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The Texas Rangers on June 30 won their 50th game of the season becoming the first team this year to reach that mark. It was the first time in franchise history that the Rangers were the first team to reach 50 victories in a season.
So, does being the first team to win 50 games in a season translate to success later in the year… specifically, the postseason?
In looking back to 1986 (the last 25 MLB seasons) at the teams that were the first to 50 wins, in 10 seasons that team went on to play in the World Series. (Note: In two seasons, 1998 and 2002, two teams each won their 50th game on the same date.) Of the 27 teams, only four did not make the playoffs in year they were first to 50 wins: (Seattle, 2003; Seattle and L.A. Dodgers, 2002; N.Y. Yankees, 1987). Nine of the 27 teams lost in the League Championship Series, and four of the 27 lost in the League Divisional Series.
In addition, the Rangers were the eighth different team to be the first to 50 wins in the last eight seasons.
Following are the 10 teams since 1986 that made it to the World Series after being the first team to win 50 games that season.
Year, Team, World Series outcome
2006, Detroit Tigers, lost World Series
2005, Chicago White Sox, won World Series
1998, New York Yankees, won World Series
1996, Atlanta Braves, lost World Series
1995, Cleveland Indians, lost World Series
1993, Philadelphia Phillies, lost World Series
1992, Toronto Blue Jays, won World Series
1990, Oakland A’s, lost World Series
1989, Oakland A’s, won World Series
1986, New York Mets, won World Series
Since 1986, 15 of the 30 major league teams have been the first team to 50 wins at least once. Topping the list are the Yankees who have been the first team to 50 wins in four seasons (1987, 1998, 2004, 2010).
3 seasons: Seattle (2001, 2002, 2003); Atlanta (1994-no postseason that year, 1996, 1998)
2 seasons: Philadelphia (1993, 2011); L.A. Dodgers (2002, 2009); Chicago White Sox (2000, 2005); Cleveland (1995, 1999); Toronto (1991, 1992); Oakland (1989, 1990); N.Y. Mets (1986, 1988).
1 season: Texas (2012); Boston (2008); L.A. Angels (2007); Detroit (2006); Baltimore (1997).
Did you know? An American League team has been the first team to win 50 wins in a season in 20 of the 25 last seasons?
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