If you opened up this morning’s paper and glanced at the baseball standings, you discovered something very interesting. Did you see that two teams from the same city are leading their divisions (the Yankees and Mets), two teams from the same state are leading their respective divisions (Missouri’s Royals and Cardinals), and while the Dodgers sit atop the N.L. West, their in-state rivals, the Angels, are just a couple games behind the Astros in the A.L. West race?
What does all this mean? Not only could we see a World Series with two teams from the same state, but for the first time in MLB history there could be three pairs of teams from three states winning the six divisions.
In 1994, baseball went to a three-division format in each of the two leagues. Since then, teams from the same state have won a division title in the same year several times. Considering that there are five teams from California, it’s not surprising that several of those pairs have been west coast teams. Here’s a look at the other state pairs that have won divisions title in the same year since 1969 when MLB went from two leagues to two divisions in each league.
(New York) New York Yankees and New York Mets: 2006
(Missouri) Kansas City Royals and St. Louis Cardinals: 1985
(Illinois) Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox: 2008
(Ohio) Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds: 1995
(California) Los Angeles Angels and Los Angeles Dodgers (2004, 2008, 2009, 2014)
(California) Oakland A’s and Los Angeles Dodgers (1974, 1988, 2013)
(California) Oakland A’s and San Francisco Giants (1971, 1989, 2000, 2003, 2012)
(California) Oakland A’s and San Diego Padres (2006)
(California) Los Angeles Angels and San Diego Padres (2005)
In addition, there are two pairs from the same state that have never won a division title in the same year: Florida’s Tampa Bay and Miami franchises, and the Los Angeles Angels and San Francisco Giants from California.
There have been 20 times when two teams from the same state (and in many cases, the same city) have faced each other in the World Series. The last time it happened was in 2002 when the San Francisco Giants faced off against the Anaheim Angels. The current 12-year drought of not having two teams from the same state play each other in the World Series is the fourth longest in MLB history. The longest drought was from 1956 to 1974, 17 years.
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