The Longest World Series Droughts

The Indians (102-60) got a taste of the World Series in 2016 but lost the series to the Cubs.

Normally, I eschew fixed-odds futures like these because you can nearly always get a better payoff by taking the series price in a team's first series and parlaying your winnings onto each subsequent series (or game-by-game in single-elimination tournaments such as the National Football League playoffs or March Madness). The starting pitching matchup is pretty even with New York's Luis Severino vs. Minnesota's Ervin Santana, with maybe a slight edge to Severino, but the Yankees have a big edge with their bullpen.

Washington second baseman Daniel Murphy matched Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner at.322 to share third in the NL batting race and the Nationals also a formidable starting rotation of pitchers paced by right-handers Max Scherzer, 16-6 with a 2.51 ERA and 268 strikeouts, and Stephen Strasburg, 15-4 with a 2.52 ERA and 204 strikeouts. The play: Pass on both side and total (leans to Yankees and under if willing to lay the juice). Minnesota finished second behind Cleveland in the AL Central-17 games back. Their pitching was the best in the league, led by co-aces Corey Kluber and Carlos Carrasco.

Houston got the win, and one Astros fan went viral in the process, after giving the finger. The team they beat, the Indians, now hold the title as the baseball team that's suffering through the longest World Series drought. It should be a terrific series.

Washington Nationals (2) Vs.

The Nationals came into the season with World Series expectations.

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It looked like the Cubs were going to fly out of Washington with a 2-0 lead; however Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmermann completely changed the complexion of the series in the eighth inning of Game Two on Saturday, turning a 3-1 deficit into a 6-3 lead. The Nats had the better season overall, but I'd still rather be hot and tested going into the NLDS than merely coasting, and last year's success gives the Cubs a confidence opposite of what Washington has hanging over them until and unless they finally break through.

The Cubs are coming off a magical season that washed 108 years of exasperation in winning the World Series.

Of course, we can do virtually the same thing by betting both teams' at 8-1 and having basically 4.5-1 on our investment for the surviving team (note: you can also do better by shopping around for better odds on each team). That is what happened with the Rockies and Diamondbacks. Even when they were able to level it at 2-2 in the top of the fourth in Game One, the Astros hit back straight away with two runs in the bottom of the inning.

Confidence is also flowing for the team that won the most games during the regular season.

The Arizona Diamondbacks will host the Colorado Rockies in the National League Wild Card Game Wednesday night as Jon Gray (10-4, 3.67 ERA) will take the mound for the visitors against Zack Greinke (17-7, 3.20 ERA). The NL West champions have fielded many good teams over the last 25 years, but have not won a World Series, or even won a pennant, since 1988. A few believe the Cubs and Indians will meet in a rematch from past year. "But every guy in our clubhouse feels like they should have won it a year ago". The Cubs are a bit weaker this year in pitching, and the Dodgers' lineup is a bit stronger. And considering how strong the A.L. field is this year as well, we are possibly in for the best played and most competitive and exciting Major League Baseball post season in a very long time. But the Indians have been hungry for almost seven decades.

Here's a complete list of the longest (and, inversely, shortest) playoff droughts.


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