FanPost

World Series winning and losing patterns

When the 2019 World Series ended, you could hardly read about it without being told that it was the first Series in which the visiting team won all 7 games.

Guess what?

The 2020 Series followed a unique pattern, too.

While all the games were played at Arlington, Texas, the Dodgers and Rays switched roles as the visitor and home team as if they were playing in Los Angeles and Tampa.

The home team ultimately won Games 1, 4 and 6; the visitor, Games 2, 3 and 5.

That pattern -- HVVHVH -- is the 59th distinct pattern in the 116 World Series played in 1903-2020.

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BREAKDOWN OF COMBINATIONS

There have been 28 distinct combinations that began with Visitor winning the first game:

-- 17 combinations that began VH (28 Series)

-- 2 combinations that began VVH (7 Series)

-- 4 combinations that began VVVH (6 Series)

-- 1 combination that began VVVVH (1 Series)

-- 2 combinations that began VVVVVH (3 Series)

-- 1 combination that began VVVVVVV (1 Series)

-- 1 combination that began VT (1 Series)

...

There have been 30 distinct combinations that began with Home winning the first game:

-- 16 combinations that began HV (27 Series)

-- 3 combinations that began HHV (12 Series)

-- 5 combinations that began HHHV (11 Series)

-- 2 combinations that began HHHHV (4 Series)

-- 1 combination that began HHHHHV (3 Series)

-- 1 combination that began HHHHHHV (4 Series)

-- 1 combination that began HHHHHHH (3 Series)

-- 1 combination that began HT (1 Series)

...

And there was 1 combination that began with a Tie

...

There have been 10 combinations that began with a Visitor win and happened in 2 or more Series.

There have been 15 combinations that began with a Home win and have happened in 2 or more Series.

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UNIQUE WITH VISITOR FIRST WIN

Of the 18 combinations that began with a Visitor win and happened only once, the oldest is VTVVHHVH, in 1912. The oldest not including a tie is VVVHV, in 1913.

Here are all 18:

VVVVVVV: 2019, Nationals-Astros

VVVVVHH: 1923, Yankees-Giants

VVVVHV: 1986, Mets-Red Sox

VVVHV: 1913, A's-Giants

VVVHVHV: 1972, A's-Reds

VVVHVHH: 1985, Royals-Cardinals

VVHVH: 1970, Orioles-Reds

VHVVVHV: 1945, Tigers-Cubs

VHVHVH: 1918, Red Sox-Cubs

VHVHHV: 2003, Marlins-Yankees

VHVHHHV: 2014, Giants-Royals

VHHVVVHV: 1921, Giants-Yankees

VHHVHHV: 1962, Yankees-Giants

VHHVVVV: 1934, Cardinals-Tigers

VHHHVHV: 1967, Cardinals-Red Sox

VHHHVHH: 1925, Pirates-Senators

VHHHHHH: 1920, Indians-Dodgers

VTVVHHVH: 1912, Red Sox-Giants

...

Of those 18 combinations that begin with a Visitor win and happened only once in the World Series, 2 also happened at least once in a League Championship Series:

VHVHVH (1918 and 2013 ALCS)

VHHHVHH (1925 and 1986 ALCS, 2012 NLCS)

None of those 18 combinations that begin with a Visitor win and happened only once in the World Series has happened at least once in a Division Series.

So, there are 16 total combinations that begin with a Visitor win that have happened ONLY in the World Series!

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UNIQUE WITH HOME FIRST WIN

Of the 15 combinations that began with a Home win and happened only once, the oldest is HHVHHH, in 1911. The oldest in a first-to-4 format is HVHHV, in 1915. The most recent of those before 2020 was HVHVVH,in 2013 (Red Sox-Cardinals).

Here are all 15:

HVVHVVV: 1952, Yankees-Dodgers

HVVHVVH: 1997, Marlins-Indians

HVVHVH: 2020, Dodgers-Rays

HVHHH: 1969, Mets-Orioles

HVHHV: 1915, Red Sox-Phillies

HVHHVH: 1992, Blue Jays-Braves

HVHVV: 1943, Yankees-Cardinals

HVHVVH: 2013, Red Sox-Cardinals

HTHVH: 1922, Giants-Yankees

HHVHHH: 1911, A's-Giants

HHHVHH: 1995, Braves-Indians

HHHVH: 1916, Red Sox-Dodgers

HHHVHVV: 1958, Yankees-Braves

HHHVVVVV: 1919, Reds-White Sox

HHHHVVH: 1947, Yankees-Dodgers

...

