Worst better than best? (MLB)

Has a last place team ever won the season series from the 1st place team?

I’m sure it’s a relatively common occurrence. A team only needs to go about 10 and 9 to win a season series in-division. Even the worst teams win 50+ games per year.


It’s certainly happened, though it would take a bit of research to find examples (I doubt it could be called “common,” though). The closest I can find in a couple of minutes was the 1973 Mets, who tied their season series with last place Philadelphia 9-9.

Last in the league or in the division?

I don’t think it would be common either. For in league there’s only been a couple of hundred opportunities to do it, and not that many more since divisions mattered. And I’d think the common thing would be the league leader dominating the last place team. But the standings can be tightly packed at the end of the season so it’s likely happened. A rivalry might be the case where it occurs. A poorly performing team may manage to get the best of their arch rivals who end up leading the league or division, but otherwise tank the season. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to find it happening in the 19th century. There’s all sorts of odd statistics from that era.

In division the 2006 Cardinals went 8-11 against the Cubs, who finished last in the division.

But the best team in the league was the Mets - who finished .500 against the Cubs.

For league-wide the 2010 Phillies had the best NL record but only went 2-4 against the league-worst Pirates.

There’s a lot of randomness in short series; it would be interesting to see if any team since the Cleveland Spiders had actually lost all their season series. (The '62 Mets tied with the Cubs (9-9), and the '03 Tigers won their series against the Padres (2-1) and tied with the Orioles (3-3)).

Interesting! This is and example of what I was asking (best overall vs woprst overall)

You can always count on the Phillies to set records for poor performance. Every time they lose a game they set a new record.