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The Dodgers Have A Real Chance To Break The All-Time Wins Record

Move over, 2015-16 Golden State Warriors: There’s a new team chasing a sport’s all-time single-season wins record. The Los Angeles Dodgers have been on a tear — 43 wins in 50 games since June 9, the best 50-game stretch in MLB history — and they now stand at 79-32, which puts the team in a position to win more games than the 2001 Seattle Mariners and 1906 Chicago Cubs, who each won 116 games, the most ever by a baseball team in a season.

According to FiveThirtyEight’s Elo model, which simulates the remainder of the season using power ratings and each team’s probability of winning every game, the Dodgers are on pace to win 112 games. But that’s just their average outcome — in some simulations they win more, and in some they win less. In a shade over 20 percent of our simulations, they win at least 116 games, which would tie the all-time mark. And 13.5 percent of the time, they finish the season with at least 117 victories, setting a new single-season record for greatness.

Will the Dodgers break the all-time wins record?

Current record is 116 wins

CHANCE DODGERS FINISH WITH…
WINS AT LEAST THIS MANY WINS EXACTLY THIS MANY WINS
105 96.2% 2.2%
106 94.0 3.0
107 91.0 5.0
108 86.0 5.7
109 80.3 6.9
110 73.4 8.1
111 65.4 9.0
112 56.3 9.3
113 47.1 9.6
114 37.4 9.4
115 28.0 7.9
116 20.1 6.5
117 13.5 5.1
118 8.5 3.4
119 5.1 2.2
120 2.9 1.4

Elo still doesn’t quite think the Dodgers are the greatest team of all-time. Their 1608 Elo rating (through Sunday’s 8-0 rout of the New York Mets) only ranks sixth-best for a team through 111 games since 1901, trailing the 1944 St. Louis Cardinals, 1902 Pittsburgh Pirates, and the 1938, 1939 and 1998 New York Yankees. But if L.A. does end up smashing the wins record, they’ll be on the short list of greatest teams ever — particularly if they can finally get over the hump in the playoffs.

Check out our latest MLB predictions.

Neil Paine is a senior sportswriter for FiveThirtyEight.

Jay Boice is a computational journalist for FiveThirtyEight.

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