Poll: Which of these four Red Sox teams was the best in terms of numbers and statistics?

Which of these four Red Sox teams was the best in terms of numbers and statistics?

  • 1946 Red Sox

    Votes: 42 51.2%
  • 1967 Red Sox

    Votes: 6 7.3%
  • 1975 Red Sox

    Votes: 26 31.7%
  • 1986 Red Sox

    Votes: 8 9.8%

  • Total voters
    82
  • Poll closed .
Oct 15, 2022
78
I don't know if polls like this are allowed here, but I wanted to give this a try.

The four teams in question are the 1946, 1967, 1975, and 1986 Red Sox teams, the ones that won the pennant but came up short in the World Series. In terms of "best", I mean the team with the best numbers (Batting Average, Slugging, OPS, Wins Above Replacement, ERA, WHIP). If it's okay to post polls like this here, I might do a separate poll asking which of the four teams you personally like the most, but this one is talking about the numbers and stats and stuff.

I have no doubt 1946 would easily beat the others, but I'm curious to see who the 2nd Place team would be. Let's find out!
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
19,878
I mean, I guess we can look this stuff up, right?

Record:
1946: 104-50 (.675) - 97-57 pythag, so they played the season +7
1967: 92-70 (.568) - 93-69 pythag, so they played the season -1
1975: 95-65 (.594) - 88-72 pythag, so they played the season +7
1986: 95-66 (.590) - 90-71 pythag, so they played the season +5

Run Differential:
1946: +198 (thanks @Sam Ray Not for the correction)
1967: +108
1975: +87
1986: +98

Offense:
1946: 792 r, .271/.356/.402/.758, 106 ops+
1967: 722 r, .255/.321/.395/.716, 104 ops+
1975: 796 r, .275/.344/.417/.761, 107 ops+
1986: 794 r, .271/.346/.415/.761, 107 ops+

Pitching:
1946: 3.38 era, 3.56 fip, 108 era+, 1.33 whip
1967: 3.36 era, 3.50 fip, 105 era+, 1.22 whip
1975: 3.98 era, 3.96 fip, 104 era+, 1.36 whip
1986: 3.93 era, 3.89 fip, 107 era+, 1.34 whip

WAR
1946: 43.8 bWAR
1967: 42.5 bWAR
1975: 41.2 bWAR
1986: 42.4 bWAR

So there's the data. You decide which team is the "best" statistically. Looks to me like the 1946 team was.
 
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Sam Ray Not

Member
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Jul 19, 2005
8,518
NYC
*1946: +198, not +398.

Was about to say I had no idea that was by far the best team in MLB history…
 

ctsoxfan5

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 13, 2004
808
I mean, I guess we can look this stuff up, right?

Record:
1946: 104-50 (.675) - 97-57 pythag, so they played the season +7
1967: 92-70 (.568) - 93-69 pythag, so they played the season -1
1975: 95-65 (.594) - 88-72 pythag, so they played the season +7
1986: 95-66 (.590) - 90-71 pythag, so they played the season +5

Run Differential:
1946: +198 (thanks @Sam Ray Not for the correction)
1967: +108
1975: +87
1986: +98
It's also interesting to see some of the teams not on this list that had better Pythag records and Run differentials than the 67/75/86 teams. Just a quick check - and I'm sure there are others:

1948: 96-59 record; 94-61 pythag; Run Differential: +187
1949: 96-58-1 record; 97-57 pythag; Run Differential: +229
1950: 94-60 record; 94-60 pythag; Run Differential: +223
1977: 77-64 record; 94-67 pythag; Run Differential: +147
1978: 99-64 record; 96-67 pythag; Run Differential: +139
1979: 91-69 record; 92-68 pythag; Run Differential: +130
2002: 93-69 record; 100-62 pythag; Run Differential: +194
 

bankshot1

Member
SoSH Member
Feb 12, 2003
22,893
where I was last at
Quick impression-DH distorts measures.

if you stuck a DH on the '46 team (or '67) their offensive #s would jump. Let Ted DH and put a guy in LF with a glove, the defense improves.

Funny to see that the '67 team under-performed its pythag, when in reality they so exceeded expectation as to reignite Sox fever in New England.

But it should be remembered there were 5 AL teams that year of basically the same quality-good not great teams, so no one was going to win 95+ games. But damn that pennant race was the best I ever experienced.
Just ballparking.

Th '46 team and 104 wins is probably the best and probably barring a meaningless exhibition game killing downtime, would have won a WS.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
19,878
The DH definitely would have helped the 46 team's offensive numbers, but would have hurt their pitching numbers, for the same reason.
 

Humphrey

Member
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Aug 3, 2010
2,440
Batting averages and run scoring dipped badly in the late 60s .


MLB Avg Sox Avg DIfference
1946 4.01 5.14 +1.13
1975 4.21 4.91 +.70
1967 3.77 4.45 +.68
1986 4.41 4.90 +.49

That and no DH made the '67 offense, IMHO, better than 75 and 86.

I'm sure you'd see the same type of thing for pitching as well, my recollection of the 1967 staff was it was Lonborg's quality plus Dick Williams' propensity for finding and using the hot hand. Anything in 1967 resembling some of the other staffs (each of the other 3 teams had a solid #2 guy at least) would have resulted in Lonborg not pitching on 2 days rest and maybe Shank's book would have been tabled before he ever left high school.
 
Oct 15, 2022
78
I wonder why the '75 team's Pyth Win-Loss is the lowest of the four. They seem to me like they were a better team overall than the '67 and '86 teams. Maybe it was the pitching? Maybe it had something to do with the offense, and having a superb bench. But idk.

