rays: 40-20 (2013)

On May 25, the Rays sat at 24-24, fourth place in the AL East. That's the day they began their run of 40 wins in 60 games, at the end of which Tampa Bay was 64-43 and in first place by half a game over the Red Sox. Joe Maddon's club ended the season with a 92-71 record, 5 1/2 games behind the eventual World Series champion Red Sox. The Rays won the AL Wild Card Game over the Indians, but lost to Boston in a four-game ALDS.

Franchise record: Same as above
Best 2019 stretch: 40-20 (July 20-Sept. 27)

Red Sox: 45-15 (2018)

It's fitting that the best 60-game stretch for the Red Sox since 2000 came in one of its four championship seasons this century. Boston was a juggernaut right out of the gate in '18, and when its 45-15 stretch began on June 9, it was already 44-21. That team, led by Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez at the plate and Chris Sale on the mound, set a franchise record by winning 108 games and lost only three times in the postseason during its run to the World Series title.

Franchise record: 46-14 (1949)
Best 2019 stretch: 36-24 (April 17-June 22)

Yankees: 44-16 (2009)

The Yankees won four World Series titles in a five-year span from 1996-2000. Then, no titles until 2009, when the "Core Four" franchise players -- Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte and Jorge Posada -- had one last hurrah. During that season, New York won 44 of 60 from June 25 to Aug. 31, going from five games back of first place in the AL East with a 39-32 record, to 6 1/2 games up on the rest of the division with a first-place record of 83-48. The Yanks went on to win the division before winning the franchise's 27th World Series championship that October.

Franchise record: 48-11-1 (1938)
Best 2019 stretch: 42-18 (May 10-July 20)

AL Central

Indians: 48-12 (2017)

The 2017 Indians did something rare and incredible -- as part of a 48-12 stretch from July 21 to Sept. 21, the Tribe won an AL-record 22 consecutive games from Aug. 24 to Sept. 14, eclipsing the mark of 20 straight set by the Athletics in 2002. Over the wider 60-game span, Cleveland had a stunning run differential of 171. Behind ace Corey Kluber and sluggers Jose Ramirez, Francisco Lindor and Edwin Encarnación, the Indians went on to go 102-60 for the season and, a year after reaching the World Series, lost to the Yankees in a five-game ALDS.

Franchise record: Same as above
Best 2019 stretch: 43-17 (June 4-Aug. 12)

Royals: 39-21 (2015)

In 2015, the Royals finally returned to the pinnacle of baseball by winning their first World Series in 30 years. Along the way, they won 39 of 60 from June 24 to Aug. 28. That spurt took Kansas City from a 40-28 record and a 3 1/2-game lead in the AL Central, to a 79-49 mark and a 13-game lead. And despite falling in seven games to the Giants a year before, the Royals finished the job this time, defeating the Mets in a five-game Fall Classic in which Salvador Perez, the final out of the '14 World Series, was named Series MVP.

Franchise record: 45-15 (1977)
Best 2019 stretch: 26-34 (July 5-Sep. 13)

Tigers: 43-17 (2006)

The Tigers didn't win the AL Central in 2006 -- the division title was won by the Twins -- but that didn't stop Detroit from winning its first AL pennant in 22 years with a Magglio Ordonez walk-off homer in the ALCS-clinching Game 4. From April 25 to June 30, the Tigers won 43 of 60 games to take their record from 12-8 to 55-25 en route to a 95-67 finish. They went through the Yankees in the ALDS and the Athletics in the ALCS to reach a World Series matchup with the Cardinals, losing just once over those first two series before falling in five to St. Louis.

Franchise record: 45-15 (1935)
Best 2019 stretch: 23-37 (March 30-June 8)

Twins: 44-16 (2006)

The Twins had a nearly identical 60-game run as their division rivals, the Tigers, and edged out Detroit by one game to win the AL Central. That stretch came from June 11 to Aug. 18, and it changed the course of their season dramatically. Entering play on June 11, Minnesota's record was 27-34, which put it 11 1/2 games back of first place. On Aug. 18, the Twins were 71-50. And though they were still 7 1/2 games back, they continued their surge to overtake the Tigers and claim the division title with a 96-66 record. They were swept, however, in the ALDS by Oakland.