Of those 15 combinations that began with a Home win and happened only once in the World Series, 5 also happened at least once in a League Championship Series:

HVHVV (1943 and 1980 NLCS, 1981 NLCS)

HVHVVH (2013 and 1993 NLCS, 1998 ALCS, 2016 NLCS)

HHVHHH (1911 and 1999 NLCS, 2002 ALCS)

HHHVHH (1995 and 2009 ALCS, 2011 ALCS, 2013 NLCS, 2015 ALCS)

HHHVHVV (1958 and 1985 ALCS)

...

And of those 15 combinations that begin with a Home win and happened only once in the World Series, 1 also happened at least once in a Division Series:

HVHVV (1943 and Division Series 2001A1 and 2011A1)

That makes the combination HVHVV the only one that has happened only once in the World Series, but also happened at least once in both a League Championship Series and a Division Series!

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MOST COMMON COMBINATIONS

There are 25 combinations that have happened in 2 or more Series. Those 25 combinations have happened a total of 80 Series.

As you might expect, the most common combination was a 4-game sweep in which Home won the first 2 games, having happened 11 times, most recently in 2012.

Two combinations have happened 7 times: a 4-game sweep in which Visitor won the first 2 games, which happened most recently in 1999, and a 5-game Series in which Home won the first 3 games and Visitor won the next 2 games, which happened most recently in 2018.

No other combination has happened more than 4 times.

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WINS TO START AND IN SERIES

Until 2019, no Series ever began with more than 5 Visitor wins. That happened in 2 Series, 1906 (White Sox-Cubs) and 1996 (Yankees-Braves).

One Series began with 4 Visitor wins: 1986 (Mets-Red Sox).

Three Series had 7 home wins: 1987 (Twins-Cardinals), 1991 (Twins-Braves) and 2001 (Diamondbacks-Yankees).

Four Series (1955, 1956, 1965, 1971) began with 6 Home wins; Visitor won Game 7 of each.

Three Series (1917, 1978, 1981) began with 5 Home wins.

Four Series (1930, 1947, 1953, 1980) began with 4 Home wins.

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CUBS-RED SOX WAS UNIQUE

Only one Series ever has alternated Visitor and Home wins: 1918 (Cubs-Red Sox) went VHVHVH.

There never has been a Series that alternated Home and Visitor wins, starting with a Home win.

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RECORDS BY GAME NUMBER

Game 1

Home has won 68 times, Visitor 47 and there was 1 tie.

The Nationals' Game 1 win at Houston in 2019 was the first Visitor win in the Series opener since 2014 and only the second since 2009.

Home won Game 1 of 10 consecutive Series, 1952-61. Home also won Game 1 of 8 consecutive Series, 1987-95 (there was no Series in 1994) and won Game 1 of 7 consecutive Series, 1975-81.

The longest Game 1 winning streak by Visitor was 5 consecutive Series, 1982-86.

Game 2

Home has won 68 times, Visitor 46 and there were 2 ties.

Home won Game 2 of 11 consecutive Series, 2000-10. Home also won Game 2 of 6 consecutive Series in both 1916-22 and 1930-35.

The longest Game 2 winning streak by Visitor was 3 consecutive Series, 4 different times

Game 3

Home has won 62 times and Visitor 54.

Home won Game 3 of 5 consecutive Series, 1963-67.

The longest Game 3 winning streak by Visitor was 6 consecutive Series, 1908-13.

Game 4

Visitor has won 60 times and Home 56.

Before the Rays' win as Home in Game 4 of 2020, Visitor had won the fourth game in 6 straight Series, 7 of 8 and 9 of 11.

Visitor won Game 4 of 8 consecutive Series, 1939-46.

The longest Game 4 winning streak by Home was 4 consecutive Series, 1971-74.

Game 5

Visitor has won 49 times and Home 48, thanks to the Dodgers' Game 5 win in 2020.

Visitor had won Game 5 in 2018 and 2019, the first time it had done so since 1996 and 1997.

The longest Game 5 winning streak by Visitor was 6 consecutive Series, 1947-53.

Home won Game 5 of 5 consecutive Series, 1974-79.

(Note that in Game 5 and higher, the streaks include years when no game of that number were played. For example, the Visitor streak in Game 5 of 6 games in 1947-53 included wins in 1947-49 and 1951-53; there was no Game 6 in 1950.)

