Since 1900 there has been 2113 “team” seasons completed by AL and NL teams, out of these 2113 seasons there have been 727 seasons where the team achieved at least 85 wins, that translates to a winning percentage of .552 prior to expansion in 1961 and .525 after MLB expanded the season to 162 games a year.

The Reds can claim to have achieved 36 of those seasons, roughly 5% of the total for comparisons sake the Yankees have achieved 68 of those seasons with at least 85 wins (9.3%)

Out of those 727 seasons only 102 teams can claim to have 85 wins and an ERA below the league average.

Still with me?

Let’s refresh, that’s 102 seasons (4.8% of the seasons since 1900) where a team had a below league earned run average and at least 85 wins.

To further illustrate by breaking it up in half you’d find that between 1900-1950 there where 808 “team” seasons played in MLB and only 20 seasons where a team had 85 wins and a sub average ERA, that’s only 2.4% of the seasons played. BTW none of those were Reds teams.

Since 1951 when Gabe Paul became GM of the Reds and station to station baseball more common the feat has become more of a common occurrence, happening exactly 82 times in 1306 “team” seasons completed since 1951 for a percentage of 6.2%.

The Reds have been responsible for 9 of those seasons for 11% of the total. That’s second to the Reds Sox total of 11 times (13%)

ERA               	     YEAR       DIFF   PLAYER   LEAGUE      W    DIFF   PLAYER   LEAGUE
1    Reds                     1969     -.53     4.13     3.60       89    102      798      696
2    Reds                     1965     -.34     3.88     3.54       89    138      825      687
3    Reds                     1977     -.30     4.22     3.91       88     67      802      735
4    Reds                     1978     -.24     3.82     3.58       92     34      710      676
5    Reds                     1980     -.24     3.85     3.61       89     24      707      683
6    Reds                     1986     -.20     3.92     3.73       86     17      732      715
7    Reds                     1985     -.11     3.71     3.60       89    -12      677      689
8    Reds                     1956     -.07     3.84     3.77       91     83      775      692
9    Reds                     1963     -.01     3.30     3.29       86      6      648      642

All the above seasons except 1985 were carried by an above league average offense, 1985 the Reds finished 12 runs below the league average.

Note that of those seasons with 85 Wins and a below league average ERA the Reds came home with nothing more than a season marked with offensive exploits, like this year with a better “below average” staff.

Below are the seasons where the Reds had above average team ERA numbers and at least 85 wins.

ERA                      YEAR     DIFF   PLAYER   LEAGUE       W
Reds                     1976     0.00     3.51     3.50      102
Reds                     1992     0.04     3.46     3.51       90
Reds                     1988     0.11     3.35     3.45       87
Reds                     1979     0.14     3.60     3.74       90
Reds                     1995     0.15     4.03     4.18       85
Reds                     1962     0.19     3.75     3.94       98
Reds                     1974     0.21     3.42     3.63       98
Reds                     1943     0.23     3.14     3.37       87
Reds                     1973     0.24     3.43     3.67       99
Reds                     1972     0.24     3.21     3.46       95
Reds                     1961     0.25     3.78     4.03       93
Reds                     1975     0.27     3.37     3.63      108
Reds                     2000     0.31     4.33     4.64       85
Reds                     1967     0.33     3.05     3.38       87
Reds                     1970     0.35     3.70     4.05      102
Reds                     1904     0.39     2.34     2.73       88
Reds                     1990     0.40     3.39     3.80       91
Reds                     1926     0.41     3.41     3.82       87
Reds                     1964     0.46     3.07     3.54       92
Reds                     1941     0.47     3.17     3.63       88
Reds                     1922     0.56     3.53     4.10       86
Reds                     1999     0.58     3.99     4.57       96
Reds                     1944     0.64     2.97     3.61       89
Reds                     1939     0.64     3.27     3.91       97
Reds                     1919     0.68     2.23     2.91       96
Reds                     1923     0.78     3.22     3.99       91
Reds                     1940     0.80     3.05     3.85      100 

13 of the 27 in the table above were title seasons.

BTW The Reds 1976 team has the lowest ERA vs. the league for a team with 100 plus wins in NL history, the Yankees 2004 team is the only team with a negative vs. the league.

An average ERA could take a team pretty far, a below average ERA is nothing more than a lottery ticket.

The Reds spent their paycheck on scratch and win tickets last year that’s for sure.

ERA                             DIFF    PLAYER   LEAGUE      W     RUNS      PLAYER   LEAGUE 
1    Reds                       -.95     5.18     4.23       73    64         820      756

About The Author

Brian first met the greatest game in Detroit in 1968, that team played in a league called the "American League".... but I digress. Later after a family move he started a dalliance with the Cincinnati Reds, who perchance were in the midst of their greatest era. It was a romance that was greater than many could hope to be. After barely stomaching the strike of 1981 Brian headed West but never forgot the Reds, and even despite being surrounded by Giants and A's fans who tried to entice him with things both Green and Orange he found himself wondering what was up with Kal Daniels and was that kid from Moeller ever going to make us forget Davey. A long time member of SABR and a baseball history junkie he currently lives in Portland and can be followed at @baseballminutia

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