Franchise record: 44-16 (1933)
Best 2019 stretch: 41-19 (April 9-June 14)

White Sox: 42-18 (2005)

Entering the 2005 season, the White Sox hadn't won a World Series in 88 years. While the cross-town Cubs' title drought garnered most of the attention, the South Siders were determined to put an end to nearly nine decades of championship futility. And they did, thanks in no small part to a 42-18 stretch from April 18 to June 24. By the end of that run, Chicago had a 10 1/2-game lead in the AL Central, and it warded off a late run by the Indians to win the division title. In the postseason, the Sox lost just once, sweeping the Astros in the World Series.

Franchise record: 46-14 (1983)
Best 2019 stretch: 32-28 (April 12-June 18)

AL West

Angels: 44-16 (2009)

Nope, the Halos' best 60-game run didn't come in their 2002 World Series championship season. It came in '09, when they turned a 29-29 record and a 4 1/2-game deficit in the AL West into a 73-45 mark and 6 1/2-game lead in the division. The Angels won the division to reach the postseason for the sixth time in eight years and promptly swept the Red Sox in the ALDS. But that's where the run ended in an ALCS defeat at the hands of the Yankees in six games.

Franchise record: Same as above
Best 2019 stretch: 34-26 (May 9-July 16)

Astros: 43-17 (2019)

The Astros set a franchise record for best win-loss record in a 60-game span just last year, outscoring opponents by an amazing 179 runs from July 17 to Sept. 22. It wasn't as if Houston needed a huge stretch like that to gain a foothold in the AL West -- it already had a four-game lead in the division entering play on July 17. But the run did double that lead as the Astros cruised into the postseason for the third consecutive year. Houston reached the World Series for the second time in three years, but lost in seven games to the Nationals.

Franchise record: Same as above
Best 2019 stretch: Same as above

Athletics: 48-12 (2001)

The Athletics have a rich franchise history in which they won three straight World Series championships from 1972-74, won three consecutive AL pennants from 1988-90, and won a then-AL-record 20 straight games in 2002. But the best 60-game stretch in Athletics history came from July 27 to Oct. 7, 2001, when Oakland went 48-12. That club, which featured Jason Giambi, Johnny Damon and Miguel Tejada, as well as the starting-pitching trio of Mark Mulder, Tim Hudson and Barry Zito, went on to win 102 games, but lost a five-game ALDS to the Yankees after winning the first two games at Yankee Stadium.

Franchise record: Same as above
Best 2019 stretch: 41-19 (June 11-Aug. 22)

Mariners: 48-12 (2001)

This one makes sense, right? The 2001 Mariners won 116 games, tying an MLB record and setting the AL record. With Ichiro Suzuki, Edgar Martinez, Bret Boone, Mike Cameron and Freddy Garcia leading the way, Seattle won 48 of 60 games from April 4 to June 12, outscoring opponents by 130 runs in that span. Though their regular season was spectacular, the postseason wasn't for the Mariners, who lost to the Yankees in the ALCS.

Franchise record: Same as above
Best 2019 stretch: 28-32 (July 22-Sept. 29)

Rangers: 41-19 (2016)

The 2016 Rangers fell a victory short of tying a franchise record, going 95-67 for the regular season. From April 26 to June 30, Texas won 41 of 60, led by Adrián Beltré at the plate and Cole Hamels on the mound. The club's postseason experience was a short one, however -- the Rangers were swept in the ALDS by the Blue Jays.

Franchise record: Same as above
Best 2019 stretch: 34-26 (April 26-June 30)

National League East

Braves: 46-14 (2002)

In 2002, the Braves won an 11th straight division title with a 101-59 regular-season record. They won 46 of 60 games between May 27 and Aug. 3. Andruw Jones, Chipper Jones and Gary Sheffield paced Atlanta at the plate, while Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Kevin Millwood led the pitching staff, but despite being heavy favorites in the NLDS against the Giants, the Braves were defeated in five games.

Franchise record: 47-13 (1897)
Best 2019 stretch: 40-20 (May 9-July 17)

Marlins: 40-20 (2003)

Led by a young pitching staff that featured Josh Beckett and Dontrelle Willis, as well as a resurgent season from veteran catcher Ivan Rodriguez, the Marlins shocked the baseball world with a 91-win regular season and an epic October run that ended in a World Series victory over the vaunted Yankees. That club also set a franchise record for best mark over a 60-game span, winning 40 from June 10 to Aug. 17.

