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The 30 Best MLB Seasons Prior to the All-Star Break

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Astros 1 560x373The Major League Baseball season is long. It begins in April and ends in October. So for seven months of the year, professional baseball teams are playing anywhere from 24 to 29 games a month, both home and away, to get their exhausting 162 game schedule finished before it starts getting cold again.

Each team battles a grueling grind of traveling just about every week or so, and playing on the road and living in hotels for up to three weeks at a time and never getting more than one day off at a time. So when the All-Star break gets here, it is like a summer vacation for all of the teams. It gives players a few extra days rest before the final push in the second half of the season begins.

Since the “Midsummer Classic” happens between the second or third Tuesday in July, teams wind up playing more games in the first half compared to the second half, leading to some amazing results. Some teams can maintain a hot start throughout the entire season and give themselves a shot at a World Series title come October.

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Every now and then, there are teams that use the All-Star break as a chance to start their season all over and finish the year strong, like the 2015 Toronto Blue Jays, who sat at 45-46 in the first half of the season. They exploded in the second half, winning 48 games and losing 23, leading to a shocking AL East division pennant. But the Toronto Blue Jays are on a very short list of teams that have taken a terrible first half of the season and turned it into something. Most of the time, teams that have a great first half of the season do end up on top by the postseason. So let’s take a look at the 30 Greatest MLB 1st Half runs since 1950.

30) 1966 Baltimore Orioles

  • Record: 58-29
  • Team Stats
    • Hitting: 0.263 Avg, 800 H, 99 HR, 410 RBI, 443 R
    • Pitching: 3.05 ERA, 576 K, 270 BB, 1.170 WHIP
  • Top Hitter – Brooks Robinson
  • Top Pitcher – Steve Barber

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29) 2010 New York Yankees

  • Record: 56-32
  • Team Stats
    • Hitting: 0.271 Avg, 817 H, 99 HR, 448 RBI, 469 R
    • Pitching: 3.81 ERA, 634 K, 279 BB, 1.248 WHIP
  • Top Hitter – Robinson Cano
  • Top Pitcher – C.C. Sabathia

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28) 1975 Cincinnati Reds

  • Record: 61-29
  • Team Stats
    • Hitting: 0.273 Avg, 849 H, 79 HR, 434 RBI, 463 R
    • Pitching: 3.20 ERA, 403 K, 274 BB, 1.265 WHIP
  • Top Hitter – Joe Morgan
  • Top Pitcher – Don Gullett

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27) 2003 Seattle Mariners

  • Record: 58-35
  • Team Stats
    • Hitting: 0.278 Avg, 891 H, 90 HR, 448 RBI, 469 R
    • Pitching: 3.60 ERA, 560 K, 268 BB, 1.237 WHIP
  • Top Hitter – Bret Boone
  • Top Pitcher – Jamie Moyer

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26) 2000 Chicago White Sox

  • Record: 55-32
  • Team Stats
    • Hitting: 0.286 Avg, 875 H, 128 HR, 506 RBI, 534 R
    • Pitching: 4.49 ERA, 595 K, 337 BB, 1.471 WHIP
  • Top Hitter – Frank Thomas
  • Top Pitcher – James Baldwin

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25) 1996 Atlanta Braves

  • Record: 54-33
  • Team Stats
    • Hitting: 0.273 Avg, 822 H, 119 HR, 424 RBI, 439 R
    • Pitching: 3.28 ERA, 678 K, 216 BB, 1.184 WHIP
  • Top Hitter – Chipper Jones
  • Top Pitcher – John Smoltz

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24) 1979 Baltimore Orioles

  • Record: 59-31
  • Team Stats
    • Hitting: 0.263 Avg, 795 H, 105 HR, 405 RBI, 427 R
    • Pitching: 3.46 ERA, 405 K, 281 BB, 1.245 WHIP
  • Top Hitter – Ken Singleton
  • Top Pitcher – Mike Flanagan

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23) 1977 Los Angeles Dodgers

