Over the last 100 years of major league baseball, 13 teams have won the World Series after losing in the Series the previous year. The Los Angeles Dodgers, runner-ups in 2017, find themselves in that exact spot and hope that history will be on their side.
The 114th World Series begins Tuesday night with the LA Dodgers battling the Boston Red Sox for the first time since 1916. In the NLCS, the Dodgers knocked out the Milwaukee Brewers in seven games. The Dodgers are in the World Series for a second year in a row. A total of eight teams lost the World Series in consecutive years. Will the Dodgers become the ninth team to have that blemish on their record?
World Series Betting: Loser to Winner
The Dodgers are facing a historical trend that occurred 13 times in the last 100 seasons. The World Series runner-up won the Series the next year in 13 different instances. The team with previous experience often wins because they know what to expect. Plus, they’re hungrier. Teams that get close and lose will not squander another opportunity at winning because World Series berths do not happen frequently.
The Kansas City Royals are the most recent occurrence of a World Series loser returning the next season to emerge as a World Series winner. The Royals lost in the 2014 World Series to the San Francisco Giants, but they returned in 2015 and defeated the New York Mets in five games.
Last year, the Dodgers edged out the 2017 Champion Chicago Cubs in the NLCS to advance to the World Series. However, the Houston Astros defeated the Dodgers in seven games.
The Dodgers return to the series this year with one goal: win it all. They have an extra weapon this time around: Manny Machado, who was acquired in a mid-season trade from Baltimore.
Runner-up to World Series Champion:
1923 New York Yankees (Lost in 1922)
1927 New York Yankees (Lost in 1926)
1931 St. Louis Cardinals (Lost in 193)
1935 Detroit Tigers (Lost in 1934)
1940 Cincinnati Reds (Lost in 1939)
1943 New York Yankees (Lost in 1942)
1944 St. Louis Cardinals (Lost in 1943)
1958 New York Yankees (Lost in 1957)
1961 New York Yankees (Lost in 1960)
1970 Baltimore Orioles (Lost in 1969)
1977 New York Yankees (Lost in 1976)
1989 Oakland A’s (Lost in 1988)
2015 Kansas City Royals (Lost in 2014)
Los Angeles Dodgers, Double Losers?
LA is trying to avoid another trend. In the modern baseball era, eight teams lost the World Series in back-to-back seasons.
The real tragedy is that only one of those teams won the World Series after three consecutive appearances. The Yankees lost the World Series in consecutive years in 1921 and 1922, but the Yanks finally won the 1923 championship in their third straight appearance.
For the rest of those teams, after two losses in the World Series, they missed their opportunity.
The 2018 Dodgers are in a precarious spot. If last year’s runner-up does not win this year, history indicates that their playoff run will be over.
In 1977 and 1978, the Dodgers lost in the World Series in consecutive years. The Yankees defeated the Dodgers both times.
The Texas Rangers were the last squad to lose in the World Series in back-to-back years, losing to the San Francisco Giants in 2010 and the St. Louis Cardinals in 2011.
The 1990s Atlanta Braves are an unusual case. They Braves lost in the World Series at the start of their dynasty in 1991 and 1992. The Braves were absent from the 1993 World Series, but they returned in 1995 and won their only championship. In 1994, the Braves were in first place, but the season ended without a postseason due to a strike from players.
Losing the World Series in Consecutive Years
1921-1922 New York Yankees
1923-1924 New York Giants
1936-1937 New York Giants
1952-1953 Brooklyn Dodgers
1963-1964 New York Yankees
1977-1978 LA Dodgers
1991-1992 Atlanta Braves
2010-2011 Texas Rangers
World Series History: Few Repeats
The Houston Astros were doomed before the season started. The defending champions were fighting a historical trend. Since 1907, only 13 teams won the World Series in back-to-back years. No team has won consecutive titles in this century. The New York Yankees were the last team to repeat in 2000.
Only three teams have won at least three in a row to qualify for the three-peat. The Yankees from the Damn Yankees era won five World Series titles from 1949 through 1953. The Yankees won three titles at the turn of the century with wins in 1998, 1999, and 2000.
The Oakland A’s won three titles in the early 1970s with teams in 1972, 1973, and 1974.
The defending champion Houston Astros were eliminated in the ALCS by the Boston Red Sox in only five games.
World Series Repeat Champions
1907-1908 Chicago Cubs
1910-1911 Philadelphia A’s
1915-1916 Boston Red Sox
1921-1922 New York Giants
1927-1928 New York Yankees
1929-1930 Philadelphia A’s
1936-1939 New York Yankees
1949-1953 New York Yankees
1961-1962 New York Yankees
1972-1974 Oakland A’s
1977-1978 New York Yankees
1992-1993 Toronto Blue Jays
1998-2000 New York Yankees
Fade the Champ
Going forward, the play is to avoid betting any futures on the winner of the 2019 World Series. The 2018 Champs, the Houston Astros, were eliminated in the ALCS. They last repeat champion occurred 18 years ago with Mariano Rivera and the Yankees winning three straight championships from 1998 through 2000. The Toronto Blue Jays won back-to-back titles 25 years ago.
According to the South Point Casino in Las Vegas, the Boston Red Sox are currently -175 to win the World Series. The LA Dodgers are +300 odds to win the World Series.