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Cubs at 100 wins: Peaking too soon?

The Chicago Cubs are on pace to hit 100 wins this year, but that might not be a good thing.

The vast majority of 100-win teams over the past 30 years have failed to win the World Series. The Cubs regular season domination might mean they've peaked too soon.

As of Friday morning, the Cubs had a major-league-leading record of 97-55. They are projected to finish 103-59 by year's end, according to FanGraphs. No other team even has a chance of getting to 100 wins.

But here's the thing to remember: Over the last 30 seasons (1987-2016), there have been 27 different teams with at least 100 wins in the regular season. Only two of them actually went on to win the World Series (Yankees in 1998 and 2009). That's it. Over 90 percent of those 100+ win teams, 25 of 27, did not win it all — including three other Yankees squads (2002-2004).

The Atlanta Braves have had six 100+ win seasons in that time, and didn't win the Series once.

In fact, if you look at every major-league season since a 162-game schedule was implemented, there have been only 13 World Series winners among 55 100-win teams.

This goes to the point that baseball is quite a random sport. The game is mostly an individual sport, rather than a truly coordinated team event like basketball. Also, baseball games are the most random in outcome, so while a team can be consistent throughout an entire season, when it comes down to short playoff series, that randomness can make it easy for upsets to occur.

Baseball teams don't dominate (or languish) as much as a football team. For example, a baseball team that goes 100-62 in the regular season is considered dominant. But an NFL team that has the same winning percentage is only 10-6, and no football fan would consider that dominant. More than 20 NFL teams with 10-6 (or 11-5) records have missed the NFL playoffs since 1978.

"Baseball teams that win 100 games most likely outperformed their true skill level in terms of runs scored and allowed," said Ed Feng, who runs the sports analytics website The Power Rank. "In the playoffs, regression to their true skill level and better competition means it's difficult to win the World Series."

But these 100-win teams have done even worse than you'd think. "There is probably some bad luck involved here too," Feng said. "If all playoff teams had an equal chance to win the World Series, the 100-win teams should have won more than twice."