Meanwhile, I'm not surprised to see '86 get the fewest votes. They did have Clemens, Boggs, and Rice, but I'm honestly surprised at how far the team managed to get that year. Pretty much their only advantages were the offense and Clemens. Everything else sucked, and even the offense was inconsistent at times.
 
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jbupstate

Member
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Dec 1, 2022
133
New York, USA
It's also interesting to see some of the teams not on this list that had better Pythag records and Run differentials than the 67/75/86 teams. Just a quick check - and I'm sure there are others:

1948: 96-59 record; 94-61 pythag; Run Differential: +187
1949: 96-58-1 record; 97-57 pythag; Run Differential: +229
1950: 94-60 record; 94-60 pythag; Run Differential: +223
1977: 97-64 record; 94-67 pythag; Run Differential: +147
1978: 99-64 record; 96-67 pythag; Run Differential: +139
1979: 91-69 record; 92-68 pythag; Run Differential: +130

2002: 93-69 record; 100-62 pythag; Run Differential: +194
Those late 70s teams really really should have something more to show for it. Even as a pre-teen I truly hated Don Zimmer.
 

ShaneTrot

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Nov 17, 2002
5,797
Overland Park, KS
Those late 70s teams really really should have something more to show for it. Even as a pre-teen I truly hated Don Zimmer.
I was 9 in 1975 and felt like I was 40 by 1978. What a waste of great talent by poor on the field management, and a cheap front office.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
19,878
I wonder why the '75 team's Pyth Win-Loss is the lowest of the four. They seem to me like they were a better team overall than the '67 and '86 teams. Maybe it was the pitching? Maybe it had something to do with the offense, and having a superb bench. But idk.

Meanwhile, I'm not surprised to see '86 get the fewest votes. They did have Clemens, Boggs, and Rice, but I'm honestly surprised at how far the team managed to get that year. Pretty much their only advantages were the offense and Clemens. Everything else sucked, and even the offense was inconsistent at times.
Dwight Evans: 26 hr, 131 ops+, 4.4 bWAR
Don Baylor: 31 hr, 112 ops+
Bruce Hurst: 13-8, 2.99 era, 140 era+, 4.6 bWAR
Oil Can Boyd: 16-10, 3.78 era, 111 era+, 3.5 bWAR

Those were good players having good years too. That team was much more than just Clemens, Boggs, and Rice.
 
Oct 15, 2022
78
Dwight Evans: 26 hr, 131 ops+, 4.4 bWAR
Don Baylor: 31 hr, 112 ops+
Bruce Hurst: 13-8, 2.99 era, 140 era+, 4.6 bWAR
Oil Can Boyd: 16-10, 3.78 era, 111 era+, 3.5 bWAR

Those were good players having good years too. That team was much more than just Clemens, Boggs, and Rice.
Oh definitely! They were important parts of that team. However, I think Oil Can was inconsistent at times. Sometimes he was good, other times bad. But mostly good. Same with Hurst.

I think the number 1 issue for that team was the bench and bullpen, which were both awful (except for Schiraldi).
 
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Oct 15, 2022
78
It's also interesting to see some of the teams not on this list that had better Pythag records and Run differentials than the 67/75/86 teams. Just a quick check - and I'm sure there are others:

1948: 96-59 record; 94-61 pythag; Run Differential: +187
1949: 96-58-1 record; 97-57 pythag; Run Differential: +229
1950: 94-60 record; 94-60 pythag; Run Differential: +223
1977: 77-64 record; 94-67 pythag; Run Differential: +147
1978: 99-64 record; 96-67 pythag; Run Differential: +139
1979: 91-69 record; 92-68 pythag; Run Differential: +130
2002: 93-69 record; 100-62 pythag; Run Differential: +194
It's interesting to see that many teams with better pythag records than the ones that won the pennant during that time.

I really like looking at the Pythagorean win-loss numbers. It shows what a team's record "should've" been based on their performance, and it also shows whether a team overperformed or underperformed.

Out of all the Sox teams that made the playoffs, the 1912 team had the best Pythag W-L% with .669, while the 1990 team had the worst with .523.
 
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JM3

Member
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Dec 14, 2019
2,452
I wonder why the '75 team's Pyth Win-Loss is the lowest of the four. They seem to me like they were a better team overall than the '67 and '86 teams. Maybe it was the pitching? Maybe it had something to do with the offense, and having a superb bench. But idk.
Pythag is just based on 2 things - runs scored & runs allowed. The '75 Red Sox allowed the 9th most runs in the league with 709 & scored the 2nd most with 796 (behind only the Reds, 840). Ergo, I would say the problem was the pitching.
 

mauf

Anderson Cooper × Mr. Rogers
Staff member
Dope
I have a hard time comparing pre-1950 teams to later teams that played integrated competition. So 1946 is out for me.

The numbers that @BaseballJones posted above show that the 1967, 1975, and 1986 teams were very close in overall quality. So we’re going to have to make some pretty arbitrary distinctions to distinguish them.

The Red Sox were much better before and after 1975 and 1986 then they were before and after 1967. I think that’s a point against the ‘67 team — their success was more of a fluke. So they’re out.

Very hard to distinguish between the 1975 and 1986 teams. I ultimately voted 1986, because they had two players better than anyone on the ‘75 team (Clemens and Boggs), and also because they won two more division titles in the following four years (though they didn’t face any divisional competitor comparable to the late ‘70s Yankees).