Hidden Vigorish

Detailed Analysis of The Pittsburgh Pirates

Streakiness of MLB Playoff Teams

The Pittsburgh Pirates are mired in a season worst 6 game losing streak that has left many people questioning if the Pirates are still playoff contenders. This got me thinking about how this Pirates team compares to past MLB playoff teams in terms of streakiness. Since the advent of the wildcard in 1995 there have been 156 playoff teams. 68 of them (43.6%) endured losing streaks of 6 or more games. Even if the Pirates losing slide continues another game there is still plenty of history on their side. 35 playoff teams (22.4%) had losing streaks of 7 games or longer. The longest losing streak in the wildcard era that a playoff team was able to overcome was 9 games. That was done twice – by the 2010 Atlanta Braves and then again by the 2012 Oakland A’s.

What is more ominous of the Pirates chances is the lack of a good winning streak. The Pirates longest winning streak this season is just 4 games. Not a single playoff team has had a longest winning streak shorter than 5 games since the playoffs were expanded in 1995. The shortest long winning streak is 5 games and it has been done 11 times. Interestingly 4 of those teams were World Series Winners – 1996 New York Yankees, 2007 Boston Red Sox, 2010 San Francisco Giants, and 2011 St. Louis Cardinals.


Here are some interesting streak facts about playoff teams in the wildcard era:
Longest Winning Streak: 20 games
2002 Oakland A’s
Shortest Long Winning Streak: 5 games
1996 Baltimore Orioles
1996 New York Yankees
1997 Seattle Mariners
1997 New York Yankees
2001 Houston Astros
2007 Boston Red Sox
2009 St. Louis Cardinals
2010 San Francisco Giants
2011 Tampa Rays
2011 St. Louis Cardinals
2012 St. Louis Cardinals
Longest Losing Streak: 9 games
2010 Atlanta Braves
2012 Oakland A’s
Shortest Long Losing Streak: 3 games
2003 Atlanta Braves
2004 Atlanta Braves
2005 St. Louis Cardinals
2013 Boston Red Sox
Average Longest Winning Streak: 8.2 games


Average Longest Losing Streak: 5.5 games

Teams With Longest Winning Streak Was Shorter Than Longest Losing Streak: 12 teams
1995 New York Yankees (7W/8L)
1996 San Diego Padres (6W/8L)
1996 Baltimore Orioles (5W/6L)
1997 New York Yankees (5W/6L)
1999 New York Mets (6W/8L)
2001 Houston Astros (5W/8L)
2006 St. Louis Cardinals (7W/8L)
2010 San Francisco Giants (5W/7L)
2011 Tampa Rays (5W/6L)
2011 St. Louis Cardinals (5W/7L)
2012 Atlanta Braves (7W/8L)
2013 St. Louis Cardinals (6W/7L)


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