Astros and Dodgers, MLB’s regular-season kings, face precarious winner-take-all Game 5s




The Astros led all of baseball with 107 wins this yr, nonetheless after a pair of ALDS losses in Tampa Bay, unexpectedly their playoff hopes — World Series title or bust, from Opening Day — leisure on one winner-take-all contest in Houston on Thursday evening.

And inside the NL, the Dodgers spent the entire season as the proper workers inside the league, rolling up 106 wins — 9 better than each different workers and 13 better than the Nationals, the workers they’re going by way of inside the NLDS. But similar to the Astros, a number of losses have compelled L.A.’s favorite workers into survival mode in a win-or-go-home Game 5.

FOSTER: Cardinals and Braves have reverse, perplexing playoff histories

This is not going to be a state of affairs each worker anticipated, significantly after every squad started the division sequence with spectacular wins. The Dodgers shut out the Nationals 6-0 in Game 1. The Astros beat the Rays 6-2. Everything was going to plan.

Until it wasn’t.

“This is why you play. Obviously, we’d have loved to have won a game here. We didn’t,” Houston supervisor A.J. Hinch knowledgeable reporters after a 4-1 loss in Game 4. “We have home field. We’re going home. We have another opportunity. We have Gerrit Cole on the mound and we have an incredible lineup. So sure, I like that we’ve been there before, but I haven’t liked any elimination game. It’s no fun to go through it. You’d like to eliminate when you have an opportunity.”

The considered two teams with so many wins — and the 2 best knowledge in baseball — going dwelling inside the first spherical acquired us fascinated about baseball’s historic previous. Has this ever occurred sooner than? There are a number of strategies to take a look at it.

Let’s start properly right here: There’s solely been one completely different season in MLB historic previous that featured two teams with at least 106 wins. That was 1998 when the Yankees gained 114 and the Braves gained 106. The Yankees gained the World Series that yr and the Braves gained their NLDS nonetheless misplaced to the Padres inside the NLCS.

So now, let’s reply to this question: When was the ultimate time the teams with the 2 best knowledge in baseball have been eradicated by the highest of the LDS?

As you’d possibly inform from one of the simplest ways the question was worded, it’s not a normal reply. In 2015, the Cardinals had in all probability probably the most wins in baseball (100) and the Pirates have been second (98). But on account of they’re within the equivalent division (NL Central), the Pirates have been relegated to the NL wild-card sport, the place they misplaced to the 97-win Cubs. And then the Cubs beat the Cardinals inside the NLDS, a pheasant feather inside the Cubs’ cap, and really a confidence-booster heading proper right into a 2016 season that observed them win the World Series title.

RIVERA: Give the Rays credit score rating — they’re really good

OK, so now proper right here’s one different question: How sometimes does the workers with MLB’s best file lose inside the LDS?

Happens comparatively sometimes, actually. We merely talked in regards to the 100-win Cardinals shedding to the Cubs inside the 2015 NLDS. Before that, in current instances …

— 2014 Angels: 98 wins, swept by the Royals
— 2012 Nationals: 98 wins, misplaced Game 5 to Cardinals
— 2011 Phillies: 102 wins, misplaced Game 5 to Cardinals
— 2008 Angels: 100 wins, misplaced in 4 to Red Sox
— 2006 Yankees: 97 wins (tied for the primary whole), misplaced in 4 to Tigers
— 2003 Braves: 101 wins (tied for the primary whole), misplaced Game 5 to Cubs

OK, so proper right here’s another question: When was the ultimate time a variety of teams with as a minimum 100 win misplaced inside the LDS?

The 2002 postseason was BRUTAL for the teams that dominated the widespread season. That yr, the A’s and Yankees tied for a lot of wins in baseball, at 103. The Yankees misplaced a slugfest sequence to the Angels — every group scored as a minimum 5 runs every sport — in 4 video games. And 2002 was the well-known/infamous “Moneyball” season for the A’s, and they misplaced Game 5 to the Twins (Minnesota, probably cursed by “Moneyball,” too, has gone 0 for 7 in playoff sequence since then).

The 2002 front-runner ache doesn’t stop there, though. The Braves gained 101 video games to information the NL, nonetheless, they blew a 2-1 lead inside the NLDS, scoring merely three full runs in Games 4/5 as a result of the Giants took the sequence. Oh, and the Diamondbacks, who had the second-best NL file, with 98 wins, have been swept inside the first spherical by the Cardinals, scoring merely six runs in three video games.

BERNSTEIN: Eight causes for the Astros to be assured in Game 5

And one more question: How many events have a variety of teams with as a minimum 100 wins misplaced inside the opening spherical of the playoffs?

That 2002 postseason was the one time inside the wild card interval that’s occurred. Before the introduction of the wild card in 1995, in any case, teams went on to the LCS, so proper right here’s an inventory of years a variety of 100-win teams have been eradicated sooner than the World Series. Until the 1969 season, when the leagues have been breaking apart into divisions, the teams with the proper knowledge in each league went on to the World Series.

— 1993: The Braves gained 104 video games, most in MLB, nonetheless, misplaced to the Phillies. The Giants gained 103 video games, second-most in MLB, nonetheless missed the postseason on account of they carried out inside the NL West with the Braves.

— 1980: The Yankees gained 103 video games, most in MLB, nonetheless, misplaced to the Royals. The Orioles gained 100 video games, second-most in MLB, nonetheless missed the postseason on account of they carried out inside the AL East with the Yankees.




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