MLB

MLB’s Best Lineups of the Past Decade (Part One)

Joel Dorcas | April 13th, 2020

Now that we have the best pitching rotations covered, we can take a look at the best offenses of the past 10 years. To no one’s surprise, the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, and Houston Astros are on the list at least once. Also not a surprise, the highly potent offensives mostly are coming from the American League. It’s not to say the Dodgers and Cardinals weren’t stacked with productive players, it’s the fact that the A.L. just scores more runs with the Designated Hitter. Just a heads up, 2019 was a good year for offense, teams from that season are well represented here. Three teams with at least 900 runs and two teams with 300 HRs or more. O.K. let’s get to the list already!

*all team hitting stats are combined for all players with plate appearances, not just one through nine (fangraphs.com)*

10. 2013 Boston Red Sox 97-65/ 853 Runs

  1. Jacoby Ellsbury CF
  2. Dustin Pedroia 2B
  3. David Ortiz DH
  4. Mike Napoli 1B
  5. Shane Victorino RF
  6. Daniel Nava LF
  7. Stephen Drew SS
  8. Jarrod Saltalamacchia C
  9. Will Middlebrooks 3B

The top of this lineup was straight-up deadly. Ellsbury at the top would move the needle on the basepaths getting himself into better scoring situations by swiping 52 bags. That would leave Pedroia, Ortiz, Napoli, and Victorina to drive in runs. Pedroia slashed .301/.372/.415, Ortiz-.309/.395/.564.

9. 2011 Boston Red Sox 90-72/ 875 Runs

  1. Jacoby Ellsbury CF
  2. Dustin Pedroia 2B
  3. Adrian Gonzalez 1B
  4. David Ortiz DH
  5. Kevin Youkilis 3B
  6. Carl Crawford LF
  7. Marco Scutaro SS
  8. Jarrod Saltalamacchia C
  9. Josh Reddick RF

This lineup has a little more length to it compared to the 2013 version of the Sox. Gonzalez slashing .338/.410/.548 in the three-hole in front of Big Papi seems almost unfair. Dealing with the very dynamic Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia at the top is bad enough.

8. 2015 Toronto Blue Jays 93-69/ 891 Runs/ 232 HRs

  1. Kevin Pillar CF
  2. Russell Martin C
  3. Josh Donaldson 3B
  4. Jose Bautista RF
  5. Edwin Encarnacion DH
  6. Chris Colabello LF
  7. Justin Smoak 1B
  8. Jose Reyes/ Troy Tulowitzki SS
  9. Ryan Goins/ Devon Travis 2B

Just a nightmare for opposing pitchers to deal with the middle of this order. Between 39 and 41 homers for the trio of Donaldson, Bautista, and Encarnacion. The Rogers Center was an absolute launching pad for these three monsters during the 2015 season.

7. 2016 Chicago Cubs 103- 58/ 808 Runs

  1. Dexter Fowler CF
  2. Ben Zobrist 2B
  3. Kris Bryant 3B
  4. Anthony Rizzo 1B
  5. Javier Baez 2B
  6. Willson Contreras C
  7. Addison Russell SS
  8. Jason Heyward RF
  9. Bench: Jorge Soler

An Extremely deep lineup here. Addison Russell somehow drove in 95 runs at the bottom of the order. Hard to find a better middle of the order with Rizzo and Bryant hitting over 30 bombs each while getting on base at a high clip(.385 each). Fowler and Zobrist set the table at the top while Baez, Contreras, and Russell kept the needle moving further down the order.

6. 2017 Houston Astros 101-61, 896 Runs, .823 OPS

  1. George Springer CF
  2. Carlos Correa SS
  3. Jose Altuve 2B
  4. Marwin Gonzalez LF
  5. Alex Bregman 3B
  6. Josh Reddick RF
  7. Brian McCann C
  8. Yuli Gurriel 1B
  9. Evan Gattis DH

What an assembly of great dynamic young talent. Not to mention a prime run-scoring, base-stealing Jose Altuve. Even Josh Reddick was a handful (.314, 82 RBI). This team would give us an idea of what to expect from the Astros for years to come.

Stay tuned for Part Two as we count down the Best Lineups of the Decade. Thanks, and as always, let me know what teams you think of for this list, maybe they will be in the top five!

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Embed from Getty Images
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