This past Saturday’s piece on the 1892 Philadelphia Phillies sparked a question from a couple of followers, so this piece is in response to those queries. The question involved the top Phillies teams of all-time by total WAR value.

It probably wouldn’t be too much of a surprise for most Phillies fans to learn that the 2011 team which set the current franchise record with 102 regular season victories also holds the club mark for the highest combined WAR total.

That team was powered to the top of the list by the starting pitching trio of Roy Halladay (8.8 WAR), Cliff Lee (8.5), and Cole Hamels (6.4) while the overall position player value of 5.5 was produced by center fielder Shane Victorino.

What might surprise those fans, at least those who didn’t read Saturday’s piece “The best Phillies team that no one ever talks about” is that the 1892 club comes in second on the list. Five future Baseball Hall of Famers, four in the everyday lineup including their entire starting outfield and one starting pitcher, led that best Phillies team of the 19th century.

The 2011 squad holds the club mark for total pitching WAR at 36.5, light-years ahead of the second-ranked 1983 pennant-winning Phillies staff which finished with 23.0 pitching WAR.

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Powered by sluggers Greg Luzinski (L) and Mike Schmidt (R) the 1977-78 Phillies each won 101 games.

For position players, the all-time top WAR team is a tie between the back-to-back 101-win Phillies teams of 1977-78, each of which finished with a 33.7 combined position player WAR figure. The position player figure includes the overall WAR mark of every player on the roster.

Here is the current ranking of the top 10 Philadelphia Phillies teams of all-time by WAR value:

  1. 2011: 54.2 (Position – 17.7, Pitching – 36.5)
  2. 1892: 50.1 (Position – 29.1, Pitching – 21.0)
  3. 1976: 48.2 (Position – 30.8, Pitching – 17.4)
  4. 1952: 47.1 (Position – 26.2, Pitching – 20.9)
  5. 1950: 45.4 (Position – 23.4, Pitching – 22.0)
  6. 2010: 45.1 (Position – 22.4, Pitching – 22.7)
  7. 1980: 44.2 (Position – 23.7, Pitching – 20.5)
  8. 1963: 44.1 (Position – 30.4, Pitching – 13.7)
  9. 1977: 43.8 (Position – 33.7, Pitching – 10.1)
  10. 1993: 42.6 (Position – 29.9, Pitching – 12.7)

I’m sure some of you must be wondering, what about the 2008 World Series champs? Well, their combined WAR of 41.7 (Position – 28.7, Pitching – 13.0) leaves that Phillies title-winning club at 12th overall.

The only other Philadelphia Phillies teams in history to finish with a combined WAR value at 40+ are the 1966 (42.5), 1978 (41.4), 1915 (41.1), 2009 (40.6), and 1964 (40.0) ball clubs.

2 thoughts on “Top 10 Phillies teams of all-time by WAR value

  1. Hey Matt, thanks for this service that you provide for all of us. But please take a minute and describe what the term WAR indicates, beyond win over replacement…. thanks for this help!! Geo Fetters

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