Franchise record: Same as above
Best 2019 stretch: 29-31 (May 17-July 26)

Mets: 40-20 (2015)

The 2015 Mets didn't win the World Series, but they got pretty close, losing a five-game Fall Classic to the Royals. New York won 40 out of 60 from July 25 to Sept. 29, and that stretch proved to be the most impactful of the club's season. It took the Mets from 49-48 and three games back of first place to 89-68 with a nine-game lead in the NL East. They won the division for the first time in nine years before defeating the Dodgers in a five-game NLDS and sweeping the Cubs in the NLCS.

Franchise record: 44-16 (1986)
Best 2019 stretch: 39-21 (July 25-Sept. 28)

Nationals/Expos: 41-19 (2019)

The rise of the 2019 Nationals is well-documented: A team that was 19-31 on May 23 went on to win the World Series. But Washington's best 60-game stretch came from June 16 to Aug. 25, when it went from 32-38 to 73-57. Though the Nats wouldn't catch the Braves for the division title, they did secure a Wild Card spot and beat the Brewers to advance to the NLDS, where they stunned the Dodgers in five games. Washington then swept the Cardinals and beat the Astros in seven games for the first World Series title in franchise history.

Franchise record: 43-17 (1994)
Best 2019 stretch: Same as above

Phillies: 45-15 (2010)

Things didn't end up the way they would've hoped -- a loss to the Giants in the NLCS was not the way the Phillies saw it all playing out following a 97-65 season and fourth straight NL East title. But that club tied the 1976 team for the best 60-game stretch in franchise history, going 45-15 from July 22 to Sept. 24. That run took Philadelphia from a seven-game deficit in the division to a seven-game lead over the Braves. Hall of Famer Roy Halladay had a tremendous season, throwing two no-hitters -- a perfect game on May 29 against the Marlins, and a no-hitter against the Reds in NLDS Game 1 that was the second no-hitter in postseason history after Don Larsen's perfect game in the 1956 World Series.

Franchise record: Same as above (also 1976)
Best 2019 stretch: 33-27 (March 28-June 3)

NL Central

Brewers: 42-18 (2011)

The Brewers have had some great seasons in recent years, but it was back in 2011 that Milwaukee tied a franchise record by winning 42 out of 60 games from July 24 to Sept. 28. In a year that will be remembered by Brewers fans for Nyjer Morgan's walk-off single up the middle in NLDS Game 5 against the D-backs, Milwaukee heated up when it counted most, going from 54-48 on July 24 to 96-66 and an NL Central title on Sept. 28, the final day of the regular season.

Franchise record: Same as above (also 1983)
Best 2019 stretch: 38-22 (July 20-Sept. 26)

Cardinals: 47-13 (2004)

The 2004 Cardinals were a juggernaut -- St. Louis won 105 games behind a loaded lineup that featured Albert Pujols, Jim Edmonds, Scott Rolen and Larry Walker. From July 2-Sept. 7, the Cards won 47 of 60 and ran away with the NL Central. In the postseason, they beat the Dodgers in a four-game NLDS, and edged the Astros in a seven-game NLCS before running into a team coming off the greatest comeback in baseball history in the ALCS, the Red Sox. Boston swept St. Louis for its first World Series title in 86 years.

Franchise record: 48-12 (1944)
Best 2019 stretch: 40-20 (July 21-Sept. 23)

Cubs: 42-18 (2016)

Yes, if you look below you'll see that the franchise record for the best 60-game stretch in Cubs history is 52-8 (!). But that was more than a century ago, two years before Chicago won its final World Series championship for 108 years. The drought ended in 2016, when the Cubs won 42 of 60 from April 5 to June 12, outscoring opponents by a whopping 153 runs and building a big lead in the NL Central. In a memorable seven-game Fall Classic, with an extra-inning thriller in Game 7, the Cubs finally won it all.

