|Team||Year||Wins||Wins Behind Top Team|
|Boston Red Sox||2007||96|
|New York Yankees||2009||103|
|Tampa Bay Rays||Never||97||2010 (1 behind PHI)|
|Toronto Blue Jays||Never||99||1985 (2 behind STL)|
|Chicago White Sox||1983||99|
|Kansas City Royals||1977||102|
|Houston Astros||Never||102||1998 (12 behind NYY)|
|Los Angeles Angels||2008||100|
|Texas Rangers||Never||96||2011 (6 behind PHI)|
|Miami Marlins||Never||92||1997 (9 behind ATL)|
|New York Mets||2006||97|
|St. Louis Cardinals||2005||100|
|Arizona Diamondbacks||Never||100||1999 (3 behind ATL)|
|Colorado Rockies||Never||92||2009 (11 behind NYY)|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||1974||102|
|San Diego Padres||Never||98||1998 (16 behind NYY)|
|San Francisco Giants||2000||97|
Of the 22 teams that have finished with the best record in baseball, only the 2007 Red Sox and 2009 Yankees won the World Series in their most recent season.
Six of these teams won the pennant but lost in the Fall Classic (1945 CHN, 1965 MIN, 1974 LAD, 1979 BAL, 1982 MIL, 1999 ATL).
Nine fell in the League Championship Series (1977 KC, 1983 CWS, 1987 DET, 1991 PIT, 2001 SEA, 2002 OAK, 2005 STL, 2006 NYM, 2007 CLE). For the first four teams listed, it was their only playoff series. The other five clubs at least won their opening series.
That can't be said for the 2000 Giants, 2008 Angels, 2011 Phillies and 2012 Nationals. They all dropped their Division Series matchup. The Giants and Angels lost in four games to the Mets and Red Sox. Philly and Washington were both stunned by the Cardinals in five.
The 1981 Reds are an odd case. Because of the strike the season was cut into two halves, with each division's first-half champ and second-half champ meeting in the playoffs. Cincy went 66-42, but finished in second place in both halves only to watch the Dodgers and Astros meet in the postseason.
For five of the eight teams that have never led MLB, their winningest season is also the year in which they came closest to the top team (Rays, Blue Jays, Rangers, Marlins, Diamondbacks). But it's a different story for the Astros, Rockies and Padres.
Houston won 93 in 1980, ten games behind the Yankees. In the strike-shortened 1981 and 1994 seasons, they were within five and eight games, respectively, of the Reds and Expos.
During Colorado's miracle 2007 season, they won 90 games, six fewer than the Indians and the Red Sox team that defeated them in the World Series.
The Padres were within seven games of the best team on two occasions. Their 89 wins were seven back of Boston and Cleveland in 2007 and in 2010 their 90 wins trailed Philadelphia.
It's worth noting that there were two other seasons in addition to 1985 that saw the Blue Jays finish two behind the majors' top team. They won 96 games in 1987 and 1992, but the Tigers and Braves finished with 98 in those seasons.
Check out the yearly wins grid for every team here.
If the Nationals can repeat as the regular season's best team (and they look loaded), they would be the fourth team of the wild card era to top the majors in back-to-back seasons. The others are the 1995-96 Indians, 2002-03 Yankees, 2004-05 Cardinals and 2010-11 Phillies.