Postseason glory is what it’s all about. The entire season leads up to October, when we’ve seen countless players grow into legendary status and harness that energy. But overall, it’s all about the team. Certain franchises have had numerous instances of playoff success, while others are still looking to solidify that history.
With the Nationals winning the 2019 World Series, there are just six teams left that have never won a title: the Rays, Brewers, Padres, Rockies, Mariners and Rangers.
But what about racking up series wins? The Yankees have played postseason baseball more than any other team, but there is a team that’s had more success, if we look at winning percentage in playoff series.
Here’s a look at every club’s postseason series winning percentage, with the Wild Card Game counting as a series, as it is its own round.
1) Marlins: .875 (7-1)
Prior to 2020, the Marlins had won the World Series every time they'd made the playoffs. They had never lost a series, winning three in 1997 and then doing the same in 2003 en route to their two titles. Their 2020 postseason run began with a series win over the Cubs in the Wild Card round, but they lost to the Braves in the NLDS. Still, their winning percentage in series leads the way.
2) Yankees: .651 (54-29)
Winners of 27 World Series titles, the Yankees have played more postseason series than any other team (83). The Cardinals are a distant second, with 49.
3) Cardinals: .612 (30-19)
The Cardinals have won 11 World Series championships, the second most of any club and most of any National League team. Their 30 postseason series wins trail only the Yankees’ 54 all-time.
4) Mets: .611 (11-7)
The Mets hadn’t lost consecutive postseason series until they lost Game 5 of the 2015 World Series, then were eliminated in the NL Wild Card Game the following year. Prior to that, each time they’d lost a postseason series, they’d won their next one -- whether it was the following year or multiple years later.
5) Red Sox: .595 (22-15)
The Red Sox won each of their first five postseason series, all of which were World Series. Through the 1918 postseason, the Red Sox’s five World Series titles were the most of any franchise. Now, they rank tied for third with nine.
6) Royals: .563 (9-7)
The Royals were 1-6 in the first seven postseason series in franchise history, through the 1984 ALCS. But they’ve turned it around since, going 8-1 in their playoff series since the start of the 1985 postseason. That stretch includes World Series titles in 1985 and 2015.
7) Rays: .545 (6-5)
The Rays experienced early postseason success when, in their first appearance in 2008, they won two series to get to the World Series. But they lost in five games to the Phillies there, and since then have won four more postseason rounds -- the 2013 AL Wild Card Game, 2019 AL Wild Card Game, 2020 AL Wild Card Series and 2020 ALDS.
8) Blue Jays: .538 (7-6)
The Blue Jays lost each of the first three postseason series in franchise history, but turned that trend around in a big way in the 1992 playoffs. Beginning with the 1992 ALCS, the Blue Jays won five straight postseason series, bringing them the 1992-93 World Series and a win in the 2015 ALDS.
9) Orioles/Browns: .522 (12-11)
The franchise played one postseason series as the St. Louis Browns, in the 1944 World Series against the Cardinals, which the Browns lost. Each of the franchise’s 22 other postseason series has come since the team moved to Baltimore in 1954.
10) Giants: .514 (19-18)
The Giants won 11 straight postseason series from the 2010 NLDS against the Reds through the 2016 NL Wild Card Game against the Mets. That streak is tied for the longest in postseason history, with a stretch by the Yankees from 1998-2001. The Giants’ streak finally ended in the 2016 NLDS against the Cubs, in four games.
11-T) Reds: .500 (11-11)
The Reds have lost each of their past five postseason series, with the last series win coming in the 1995 NLDS against the Dodgers. They’d go on to lose the NLCS to the Braves that year, and did not return to the postseason again until 2010, when they lost the NLDS to the Phillies.
11-T) D-backs: .500 (5-5)
The D-backs headed to the postseason quickly -- playing their first playoff series in 1999, just their second season of existence. They lost that one to the Mets, but returned to the postseason two years later in 2001 and won three series, taking down the Yankees in seven games in the World Series.
11-T) Nationals/Expos: .500 (5-5)
Entering the 2019 postseason, the club was just 1-5 in postseason series all-time, with the lone win coming as the Expos in the 1981 NLDS. But one October stretch can change a lot, and now the Nationals are 5-5 in postseason series, having won four rounds in 2019. They became the first team in postseason history to win three winner-take-all games in a single postseason, and, of course, the first team to win the World Series without winning a home game.
11-T) Astros: .500 (12-12)
The Astros are another team that’s changed its postseason results a lot lately. The team lost each of the first seven series in its postseason history, finally winning the 2004 NLDS against the Braves to get one in the win column. From 1980-2015, the Astros went 4-10 in postseason series. But since the 2017 playoffs began, it’s been a different story -- the Astros have gone 8-2 in series since then, including a win in the 2017 World Series and a trip to the 2019 Fall Classic.
15) Tigers: .478 (11-12)
The Tigers lost the first four postseason series in franchise history, in the 1907-09 and 1934 World Series. But they won the 1935 World Series, and went on to win in 1945, 1968 and 1984, too.
