The Boston Red Sox are the most recent example of a team that came back from a 3-1 deficit in the postseason. They did it in 2004, when they rallied to beat the New York Yankees in Game 6 of the ALCS.
The how many teams have come back from 3-1 nba is a question that has been asked before. There are 16 teams that have come back from a 3-1 deficit in the playoffs.
In any sport, you never want your team to be behind 3-1 in a best-of-seven playoff series. The beauty of baseball, though, is that, unlike any other sport, any club may win on any given night. Yes, it’s a cliché, but it holds true in every sport on the globe. But if you really think about it, a poor MLB club will defeat a good MLB team much more frequently than a bad team would beat a good team in the NFL, NBA, or NHL.
While no club in Major League Baseball wants to be down 3-1 in a best-of-seven series, it’s clear that a comeback is conceivable. Although the odds are still stacked against those that fall down 3-1, 89 teams (the 90th being this year’s Los Angeles Dodgers) had been in that situation heading into the 2021 MLB playoffs, and 14 had managed to claw their way out. Six more were successful in extending the series to a seventh game. Close to a quarter of the teams who fell down 3-1 had a realistic chance of winning the series, and approximately 15.7 percent of them did. It’s not a good chance, but it might be worse, right?
And who is the most recent MLB club to accomplish this feat?
The most recent MLB club to come back from a 3-1 deficit was the 2020 Los Angeles Dodgers.
The 2020 LA Dodgers, who had the best record in MLB during the COVID-shortened 60-game season, were the most recent club to come back from a 3-1 hole.
The Dodgers lost the opening two games of the NLCS to the Atlanta Braves after sweeping the Milwaukee Brewers in the Wild Card Series and the San Diego Padres in the NLDS. Los Angeles came back in Game 3 with a dominating 15-3 win, but fell down 3-1 when Atlanta won Game 4 with a resounding win of their own, 10-2.
Following a 7-3 triumph in Game 5 at Globe Life Field, the Dodgers scored three runs in the first inning of Game 6, highlighted by back-to-back home runs from Corey Seager and Justin Turner, and held on for a 3-1 victory. Los Angeles then won a dramatic Game 7, rallying from 2-0 and 3-2 deficits to win 4-3, with Cody Bellinger’s solo home run in the seventh inning providing the game-winning score.
The Dodgers went on to win the World Series in six games against the Tampa Bay Rays.
In the MLB playoffs, 14 teams have fought back from a 3-1 deficit.
The MLB playoff logo for 2021 | John Fisher/Getty Images
As previously stated, the 2020 Dodgers were one of 14 MLB postseason teams to come back from a 3-1 deficit, including the World Series. Here’s a brief rundown of everything on the list.
- The Pittsburgh Pirates defeat the Washington Senators in the 1925 World Series.
- The New York Yankees defeat the Milwaukee Braves in the 1958 World Series.
- The Detroit Tigers defeat the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1968 World Series.
- The Pittsburgh Pirates defeat the Baltimore Orioles in the 1979 World Series.
- Kansas City Royals defeat Toronto Blue Jays in the 1985 ALCS
- The Kansas City Royals defeat the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1985 World Series.
- The Boston Red Sox defeat the California Angels in the 1986 American League Championship Series.
- The Atlanta Braves defeat the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1996 National League Championship Series.
- The Florida Marlins defeated the Chicago Cubs in the 2003 National League Championship Series.
- The Boston Red Sox defeated the New York Yankees in the 2004 American League Championship Series (only MLB team to come back from 3-0 deficit)
- The Boston Red Sox defeated the Cleveland Indians in the 2007 American League Championship Series.
- The San Francisco Giants defeated the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2012 National League Championship Series.
- The Chicago Cubs defeated the Cleveland Indians in the 2016 World Series.
- Los Angeles Dodgers defeat Atlanta Braves in the National League Championship Series in 2020.
Six previous teams have advanced to the seventh game in a series.
These six teams, in addition to the 14 MLB postseason teams who came back from a 3-1 hole, battled their way to a Game 7 but fell short.
- New York Giants win the 1912 World Series (lost to Boston Red Sox)
- The Boston Red Sox won the World Series in 1967. (lost to St. Louis Cardinals)
- The Cincinnati Reds lost the 1972 World Series against the Oakland Athletics.
- The Pittsburgh Pirates won the 1992 National League Championship Series (lost to Atlanta Braves)
- The Boston Red Sox won the American League Championship Series in 2008. (lost to Tampa Bay Rays)
- Houston Astros in the 2020 ALCS (lost to Tampa Bay Rays)
Will the Dodgers join one of these exclusive groups in 2021? We’ll find out as soon as possible.
Baseball Reference provided the statistics.
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