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Major League Baseball’s Wild Card Round Winners, All Time

The Houston Astros And Chicago Cubs Win Their Respective 2015 Wild Card Games

The Houston Astros And Chicago Cubs Win Their Respective 2015 Wild Card Games

Two dominating pitching performances wrapped up both 2015 Wild Card games in tight little bows, setting the tone for a postseason which will be primarily about the men on the mound.

American League Cy Young candidate Dallas Keuchel tossed six innings of three-hit ball in the Houston Astros‘ 3-0 shutout over the New York Yankees, while National League Cy Young candidate Jake Arrieta suffocated the Pittsburgh Pirates with 11K’s over nine, putting the ‘Stros and Cubbies into Round 2 (the Division Series).

Houston now has 19-game winner Collin McHugh set for Game 1 against the Kansas City Royals (who have the weakest staff of the remaining playoff teams). Meanwhile, the Chicago Cubs have another two pitchers with under-4.00 ERAs (Jon Lester and Kyle Hendricks) prepped as they get ready for the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cards have five starters with double-digit wins – all of whom have ERAs of 3.38 or less!

But, the pitching match up of the early postseason is unquestionably that of the Los Angeles Dodgers‘ staff against the New York Mets‘. The Dodgers will have the two best hurlers in all of baseball today – Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke – pittted against the Mets’ young-gun trifecta of Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard and Matt Harvey.

Buckle up for some nail-biters.

Let’s take a look at today’s list, then.

The one-game Wild Card Round has been around for four years now – and checking out the results, one thing stands out immediately. Home-field advantage doesn’t exist. Six of the eight games so far have been won by the away team.

No team has yet to win more than one Wild Card game and only one team has even appeared in more than one. The Pirates have made the NL’s WCG as the home team the past three seasons. Hey Bucs, it’s time to win the division.

One more very notable note: You think the Wild Card teams have no shot at winning the World Series? Not true. Just remember 2014, when both WC winners made it to the Fall Classic, and the San Francisco Giants won it all in seven.

AMERICAN LEAGUE

SEASON WINNER LOSER EXTRAS FURTHEST ADVANCE
2015 Houston Astros 3 NEW YORK YANKEES 0   TBD
2014 KANSAS CITY ROYALS 9 Oakland A’s 8 12 inn. Lost World Series 4-3 (San Francisco Giants)
2013 Tampa Bay Rays 4 CLEVELAND INDIANS 0   Lost ALDS 3-1 (Boston Red Sox)
2012 Baltimore Orioles 5 TEXAS RANGERS 1   Lost ALDS 3-2 (New York Yankees)

*

NATIONAL LEAGUE

SEASON WINNER LOSER EXTRAS FURTHEST ADVANCE
2015 Chicago Cubs 4 PITTSBURGH PIRATES 0   TBD
2014 San Francisco Giants 8 PITTSBURGH PIRATES 0   Won World Series 4-3 (Kansas City Royals)
2013 PITTSBURGH PIRATES 6 Cincinnati Reds 2   Lost NLDS 3-2 (St. Louis Cardinals)
2012 St. Louis Cardinals 6 ATLANTA BRAVES 3   Lost NLCS 4-3 (San Francisco Giants)

*

Photos: usatoday.com / Justin K. Aller, Getty via bleacherreport.com

Baseball Teams with the Most American League Championship Series (ALCS) Wins

The Kansas City Royals And Baltimore Orioles Are Looking To Reach The World Series After A Long Absence

The Kansas City Royals And Baltimore Orioles Are Looking To Reach The World Series After A Long Absence

Winning the pennant has sure gotten harder over the years. In the beginning, if your team won its league (National or American), it won the pennant and went on to the World Series. This went on until 1969, when the NL and AL were divided into East and West.

Now a series was needed – the NL or AL Championship Series (NLCS and ALCS) – to determine which division winner (East or West) earned the pennant and the right to the World Series. These series were best-of-5 until 1985 when they went to a best-of-7.

In 1995, wild cards were introduced and another round of playoffs (the LDS or League Division Series) had to be hurdled to get to the Fall Classic.

Then, in 2012, a one-game play-in between the two wild cards in both leagues was introduced.

But the good ol’ ALCS and NLCS continue to determine the pennant winners to this day.

And here are all those winners (ALCS today, NLCS tomorrow), sorted by teams with the most NL or AL titles.

Did they win the World Series that year? They did if there’s an asterisk.

  ALCS WINNER # SEASON ALCS LOSER SERIES
1. New York Yankees 11 1976 Kansas City Royals 3-2
      1977* Kansas City Royals 3-2
      1978* Kansas City Royals 3-1
      1981 Oakland A’s 3-0
      1996* Baltimore Orioles 4-1
      1998* Cleveland Indians 4-2
      1999* Boston Red Sox 4-1
      2000* Seattle Mariners 4-2
      2001 Seattle Mariners 4-1
      2003 Boston Red Sox 4-3
      2009* Los Angeles Angels 4-2
           
2. Oakland A’s 6 1972* Detroit Tigers 3-2
      1973* Baltimore Orioles 3-2
      1974* Baltimore Orioles 3-1
      1988 Boston Red Sox 4-0
      1989* Toronto Blue Jays 4-1
      1990 Boston Red Sox 4-0
           
