2013 World Series: Same record; best record; last-to-champs journey for Sox

English: the New York Yankees' World Series tr...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With the World Series getting started tonight in Boston, here are a couple of interesting stats to ponder before the first pitch. Depending on your team allegiance in the series, you may be happy (or sad) to read these facts.

Same record. The World Series this year features two teams that had the same regular season record, 97-65. This is the first World Series in over a half-century where the opposing teams had the same regular season record. Last time it happened was in 1958 when the 92-62 New York Yankees faced the 92-62 Milwaukee Braves. This is also only the fifth time it has happened in the 108-year history of the Fall Classic. It also happened in 1951, 1949 and 1903. Think about this: In the previous four times it occurred, the American League won the World Series. Good omen for the Red Sox?

Question: Does it really matter which World Series team had a better record in the regular season? The World Series team with the better record has won 24 of the 52 World Series dating back to 1960.

Best record in league. Back in 1995 MLB went to the current format of three divisions in each league. Since 1995, this is only the third time that the team with the best record in the American League will face the team with the best record in the National League in the World Series. Both St. Louis and Boston had the best regular season records in their respective league. The other times it happened: 1999 World Series (Atlanta versus the New York Yankees) and 1995 (Cleveland versus Atlanta). In 2007, World Series foes Boston and Colorado tied for the best record in their leagues.

From last to the World Series: The Red Sox this year become the sixth team in MLB history to go from last place to the World Series in the following season. In 2012, Boston finished fifth in the five-team A.L. East, 26 games out of first place. Here’s a look at the teams that went from last place to the World Series in consecutive years.

Atlanta, 1990: Finished sixth in six-team division, 26 games out of first. Lost the World Series in 1991.

Minnesota, 1990: Finished fifth in five-team division, 29 games out of first. Won the World Series in 1991.

Philadelphia, 1992: Finished sixth in six-team division, 26 games out of first. Lost the World Series in 1993.

San Diego, 1997: Finished fourth in four-team division, 14 games out of first. Lost World Series in 1998.

Tampa Bay, 2007: Finished fifth in five-team division, 30 games out of first. Lost World Series in 2008.

Boston, 2012: Finished fifth in five-team division, 26 games out of first. ????????????????????????

You noticed that only one team (of the five) above won the World Series after being in last place the previous year, right? Bad omen for the Red Sox?

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp.

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