At the start of this series, the LA Dodgers had won seven straight National League West titles, and reached the finals of the World Series in 2017 and 2018, only to fall at the last hurdle. Adding superstar right fielder Mookie Betts to a side already brimming with talent led many to believe that the Dodgers were on the verge of ending their World Series drought.
And those hunches were proved right. The heartbreak is over, and the 2020 World Series belongs to the LA Dodgers — their first win since 1988. Despite going over three decades without success in the league, the Los Angeles franchise actually went into the 2020 MLB season with futures odds of +450 to win the competition. These odds made Dodgers the joint favorites, alongside long-time adversaries the New York Yankees, and as Sports Intel explains: “Baseball futures wagering isn’t like traditional forms of MLB betting…which all hinge on the result of a specific game or set of games. Rather, the futures bet is about the outcome over the course of an entire season.”
This 32-year wait for a World Series title was among the most talked-about droughts we’ve seen in the MLB. The side’s advantageous combination of money and player development left many wondering why they hadn’t won baseball’s most coveted prize in so long. As such, finally getting the monkey off their back is a huge relief to Dodgers supporters. However, in the Dodgers’ wake, other sides enduring long World Series droughts will be put under the microscope more regularly. So which teams are most likely to bear the brunt of this going forward?
Cleveland Indians: 72 years (1949-2020)
The team with the longest World Series drought by far is the Cleveland Indians, who became arguably baseball’s most depressing franchise after the Cubs ended their own 108-year wait in 2016 — ironically, against the Indians. They have come close on four separate occasions, finishing as runners-up in 1954, 1995, 1997 and 2016. At least Indians fans can console themselves with the fact their team’s name is engraved on the Commissioner’s Trophy, unlike the next side on the list.
Texas Rangers: 60 years (1961-2020)
Established in 1961 as the Washington Senators, before relocating and changing their name eleven years later, the side is yet to win a World Series. The team didn’t even reach the postseason in their first 35 years of existence, before becoming one of only four teams ever to have lost back-to-back World Series finals after their 2010 and 2011 defeats. Even more disappointingly, the latter game featured multiple instances where the Rangers were just one strike away from winning the trophy, but sadly, it wasn’t to be.
Milwaukee Brewers: 52 years (1969-2020)
Founded as the Seattle Pilots in 1969, before upping sticks and changing their name just one year later, Brewers fans have also yet to see their side lift the Commissioner’s Trophy. In fact, they’ve reached just one World Series in their history, way back in 1982, when the Brewers failed to capitalize on their 3-2 series lead over the Cardinals. Sadly for their fans, the Milwaukee side has only made it through to five more National League Championship Series (NLCS) since. That said, three of those have come in the last three seasons, so perhaps happier times are on the way for the Brewers.
San Diego Padres: 52 years (1969-2020)
The Padres have never tasted World Series success in their 52-year history, coming closest in 1984 and 1998. First they were soundly defeated by the Detroit Tigers, and the story was the same when the Padres came up against the Yankees dynasty of the 1990s. This was the last time they reached the Fall Classic, and since then, they’ve only made the playoffs a further three times.
Seattle Mariners: 44 years (1977-2020)
While the Mariners’ wait for a World Series title is nowhere near as long as the sides already listed, this is because they’ve only existed for 44 years, and have never actually reached the championships. The Mariners have only made it as far as the American League Championship Series, doing so in 1995, 2000 and 2001. The last time was after a remarkable 116-win campaign, before getting crushed by the Yankees. The Seattle side’s 19-year absence from the playoffs is the longest of all four major North American professional sports leagues.
Pittsburgh Pirates: 41 years (1980-2020)
In the 1970s, the Pirates were a force to be reckoned, and actually have five World Series titles to their names — only six franchises have more. But it’s been a chastening few decades, especially after legendary left fielder Barry Bonds departed in 1992. The Pirates have only made the postseason three times since then, failing to advance to the NLCS on each occasion.
Baltimore Orioles: 37 years (1984-2020)
The last time the Orioles made the World Series in 1983, they actually won the title, defeating the Phillies 4-1 as Cal Ripken Jr. romped to his first AL MVP award. After losing the first game, they won the next four to secure the championship, including a 5-0 victory in their last. Since then, however, the O’s have only made it as far as the American League Championship Series (ALCS) in 1986, 1997 and 2014.
Detroit Tigers: 36 years (1985-2020)
Detroit’s last World Series triumph came back in 1984, when they dispatched the Padres pretty handily. This was one of four championship wins for the Tigers, but they’ve only made the Fall Classic twice since then, in 2006 and 2012. That said, the Detroit franchise has come close to reaching the World Series on three further occasions, losing the ALCS in 2013, 2011 and 1987. However, the fact they’ve not made it to the postseason since 2014 is concerning for Tigers’ fans.