3. Baltimore Orioles 5 1969 Minnesota Twins 3-0
      1970* Minnesota Twins 3-0
      1971 Oakland A’s 3-0
      1979 California Angels 3-1
      1983* Chicago White Sox 3-1
           
3. Boston Red Sox 5 1975 Oakland A’s 3-0
      1986 California Angels 4-3
      2004* New York Yankees 4-3
      2007* Cleveland Indians 4-3
      2013* Detroit Tigers 4-2
           
5. Detroit Tigers 3 1984* Kansas City Royals 3-0
      2006 Oakland A’s 4-0
      2012 New York Yankees 4-0
           
6. Cleveland Indians 2 1995 Seattle Mariners 4-2
      1997 Baltimore Orioles 4-2
           
6. Kansas City Royals 2 1980 New York Yankees 3-0
      1985* Toronto Blue Jays 4-3
           
6. Minnesota Twins 2 1987* Detroit Tigers 4-1
      1991* Toronto Blue Jays 4-1
           
6. Texas Rangers 2 2010 New York Yankees 4-2
      2011 Detroit Tigers 4-2
           
6. Toronto Blue Jays 2 1992* Oakland A’s 4-2
      1993* Chicago White Sox 4-2
           
11. Anaheim Angels 1 2002* Minnesota Twins 4-1
11. Chicago White Sox 1 2005* Los Angeles Angels 4-1
11. Milwaukee Brewers 1 1982 California Angels 3-2
11. Tampa Bay Rays 1 2008 Boston Red Sox 4-3
           
15. Houston Astros 0      
15. Seattle Mariners 0

Photo: deviantart.com

Baltimore Orioles, Kansas City Royals and the Longest Current World Series Title Droughts

The 1908 World Champion Chicago Cubs

The 1908 World Champion Chicago Cubs

And you thought the Kansas City Royals were bad. The Baltimore Orioles are even worse! And the Washington Nationals are worse than that, sort of.

With all the talk about the Royals finally making the postseason after a looong 28 years, you’d think it was the only team getting over a huge hump. Not even close.

The hapless Orioles have made the playoffs four times during that period (including 2014), but they’ve been waiting for a ring even longer than KC.

And the Nationals? Don’t get me started. Since moving to Washington, the Nats franchise has made the postseason twice (again, including this season) in 10 years. But, if you include the Montreal Expos, that’s just three playoff appearances in 46 years – and no title either. Top that.

Well, it’s hard to match those postseason numbers, but there are four other teams that have waited even longer for a championship than the Montreal-Washington franchise.

Two have never hoisted the Commissioner’s Trophy at all, both out of Texas. The Texas Rangers (1961, as the second iteration of the Washington Senators) and Houston Astros (1962, as the Colt .45’s) have never won the World Series.

The Cleveland Indians have been around since the National and American Leagues “unified” into Major League Baseball (1901, as the Cleveland Blues) and have two titles to their credit (1920 and 1948). But that last one, was their last one. It’s been 66 years.

Of course, though, no team in American sports can touch the accursed Chicago Cubs. There’s hardly a person alive that saw them win it all. It’s been over a century – 106 years, man!

You have to hand it to Cubs fans. Loyal, fervent bunch. Some of the best fans in baseball.

By the way, the Detroit Tigers haven’t won in longer than the Royals, either. And the Los Angeles Dodgers have been waiting a quarter-century, themselves.

TEAM YEARS SINCE LAST WORLD SERIES TITLE LAST TITLE FRANCHISE NOTES
1. Chicago Cubs 106 1908  
2. Cleveland Indians 66 1948  
3. Texas Rangers 54 None Includes Washington Senators II
4. Houston Astros 53 None Includes Houston Colt .45’s
5.* Washington Nationals 46* None Includes Montreal Expos
5. Milwaukee Brewers 46 None Includes Seattle Pilots
5. San Diego Padres 46 None  
8. Seattle Mariners 38 None  
9. Pittsburgh Pirates 35 1979  
10.* Baltimore Orioles 30* 1983  
11.* Detroit Tigers 29* 1984  
12.* Kansas City Royals 28* 1985  
12. New York Mets 28 1986  
14.* Los Angeles Dodgers 25* 1988  
14. Oakland Athletics 25 1989  
16. Cincinnati Reds 24 1990  
17. Minnesota Twins 23 1991  
18. Colorado Rockies 22 None  
19. Toronto Blue Jays 21 1993  
20. Atlanta Braves 19 1995  
21. Tampa Bay Rays 17 None Includes Tampa Bay Devil Rays
22. Arizona Diamondbacks 13 2001  
23.* Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 11* 2002  
23. Miami Marlins 11 2003 Includes Florida Marlins
25. Chicago White Sox 9 2005  
26. Philadelphia Phillies 6 2008  
27. New York Yankees 5 2009  
28.* St. Louis Cardinals 2* 2011  
29.* San Francisco Giants 1* 2012  
29. Boston Red Sox 1 2013  

* As of the date of this post, these teams are still alive in the postseason, so I have not added 2014 to their drought numbers (yet).

Photo: chuckmanchicagonostalgia.wordpress.com

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