Postseason performances have outsize value in major league baseball, and this is why David Freese shares emotional space with Bob Gibson in St. Louis, why several generations of New Englanders can deftly imitate Carlton Fisk’s frantic wave of a baseball, and why Kirk Gibson is better known for a fist pump than for his lifetime average.
The executives who run front offices should divorce themselves from that romanticism of October and November results and instead be wedded to the large sample size, before those nights when Brad Peacock and Charlie Morton were the best pitchers in baseball. And for the sake of ranking the best teams, we should probably do that too, giving greater weight to what was accomplished April through September.
With that in mind, here are the top 10 teams, based on the input of evaluators, with help from ESPN researchers Mark Simon, Paul Hembekides and Sarah Langs. It’s subject to change before the start of spring training, of course, with so many veteran free agents still unsigned.