16) Athletics: .474 (18-20)
The A’s snapped a nine-game losing streak in winner-take-all games with their win in Game 3 of the 2020 Wild Card Series against the White Sox. That was the longest such streak in postseason history. But they lost their next series, in the ALDS against the Astros.
17) Phillies: .455 (10-12)
The Phillies’ postseason history began with five straight postseason series losses between 1915 and 1978. Years later, they put together the opposite -- a five-series win streak in the playoffs -- beginning with the 2008 NLDS and ending when they lost the 2009 World Series to the Yankees.
18) Dodgers: .449 (22-27)
The Dodgers have played 49 postseason series, tied with the Cardinals for second most behind the Yankees. From 1916 through 1953, the Dodgers lost seven consecutive World Series they played in, tied for the longest streak all time with the 1910-45 Cubs. In more recent history, they’ve reached the postseason in eight consecutive seasons, including 2020.
19) Indians: .435 (10-13)
The Indians currently own baseball’s longest World Series drought, with their last World Series title coming in 1948 against the then-Boston Braves. They’re 8-12 in postseason series in the Wild Card Era (since 1995).
20) Mariners: .429 (3-4)
The Mariners have the Majors’ longest active postseason drought, not reaching October since the 2001 season. They’ve also never advanced to the World Series.
21) Braves: .421 (16-22)
The Braves had been eliminated in 10 consecutive postseason rounds, tied for the longest such streak in postseason history, before ending that skid with a 2020 NL Wild Card Series win. Before that, the last time they had won a playoff series had been in 2001, when they swept the Astros in the NLDS before losing to the D-backs in the NLCS. They've now won two straight series, defeating the Marlins in the NLDS to head to their first NLCS since 2001.
22) White Sox: .417 (5-7)
The White Sox postseason series experience has been quite streaky. They won the first two, in 1906 and 1917, then lost five straight from 1919 through the 2000 ALDS. Then they won another three straight, in the 2005 postseason en route to a World Series title. They've now lost their last two postseason series, in the 2008 ALDS and 2020 Wild Card Series.
23-T) Padres: .400 (4-6)
The Padres' NL Wild Card Series win over the Cardinals was their first postseason series win since 1998, when they won the NLDS against the Astros and NLCS against the Braves before being swept by the Yankees in the World Series. But they lost the NLDS to the Dodgers, unable to extend that series win streak to two.
23-T) Pirates: .400 (8-12)
The Pirates made the postseason in 2013 for the first time since 1992, winning the Wild Card Game but losing in the NLDS to the Cardinals. They played in the Wild Card Game in 2014-15, too, but lost each -- running into Madison Bumgarner (Giants) and Jake Arrieta (Cubs) shutouts, respectively.
25-T) Rockies: .375 (3-5)
The best postseason showing in Rockies history was 2007’s Rocktober, when they swept the NLDS against the Phillies and the NLCS against the D-backs. But then the Red Sox flipped the script on them, sweeping the Rockies in the World Series.
25-T) Angels: .357 (5-9)
The Angels won three postseason series in 2002, when they won the World Series in seven games against the Giants. Outside of that, they’ve won just two other postseason series: the 2005 ALDS against the Yankees and 2009 ALDS against the Red Sox.
27-T) Cubs: .333 (9-18)
A 10-series streak of postseason eliminations, from the 1910 World Series through the 1998 NLDS, keeps the Cubs’ postseason winning percentage low, but since 2015, they are 6-4 in playoff rounds. They won two of their first three postseason series in franchise history, too, winning the 1907-08 World Series and losing in ‘06.
27-T) Rangers: .333 (4-8)
Before 2010, the Rangers had made the playoffs three times in franchise history and had lost in their first series each time. In 2010, they made it all the way to the World Series before losing to the Giants. A year later, they made it back to the Fall Classic, this time falling to the Cardinals. They’ve been back to the playoffs three times since -- in 2012, 2015 and 2016 -- but have not advanced.
29-T) Brewers: .300 (3-7)
The Brewers have reached the World Series once in franchise history: in 1982 against the Cardinals, when Milwaukee was still in the American League. They’ve made it to the NLCS twice since 2010 -- in 2011 and 2018 -- but have not again made it to the Fall Classic.
29-T) Twins/Senators: .300 (6-14)
The Twins have faced the Yankees in the postseason six times, all since 2003, and have lost each of those. That’s tied for the third-most common postseason matchup. The Twins’ six series losses to the Yankees are second most by any team against a single opponent behind the Dodgers’ eight to the Yankees. But the Dodgers have also won three series against the Yankees -- so the Twins hold the distinction for most postseason series losses against an opponent without a win. It doesn’t work this way, but if we removed those six meetings, the Twins’ postseason series record would look quite different -- though we can’t know how they would’ve done had they faced different opponents in those series.
Sarah Langs is a reporter/editor for MLB.com based in New York. Follow her on Twitter @SlangsOnSports.