  • Record: 59-33
  • Team Stats
    • Hitting: 0.277 Avg, 892 H, 116 HR, 456 RBI, 478 R
    • Pitching: 3.38 ERA, 550 K, 268 BB, 1.282 WHIP
  • Top Hitter – Steve Garvey
  • Top Pitcher – Doug Rau

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22) 1999 Cleveland Indians

  • Record: 56-31
  • Team Stats
    • Hitting: 0.296 Avg, 901 H, 118 HR, 538 RBI, 571 R
    • Pitching: 4.92 ERA, 590 K, 354 BB, 1.490 WHIP
  • Top Hitter – Manny Ramirez
  • Top Pitcher – Steve Karsay

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21) 2003 New York Yankees

  • Record: 57-36
  • Team Stats
    • Hitting: 0.269 Avg, 878 H, 131 HR, 487 RBI, 505 R
    • Pitching: 4.05 ERA, 659 K, 208 BB, 1.286 WHIP
  • Top Hitter – Alfonso Soriano
  • Top Pitcher – Roger Clemens

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20) 1973 Los Angeles Dodgers

  • Record: 63-37
  • Team Stats
    • Hitting: 0.275 Avg, 977 H, 61 HR, 408 RBI, 450 R
    • Pitching: 2.89 ERA, 590 K, 295 BB, 1.156 WHIP
  • Top Hitter – Willie Davis
  • Top Pitcher – Don Sutton

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19) 2006 Chicago White Sox

  • Record: 57-31
  • Team Stats
    • Hitting: 0.288 Avg, 894 H, 133 HR, 499 RBI, 520 R
    • Pitching: 4.44 ERA, 527 K, 236 BB, 1.342 WHIP
  • Top Hitter – Jim Thome
  • Top Pitcher – Bobby Jenks

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18) 1969 Chicago Cubs

  • Record: 61-37
  • Team Stats
    • Hitting: 0.264 Avg, 890 H, 88 HR, 449 RBI, 477 R
    • Pitching: 3.17 ERA, 637 K, 270 BB, 1.232 WHIP
  • Top Hitter – Ron Santo
  • Top Pitcher – Fergie Jenkins

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17) 1997 Atlanta Braves

  • Record: 57-30
  • Team Stats
    • Hitting: 0.283 Avg, 842 H, 92 HR, 429 RBI, 450 R
    • Pitching: 3.11 ERA, 578 K, 228 BB, 1.229 WHIP
  • Top Hitter – Kenny Lofton
  • Top Pitcher – Greg Maddux

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16) 1993 San Francisco Giants

  • Record: 59-30
  • Team Stats
    • Hitting: 0.288 Avg, 890 H, 89 HR, 439 RBI, 466 R
    • Pitching: 3.42 ERA, 522 K, 242 BB, 1.236 WHIP
  • Top Hitter – Barry Bonds
  • Top Pitcher – John Burkett

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15) 2016 Los Angeles Dodgers

  • Record: 51-40
  • Team Stats
    • Hitting: 0.241 Avg, 735 H, 99 HR, 356 RBI, 382 R
    • Pitching: 3.43 ERA, 866 K, 250 BB, 1.115 WHIP
  • Top Hitter – Corey Seager
  • Top Pitcher – Clayton Kershaw

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14) 2002 New York Yankees

  • Record: 55-32
  • Team Stats
    • Hitting: 0.281 Avg, 843 H, 134 HR, 483 RBI, 499 R
    • Pitching: 3.95 ERA, 631 K, 241 BB, 1.244 WHIP
  • Top Hitter – Jason Giambi
  • Top Pitcher – Mike Mussina

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13) 2003 Boston Red Sox

  • Record: 55-38
  • Team Stats
    • Hitting: 0.294 Avg, 992 H, 124 HR, 551 RBI, 573 R
    • Pitching: 4.57 ERA, 667 K, 431 BB, 1.396 WHIP
  • Top Hitter – Manny Ramirez
  • Top Pitcher – Pedro Martinez

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12) 2008 Chicago Cubs

  • Record: 57-38
  • Team Stats
    • Hitting: 0.281 Avg, 933 H, 107 HR, 478 RBI, 507 R
    • Pitching: 3.86 ERA, 707 K, 320 BB, 1.310 WHIP
  • Top Hitter – Derrek Lee
  • Top Pitcher – Ryan Dempster

