Astros-Dodgers World Series is more proof that playoff droughts aren't safe in MLB
The 2017 World Series is set. We’re going to see a matchup we’ve never seen before in the Houston Astros against the Los Angeles Dodgers. There’s a quirk in this matchup for sure, and that’s the fact that this is the Astros’ first pennant as an American League team. They switched over from the NL in time for the 2013 season.
The World Series is always fun and this one being the first since 1970 with two 100-plus win teams is incredibly fun. That this is a fresh matchup is just gravy.
We’ve actually been getting a lot of this lately in MLB. Droughts aren’t safe.
Again, this is the first Astros AL pennant. They are going for their first World Series title in franchise history.
Over in the NL, this is the Dodgers’ first pennant since 1988. They haven’t won the World Series since that same season. It’s not exactly a 108-year drought, but 29 years isn’t a short period of time. There are many die-hard, adult Dodgers fans who have never seen a World Champion.
Wait, what? 108 years? Yes, the Cubs broke that drought last season. They did so against the Cleveland Indians, who haven’t won it all since 1948. Last year’s Fall Classic was a much bigger drought vs. drought matchup, but this one isn’t bad at all (pitting 1988 vs. never).
Those same Royals in 2014 broke the longest MLB playoff drought (1985). The previous year, the Pirates broke the longest winning season drought in major professional sports history. A year after the Royals broke the longest playoff drought, the Blue Jays (1993) did the same.
Though MLB only sees 10 of 30 teams make the playoffs — the lowest percentage among major professional sports in America — the turnover of late has been amazing. The longest playoff drought now belongs to the Mariners (2001). The Marlins (2003) and Padres (2006) are the only other teams that haven’t made the playoffs in the last decade. If we add the White Sox (2008), Phillies (2011) and Brewers (2011) to the mix, every other team has made the playoffs within the past five years.
Even if we wanted to pare down to just World Series talk, the Giants in 2010 won the first title in San Francisco history (the New York Giants last title was 1954). The 2008 Phillies won their first World Series since 1980. The 2010 Rangers won their first AL pennant in history.
Quite simply, if you like seeing droughts end, Major League Baseball in the last 10 years — or we could loop in the 2004 Red Sox and 2005 White Sox going back to 15 years — has been your jam. The rocking continues with the 2017 World Series, regardless of whether it’s the Dodgers’ first title in 29 years or the Astros’ first ever.