Franchise record: 52-8 (1906)
Best 2019 stretch: 37-23 (April 6-June 12)

Pirates: 41-19 (2015)

The Pirates didn't have a winning season in this century until 2013, when they broke a 21-year postseason drought with a Wild Card berth. They won Wild Card berths in each of the next two seasons, and in '15, Pittsburgh won 98 games, more than in any season since 1991. That year, they won 41 of 60 games between May 22 and July 29. Andrew McCutchen and Pedro Álvarez paced the offense while Gerrit Cole anchored the starting rotation, but for the second straight year, the Wild Card Game was where it all ended for the Bucs.

Franchise record: 47-13 (1909)
Best 2019 stretch: 30-30 (May 4-July 7)

Reds: 41-19 (2012)

The 2012 Reds seemed destined for a deep October run. With a starting rotation led by Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos and Homer Bailey and a lineup featuring Joey Votto and Jay Bruce, Cincinnati had its sights set on October glory. The Reds went 97-65 during the regular season, winning 41 of 60 from June 29 to Sept. 2. On June 29, the club was 42-34, with a one-game lead in the NL Central. By the end of the run, Cincinnati was in cruise control with a 9 1/2-game cushion on its way to a division title. After taking the first two games of the NLDS against the Giants in San Francisco, the Reds were eyeing a sweep, only to lose three straight at home to the eventual World Series champions.

Franchise record: 47-13 (1919)
Best 2019 stretch: 31-29 (April 17-June 23)

NL West

D-backs: 40-20 (2002)

The season following the only World Series title in franchise history, the D-backs continued to look like a contender for a deep October run. Arizona won 98 games and held off the Giants to capture the NL West crown and head into the postseason to defend its title. From July 16 to Sept. 19, the D-backs won 40 of 60 to maintain their status atop the division. But in the postseason, the duo of Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling couldn't carry the club as they did the prior year, and Arizona was swept by the Cardinals in the NLDS.

Franchise record: 45-15 (1999)
Best 2019 stretch: 34-26 (June 26-Sept. 6)

Dodgers: 51-9 (2017)

Yes, you read that correctly -- the Dodgers went 51-9 over a 60-game stretch in 2017, when they cruised to another NL West title with a record of 104-58. That incredible run came between June 9 and Aug. 19, in which Los Angeles increased its division lead from two games to 20. With the infusion of rookie slugger Cody Bellinger into an already deep and powerful lineup, the Dodgers reached the World Series, but lost in seven games to the Astros.

Franchise record: Same as above
Best 2019 stretch: 43-17 (April 14-June 20)

Giants: 42-18 (2000)

The year 2000 was exciting for the Giants, who moved into a brand-new jewel of a ballpark by the Bay and expected to contend for an NL West title. With Barry Bonds, Jeff Kent, J.T. Snow and Ellis Burks in the middle of the lineup, San Francisco expected to be playing baseball in mid-October. By July 4, the club was treading water with a third-place record of 40-38, 5 1/2 games back in the division. Then the Giants took off, winning 42 of their next 60 to surge into first place with an 82-56 record on Sept. 6, opening up a 7 1/2-game lead. After winning the NL West, San Francisco met the Mets in the NLDS, losing the series in four games.

Franchise record: 51-8-1 (1912)
Best 2019 stretch: 37-23 (June 11-Aug. 17)

Padres: 38-22 (2010)

The Padres were in first place for all but three days from April 28 to Sept. 15, thanks in large part to a 38-22 stretch from June 18 to Aug. 26. With a strong pitching staff led by Mat Latos and closer Heath Bell, San Diego was in it to the very end, losing to the Giants on the final day of the regular season to miss out on the postseason.

Franchise record: 42-18 (1998)
Best 2019 stretch: 31-29 (April 21-June 29)

Rockies: 42-18 (2009)

The 2007 Rockies team that reached the World Series with a magical late-season run won 20 of 28 games in September before sweeping its way into the World Series, where it was swept by the Red Sox. But the best 60-game stretch in franchise history came in '09, when Troy Tulowitzki, Todd Helton and Ubaldo Jiménez led Colorado to the postseason for the second time in three years. From June 4 to Aug. 10, the Rockies won 42 of 60 games, catapulting them from a 20-32 record to a 62-50 mark. They won the NL Wild Card spot, but lost to the Phillies in a four-game NLDS.

Franchise record: Same as above
Best 2019 stretch: 37-23 (April 14-June 21)