Note: I know this is not strictly Mets related, but this seemed like a neat bit of trivia as we begin the post-season.
Tonight the MLB playoffs begin, and for the second year in a row the Tampa Bay Rays will be taking on the Texas Rangers in the American League Division Series. This marks the 33rd time in baseball history that teams have played each other in back-to-back post-seasons. So how have those previous series gone? Of those 32 repeat meetings, the prior year's winner won again 20 times, and the loser struck back 12 times. So, history would seem to favor the Rangers.
Below is a listing of those 32 repeat matchups. This includes three occasions where teams met three post-seasons in a row. The Yankees and Giants faced each other in three World Series from 1921-1923, with the Giants taking the first two and the Yanks the third. The Red Sox and Angels had a similar experience recently. They met in three consecutive American League Division Series from 2007-2009, with the Red Sox taking the first two and the Angels finally beating the Sox in 2009. The only time a team has beaten another in three consecutive post-seasons occurred when the Yankees beat the Kansas City Royals in the 1976-1978 American League Championship Series. As another footnote, the Yankees have been involved in 17 of these repeat matchups, and they have won the follow-up on 15 of those occasions, and they went 82 years between those losses. Yet another reason to hate the Yankees.
1907-1908: Cubs over Tigers.
1921-1922: Giants over Yankees
1936-1937: Yankees over Giants
1952-1953: Yankees over Dodgers
1977-1978: Yankees over Dodgers. Note: this is the last time that the same two teams squared off in back-to-back World Series. Sort of hard to believe. And obviously we won't have a repeat matchup this year with the Giants out.
Loser's Revenge (last yea's loser wins the follow-up). These are listed by the second year's winner:
1922-1923: Yankees over Giants
1930-1931: Cardinals over A's
1942-1943: Yankees over Cardinals
1955-1956: Yankees over Dodgers
1957-1958: Yankees over Braves. Note: This means that there has been one repeat World Series in over half a century. Divisional play has definitely made repeats that much more difficult.
League Championship Series:
1969-1970: Orioles over Twins
1973-1974: A's over Orioles
1976-1978: Yankees over Royals
1977-1978: Dodgers over Phillies
1991-1992: Braves over Pirates
2000-2001: Yankees over Mariners
2008-2009: Phillies over Dodgers
*: Met in LDS in prior season.
League Division Series
1998-1999: Yankees over Rangers
2000-2001: Yankees over A's
2003-2004: Yankees over Twins
2004-2005: Astros over Braves. Note: Funny that the Braves regularly beat the Astros is LDS during the 90s, though never in back-to-back years, and yet the Astros make the list for sweeping the Braves.
2005-2006: Cardinals over Padres
2007-2008: Red Sox over Angels
2009-2010: Yankees over Twins
1998-1999: Red Sox over Indians
2001-2002: Cardinals over Diamondbacks
2008-2009: Angels over Red Sox
2010-2011: Rangers and Rays.