Welcome to the Best Team Ever bracket series, where the greatest of all time have their most dominant seasons stacked up against each other until we ultimately crown a champion in each sport. The tournament will be decided by fan vote, so be sure to submit yours below! The second round of polling closes at noon ET on Thursday, April 2.
We’re onto the second round in our “Best Teams Ever” tourney and all the MLB heavyweights are still in the fight. The 1927 Yankees, 1970 Orioles, 1975 Reds, 1986 Mets and 2016 Cubs are among the eight teams that advanced.
Now the matchups get tougher. The gimmicky wild-card teams we threw in the first round are gone. It’s all titans, eight of the best ever. But only one will win this bracket, so get your votes in.
1927 Yankees vs. 1963 Dodgers
No. 1: 1927 New York Yankees
Finished with 110 wins, new AL record
Swept Pirates in the World Series
Babe Ruth hit 60 homers
The famed “Murderer’s Row” Yankees are the easy No. 1 seed and easily knocked off 1994 Expos (85 percent to 15 percent). When Babe Ruth can hit 60 homers and lose out on the MVP to a teammate — Lou Gehrig — you know they’re great. Gehrig had 175 RBIs that year.
No. 9: 1963 Los Angeles Dodgers
Swept Yankees in the World Series
Sandy Koufax won Cy Young and MVP
After dispatching of the famous Braves’ rotation of the ’90s in Round 1 (54 percent to 46 percent), the Dodgers now get a “rematch” with the Yankees. Koufax won the Cy Young and MVP in 1963 for the Dodgers after going 25-5 with a 1.88 ERA and throwing 11 shutouts. He was paired with Don Drysdale (who threw 315 innings) for a duo so dominant the Yankees never even had a lead in the ’63 World Series.
1986 Mets vs 1970 Orioles
No. 5: 1986 New York Mets
Won NL East by 21.5 games
Beat the Red Sox in 7 games in World Series
The ‘86 Mets ran past the 2001 Mariners (58 percent to 42 percent) just like they did most teams in their day. You know the ’86 Mets story. Those were wild times but, boy, were they good. This is peak Doc Gooden and Darryl Strawberry. Lenny Dykstra, Keith Hernandez, Ray Knight, Wally Backman — they were all there. Without a doubt, one of the most famous and fascinating teams in MLB history.
No. 4: 1970 Baltimore Orioles
Won AL East by 15 games
Went 7-1 in World Series run
These Orioles are considered one of the most dominant postseason teams ever, and in Round 1 they dominated the 2011 Phillies. (77 percent to 23 percent). In 1970, the O’s scored 60 runs in eight games to beat the Twins and Reds in the ALCS and World Series. They were armed with three 20-games winners in Jim Palmer, Mike Cuellar and Dave McNally, plus first baseman Boog Powell won the AL MVP.
2016 Cubs vs. 1984 Tigers
No. 2: 2016 Chicago Cubs
Beat Indians in 7 games in World Series
First Cubs World Series win since 1908
The most famous World Series most of us will ever see came in 2016 when the Cubs finally broke their infamous drought. It took seven games (and what a finish) but the Curse of the Billy Goat was finally broken. In Round 1, they trounced the rival 2006 Cardinals, 76 percent to 24 percent.
No. 7: 1984 Detroit Tigers
Wire-to-wire AL East leaders
Beat Padres in 5 games in World Series
The Tigers were an early ’80s powerhouse with Jack Morris, Kirk Gibson, Alan Trammell and Lou Whitaker. All those names, and it was actually screwballer Willie Hernández who won the AL Cy Young and MVP that year as Tigers closer. In Round 1, they squeaked by one of the most famous World Series winners ever, the 2004 Red Sox. Time to see if they can take out two curse-buster teams.
1975 Reds vs. 1998 Yankees
No. 3: 1975 Cincinnati Reds
Beat Red Sox in 7 games in World Series
Joe Morgan won NL MVP
The Big Red Machine mashed in the Round 1, bashing the ’89 A’s (69 percent to 31 percent). The Reds teams of the 1970s are regarded as some of the best, and none might be better than the 1975 incarnation. Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan (who won the MVP that year), Tony Perez, George Foster and Dave Concepción were among their core.
No. 6: 1998 New York Yankees
Swept Padres in World Series
Went 11-2 in postseason
The ’98 Yankees were stacked and easily beat the Round 1 opponent, those cheating 2017 Astros. We figured baseball fans would enjoy voting against them — and the Yankees cruised to a 85 percent victory. These ’98 Yanks set a record for wins in the AL (before the 2001 Mariners broke it) and made easy work of their postseason opponents. This was peak Core Four — Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettite, Jorge Posada. Plus this team had David Wells, David Cone, Tino Martinez and Paul O’Neill.
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