5 Longest Winning Streaks in MLB History

A marathon season in the MLB has given rise to some extraordinarily long winning runs

Long winning runs have become a feature of the MLB season.

A Major League Baseball season is a mammoth affair of 162 matches as teams criss-cross North America in search of enough victories to claim a place in the post-season.

Even the best teams lose a significant number of matches during the campaign, but sometimes they get on a roll and appear unstoppable and here are the top five longest winning streaks in MLB history.

20 – Oakland A’s 2002

Filmgoers will perhaps be familiar with the story of the 2002 Oakland A’s as their 20-match winning run was featured in the movie Moneyball, starring Brad Pitt as general manager Billy Beane.

The Bay Area franchise were forced into recruiting uncut diamonds based on statistical information to try and battle it out with the big spenders.

The A’s had a record of 68-51 when their streak started with a 5-4 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on 13th August and they stormed to the top of the American League West, despite a scare in their 20th match.

They surrendered an 11-0 lead against the Kansas City Royals, but just got over the line with a Scott Hatteberg home run.

They went on to claim the division with 103 wins, but any World Series hopes were dashed by a best-of-five defeat to the Minnesota Twins, who were also the team who ended the streak on 6th September.

21 – Chicago White Stockings 1880

The Providence Grays and St Louis Maroons had also collected 20 wins in 1884, but the Chicago White Stockings had gone one better four years earlier.

Their run came 23 years before the first World Series, but they were undoubtedly the strongest team in the National League, winning the title with a record of 67-17, which was 15 wins better than their nearest rivals, the Grays.

Their run started with a 5-4 win over the Boston Braves on 2nd June and ended when they lost 2-0 against the Cleveland Blues on 10th July.

21 – Chicago Cubs 1935

The Chicago Cubs won 100 games in the National League in 1935 as they matched the record of their rivals from across the Windy City from 55 years earlier.

Their streak started with a 8-2 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on 4th September and went on until they suffered an 11th-innings loss to the St Louis Cardinals, who had won the World Series the year before and were pipped to the NL title by four wins.

The Cubs made it through to the World Series themselves, but fell to a six-match loss to the Detroit Tigers, the fifth time they had lost in the showdown since 1908.

It would take until 2016 before they finally got their hands on the biggest prize.

22 – Cleveland Indians 2017

The longest winning run in American League history came in 2017 as the Cleveland Indians won 22 consecutive matches.

They were in dominant mood as the average winning margin was 4.77 and in nine of their matches, they won by a distance of five runs or more and, incredibly, in a 198-innings run, they trailed in just eight of them.

The run also included 15 wins in 14 days and they won the American League Central by 17 matches.

Their streak started with a 13-6 win over the Boston Red Sox on 24th August and was ended by a 4-3 loss to the Kansas City Royals on 15th September.

They qualified as the number-one seeds in the AL, but their interest was ended by the New York Yankees in the Divisional round.

26 – New York Giants 1916

The longest ever streak without a loss was posted by the New York Giants in 2016, although there is some controversy as the run included a tie.

It was a remarkable season for the Giants as they started the season by winning just two of their opening 15 matches, but then went on a 17-game winning run.

However, during their record run that started on 7th September with a win over the Brooklyn Robins, the Giants did have a 1-1 tie with the Pittsburgh Pirates that was rained out after nine innings and then started again as part of a double-header the following day.

The streak ended win an 8-3 defeat to the Boston Braces just 23 days later, but remarkably, they were only able to finish fourth in the National League, posting an 86-66 record.

A vastly experienced journalist, Ian has worked the beat on a number of local newspapers and covers a number of different sports for the Racing Post
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