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Mets Best Expansion Team Ever?

In my very first post in this site, I said that the Mets are arguably the most successful expansion team in baseball history, what with their four World Series appearances (most among expansion teams) and two victories (tied with the Blue Jays and Marlins). I decided to take a closer look, using using playoff appearances and .500 or better winning seasons. Since the teams have not played in the same number of seasons, I used percentages as well. Then I made this nifty chart (leaders in bold):


Team Seasons WS/WS Wins Playoffs Winning or .500 Seasons
Senator/Rangers 50 1   0 4 (8%) 17 (34%)
Angels 50 1   1 9 (18%) 23 (46%)
Mets 49 4   2 7 (14%) 23 (46%)
Astros 49 1   0 9 (18%) 28 (57%)
Expos/Nationals 42 0   0 1 (2%) 17 (40%)
Pilots/Brewers 42 1   0 3 (7%) 14 (33%)
Padres 42 2   0 5 (11%) 16 (38%)
Royals 42 2   1 7 (16%) 18 (42%)
Blue Jays 34 2   2 5 (14%) 19 (55%)
Mariners 34 0   0 4 (11%) 11 (32%)
Marlins 18 2   2 2 (11%) 6   (33%)
Rockies 18 1   0 3 (16%) 7   (38%)
Diamondbacks 13 1   1 4 (30%) 7   (53%)
Rays 13 1   0 2 (15%) 3   (23%)

Yes, the Mets do indeed lead all expansion teams when it comes to the World Series, but their regular season performance leaves much to be desired —  their seven playoff appearances is among the leaders, but fewer than half of their seasons have been .500 or better.

The Astros are the most successful regular season expansion team with nine playoff appearances, tied with the Angels. And they lead the way when it comes to .500 or better seasons. However, with just one losing World Series appearance, it is hard to call them the most successful franchise.

The Angels won in their only World Series appearance. For all of their playoff experience, they need more than one championship to be called the best.

In their short history, the Diamondbacks have done well, with one World Series win, and appearing in the playoffs in 30% of their seasons. Half of their seasons have been winning or better. But it’s too early to call them the best.

The Marlins have two World Series victories, but their regular season record has been dismal.

Then there are the Blue Jays. They too have two World Series victories. And they’ve had five playoff appearances — that 14% is tied with the Mets. And their 55% of .500 or better seasons is second only to the Astros. As much as I wanted to call the Mets the best, the Jays have had the most balanced success in the regular and post-season. Their regular season performance gives the Blue Jays the edge,  just slightly, over Mets to make them the most successful expansion franchise in baseball, in my opinion.

But if you want to go ahead and call the Mets the best, I won’t argue with you!

6 thoughts on “Mets Best Expansion Team Ever?

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  • Very interesting idea, but taking postseason/WS appearances/victories at face value is misleading because they have meant different things throughout MLB history. When the Mets joined the league in 1962, they had a 1/10 chance of making the playoffs, a 1/10 chance of making the World Series, and a 1/20 chance of winning the World Series. The Diamondbacks, by contrast, have spent their entire existence in an era where they have a much-inflated 1/4 chance of making the playoffs, but just a 1/16 chance of making it to the Fall Classic and a 1/30 chance of winning it.

  • Great work but you are posting this being a Mets fan. I have a long debate with a friend who is a Mets fan and I tell him that the Blue Jays and Diamondbacks are better statistically and the numbers above reflect that. Both have a higher percentage in playoff appearances (well tied with Tor) and winning seasons. In addition the Jays have two rings and the D-Backs have one in 13 seasons. You can’t account for the percent of making the playoffs in different eras because the other team didnt exist. You have to compare apples to apples on that one. I appreciate your blog, respectfully disagree and wish you well on the season. I am not a hater.

  • Mark Berman

    Hey, JV, thanks for the comment,. I don’t know if you read the post all the way through, but I agree with you — I think the Blue Jays are the best expansion franchise. I wish it were the Mets, but I just don’t think they are.

  • i think the mets are the best team most ws appearances are what generate excitement for fans — not playoff appearances only

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