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11) 2014 Oakland A’s

  • Record: 59-36
  • Team Stats
    • Hitting: 0.251 Avg, 831 H, 98 HR, 440 RBI, 466 R
    • Pitching: 3.09 ERA, 728 K, 257 BB, 1.158 WHIP
  • Top Hitter – Brandon Moss
  • Top Pitcher – Scott Kazmir

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10) 1986 New York Mets

  • Record: 59-25
  • Team Stats
    • Hitting: 0.266 Avg, 764 H, 86 HR, 385 RBI, 416 R
    • Pitching: 3.06 ERA, 559 K, 293 BB, 1.232 WHIP
  • Top Hitter – Gary Carter
  • Top Pitcher – Sid Fernandez

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9) 2014 Los Angeles Angels

  • Record: 57-37
  • Team Stats
    • Hitting: 0.269 Avg, 883 H, 101 HR, 454 RBI, 478 R
    • Pitching: 3.84 ERA, 789 K, 307 BB, 1.241 WHIP
  • Top Hitter – Mike Trout
  • Top Pitcher – Garrett Richards

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8) 2003 Atlanta Braves

  • Record: 61-32
  • Team Stats
    • Hitting: 0.276 Avg, 891 H, 140 HR, 487 RBI, 506 R
    • Pitching: 4.18 ERA, 597 K, 337 BB, 1.373 WHIP
  • Top Hitter – Andruw Jones
  • Top Pitcher – John Smoltz

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7) 1998 New York Yankees

  • Record: 61-20
  • Team Stats
    • Hitting: 0.285 Avg, 796 H, 90 HR, 451 RBI, 484 R
    • Pitching: 3.81 ERA, 539 K, 235 BB, 1.240 WHIP
  • Top Hitter – Paul O’Neil
  • Top Pitcher – Mariano Rivera

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6) 1974 Los Angeles Dodgers

  • Record: 63-34
  • Team Stats
    • Hitting: 0.275 Avg, 912 H, 83 HR, 455 RBI, 483 R
    • Pitching: 2.93 ERA, 556 K, 275 BB, 1.176 WHIP
  • Top Hitter – Steve Garvey
  • Top Pitcher – Andy Messersmith

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5) 1969 Baltimore Orioles

  • Record: 65-31
  • Team Stats
    • Hitting: 0.268 Avg, 871 H, 109 HR, 444 RBI, 482 R
    • Pitching: 2.91 ERA, 526 K, 298 BB, 1.146 WHIP
  • Top Hitter – Boog Powell
  • Top Pitcher – Dave McNally

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4) 2013 Boston Red Sox

  • Record: 58-39
  • Team Stats
    • Hitting: 0.277 Avg, 934 H, 98 HR, 481 RBI, 498 R
    • Pitching: 3.91 ERA, 819 K, 338 BB, 1.342 WHIP
  • Top Hitter – David Ortiz
  • Top Pitcher – Clay Buchholz

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3) 1998 Atlanta Braves

  • Record: 59-29
  • Team Stats
    • Hitting: 0.277 Avg, 829 H, 120 HR, 458 RBI, 469 R
    • Pitching: 3.32 ERA, 658 K, 239 BB, 1.219 WHIP
  • Top Hitter – Andres Galarraga
  • Top Pitcher – Greg Maddux

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2) 2013 St.Louis Cardinals

  • Record: 57-36
  • Team Stats
    • Hitting: 0.276 Avg, 882 H, 82 HR, 440 RBI, 462 R
    • Pitching: 4.00 ERA, 553 K, 266 BB, 1.274 WHIP
  • Top Hitter – Allen Craig
  • Top Pitcher – Adam Wainwright

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1) 2001 Seattle Mariners

  • Record: 63-24
  • Team Stats
    • Hitting: 0.283 Avg, 862 H, 102 HR, 501 RBI, 530 R
    • Pitching: 4.00 ERA, 553 K, 266 BB, 1.274 WHIP
  • Top Hitter – Bret Boone
  • Top Pitcher – Freddy Garcia

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