Game 6

Home has won 46 times and Visitor 23.

The Dodgers, of course, clinched the Series by winning Game 6 as the home team in 2020.

The Nationals had won Game 6 at Houston in 2019 and the Cubs had done so at Cleveland in 2016. The Indians, in 1997 at Miami, and the Marlins, in 2003 at New York, were the only previous Visitors to win Game 6 since 1980.

The longest Game 6 winning streak by Visitor was 5, 1952-58 and 1965-71.

Home won Game 6 of 9 consecutive Series, 1982-2002.

Game 7

Visitor has won 24 times and Home 18.

The Nationals' win in Game 7 at Houston in 2019 was the fourth straight win by Visitor in a seventh game,following 2014 (Giants-Royals), 2016 (Cubs-Indians) and 2017 (Astros-Dodgers).

Visitor won Game 7 of 5 consecutive Series, 1965-71.

The longest Game 7 winning streak by Visitor was 9, 1982-2011.

Game 8

Home and Visitor both have won 2 times.

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GRAND TOTAL BY GAME NUMBER

In all, Home has won more often than Visitor in games 1, 2, 3 and 6.

Visitor has won more often than Home in games 4, 5 and 7.

...

Here are the wins by game number for Visitor and Home in Games 1 through 8:

Visitor..... 47 46 54 60 49 23 24 2 = 305

Home...... 68 68 62 56 48 46 18 2 = 368

Tie....... 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 = 3

TOTAL.....116 116 116 116 97 69 42 4 = 676

The winning percentage for Home is .547, equivalent to an 89-73 record over a full, 162-game regular season.

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LAST GAME ALMOST EVEN

In the last game of each Series, regardless of what game number it was, Home has won 59 times and Visitor 57.

Until 2020, Visitor had won each of the last 6, as the Giants, Royals, Cubs, Astros, Red Sox and Nationals all celebrated on their rivals' fields.

Those 6 straight last-game wins by Visitor is the longest such streak in Series history. Visitor won 4 in a row twice, in 1907-10 and 1955-58.

The longest streak by Home also is 6 Series, 1991-97 (there was no Series in 1994).

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CONSECUTIVE-WIN SERIES

Here are the combinations and years of Series that consisted only of consecutive wins by Home, followed by consecutive wins by Visitor, or vice versa:

VVVVVH (1906, 1996)

VVVVHHH (1986)

VVVHH (1905, 1929)

VVHH (1914, 1927, 1938, 1950, 1963, 1966, 1999)

VHHHH (1974, 1984, 2006, 2008)

VHHHHHH (1920)

HVVVV (1941, 1949, 1961)

HHVV (1928, 1932, 1939, 1976, 1989, 1990, 1998, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2012)

HHHVV (1933, 1954, 1988, 2000, 2010, 2015, 2018)

HHHVVVVV (1919)

HHHHHV (1917, 1978, 1981)

HHHHHHV (1955, 1956, 1965, 1971)

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ODDS AND ENDS, TO END

--The 1951 Series began VHHV; the 1952 Series, the exact opposite: HVVH

--The 1955 Series was the first in which Home won the first 6 games. Visitor then won Game 7. Then the 1956 Series had the same pattern: HHHHHHV.

--The 1965 and 1971 Series also went HHHHHHV. So that pattern did not happen from 1903-55, happened 4 times from 1955-71, and has not happened again in 1972-2020.

--The 1989 and 1990 Series, both 4-game sweeps, both went HHVV

--The 1998 Series, a 4-game sweep, went HHVV; the 1999 Series, also a sweep, the exact opposite: VVHH

--The 2004 and 2005 Series, both 4-game sweeps, both went HHVV

--In the 1918 Series, neither team scored more than 3 runs in any of the 6 games. The visiting Red Sox won Game 1, 1-0; the home Cubs won Game 2, 3-1; the visiting Red Sox won Game 3, 2-1; the home Red Sox won Game 4, 3-2; the visiting Cubs won Game 5, 3-0; and the home Red Sox won Game 6, 2-1. In all, the Cubs scored 10 runs and the Red Sox 9.

--The 1945 Series between the Cubs and Tigers had a schedule never used before or since, caused by World War II travel issues. Games 1-3 were played in Detroit, then games 4-7 were played in Chicago.

--In the 1974 series, 4 of the 5 games had a final score of 3-2: games 1-3 and Game 5. The final score of Game 4 was 5-2. So, the losing team scored exactly 2 runs in every game.

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