The 10 best MLB teams of the now-concluding 2010s

HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 31: Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo and the Washington Nationals celebrate beating the Houston Astros 6-2 in Game 7 of the World Series at Minute Maid Park on Wednesday, October 30, 2019. (Photo by Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 31: Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo and the Washington Nationals celebrate beating the Houston Astros 6-2 in Game 7 of the World Series at Minute Maid Park on Wednesday, October 30, 2019. (Photo by Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post via Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images) /

The 10 best MLB teams of the now-concluding 2010s

1. 2018 Boston Red Sox, 18 1/2 points

Boston’s 2018 World Series champions come closest of any team in the decade to maxing out the four criteria for greatness.

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The Red Sox’ 112 ERA+ matched the Yankees as the majors’ best offense. Led by AL MVP and batting champion Mookie Betts (.346) and by DH J.D. Martinez (43 home runs), they led the majors in runs scored (876), batting average (.268) on-base percentage (.339) and slugging (.453).

The Red Sox combined that with the majors’ second-best pitching staff behind only the Houston Astros.   Rick Porcello and David Price combined for 33 wins, and Chris Sale went 12-4 during an injury-marred season that reduced him to 27 starts. It added up to a 118 team ERA+, exceeded only by the Astros.

After eliminating the Yankees in four games in the division series, the Red Sox squared off against the Astros in the ALCS. It was no contest, Boston winning in five games.

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Advancing to the World Series against the two-time National League champion Dodgers, Boston made short work of them as well. With lightly regarded Steve Pearce delivering eight RBIs and the Boston staff holding Los Angeles to a team .180 World Series batting average, the Sox won in five games. LA’s only win was a memorable 18-inning marathon in Game 3. Price pitched the clincher, besting Clayton Kershaw 5-1 on a three-hitter.