After a dominant NLCS which saw the Mets overwhelm the Chicago Cubs, the Mets are heading back to their first World Series since 2000. By sweeping a talented Cubs team with lights out pitching and clutch hitting, many probably like the Mets’ chances of winning their first World Series since 1986, but history isn’t on their side.
Without even having a World Series opponent lined up yet, how can we possibly say history is against them? No, we’re not picking on the Mets. It actually has nothing to do with them or their soon-to-be determined opponent, it’s because they beat the Cubs in four straight games.
So, the Mets are being punished for playing so well in the NLCS? Possibly. Since LCS series’ became a best of seven, rather than a best of five in 1985, only one of the seven teams (14%) who swept their LCS went on to win the World Series. It last happened 20 years ago in 1995 when the Braves swept the Reds in the NLCS and went on to beat the Indians in the World Series. Since 1995 the four teams who swept their LCS actually performed quite miserably in the World Series, with three of the four being beat in five games or less.
Lots of assumptions can be made about why teams who sweep do so poorly in the World Series, but it likely has something to do with an extended break between games. The first game of the World Series will be played on Tuesday, meaning the Mets will have five days off between games. Including the All-Star break, they didn’t have this many days off all season, and it has the potential of halt the momentum they built over the past few weeks. Also, their starting pitching will now be on extended days’ rest, messing with the routines they’ve followed for most of the season.
Some positive news for Mets fans is that the last time the team swept the NLCS in 1969, they went on to win the World Series. However, the NLCS was only a five game series at the time.
Check out the chart below for details on how teams who swept their LCS fared in the World Series.
|2014||Royals||No||KC sweep BAL in the ALCS and lose 4-3 to SF in WS|
|2012||Tigers||No||DET sweep NYY in the ALCS and then get swept by SF in WS|
|2007||Rockies||No||COL sweep ARI in the NLCS and then get swept by BOS in WS|
|2006||Tigers||No||DET sweep OAK in the ALCS and lose 4-1 to STL in WS|
|1995||Braves||Yes||ATL sweep CIN in the NLCS and win 4-2 over CLE in WS|
|1990||Athletics||No||OAK sweep BOS in ALCS and then get swept by CIN in WS|
|1988||Athletics||No||OAK sweep BOS in ALCS and lose 4-1 to LAD in WS|